At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.
Jesus made it very clear to all who believed in Him that we would have tribulations and persecutions because of His name. He also prophesied that not all would endure trials without wavering, but many will stumble, surrender their brethren in the faith, and hate them. In fact, Jesus Himself lived it in His own flesh: Judas gave Him, Peter denied Him and the rest of His disciples fled when they crucified Him. The Scripture only mentions John and some women who stood at the foot of the cross, the others stumbled.
When we realize that the final tests are going to be the strongest of all, we can understand why many will stumble and run away. It is somewhat similar to what happens when a university career is about to end, the exams to which the students are subjected are by far the most difficult. In addition, in some cases, they require the submission of a thesis that must be evaluated by a very demanding committee. That is why we see many deserting their studies before concluding them.
The Lord was well aware that there would be deserters when he said this: many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Those who hope to be safe before the antichrist comes and the great tribulation are likely to be part of those who will fall away. Since they were not prepared to suffer because of Jesus Christ, they would try to save the skin by denying their faith. Even some will be able to cooperate with the persecutor by giving away to his brothers, whom they will hate by blaming them for the persecution.
What are the consequences of those who fall away? The best answer is given by the Lord Himself in John 12:25: He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. The one who stumbles is because he loves his life and thinks that denying his faith before the beast is going to be saved; but what he does not know is that, by agreeing with the antichrist, he is choosing the same final destiny as this, that is, the lake of fire and sulfur. Whoever does such a thing, has decided to renounce Christ and all that he represents, therefore he has renounced eternal life.
You could ask me, where have God’s forgiveness, mercy and love remained? I answer you with another question: do you think that God must repay you with forgiveness, mercy and love after you have betrayed Him? Brother, let’s not play with fire, look what Romans 11: 21-22 says: For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
Anyone who stumbles over his brother to be martyred becomes responsible for his blood. That makes him a criminal sinner and, as such, has despised grace, the undeserved gift. Whoever does such a thing has voluntarily rejected Jesus Christ, is a deserter of His army, can no longer pretend that his name remains in the Book of Life. Only he who stands firm to the end, no matter that he has risked his own life, will be counted among the elect. Let us see, then, and stand firm, clinging to Christ, without stumbling to be found worthy to receive Him in the clouds when He comes. God bless you.