Love Grown Cold
By William L. Rosenberry
"Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matt. 24:12).
These words were spoken by Jesus in answer to three questions asked by the disciples as found in verse three, and as a result of Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of the temple. Our text is the answer in part to the second question asked, that is, "What shall be the sign of Thy coming?"
Jesus tells us one sign of His coming is that "the love of many shall wax cold." This sign is directed toward Christians. We know this because it speaks of love becoming cold. Before love could grow cold it would first have to be hot, which is a characteristic expression of the love of the saints toward God and His kingdom.
Notice more specifically that it plainly states that this love shall wax cold. This would indicate a gradual change often unnoticed until love’s temperature has waxed to a point where spiritual fervor is absolutely lost, and love is left a frozen, unresponsive memory. However, notice that Jesus did not say that this would be the condition of all. God still has many followers whose love daily is waxing hot, being fanned by the blessed Holy Ghost.
Nevertheless, we are in the midst of an alarming and terrible drift from godliness – from holy living – from real Christ-like love for God and one another. This drift is a drift from God’s holy standard as found in His Word, the Bible, to a jumble of man’s theories which never did and never will save a soul or lift a man from his low plane of sin.
This waxing cold of love has produced a compassionless, burdenless and tearless church until sinners no longer are stirred in our campaigns; in fact, in many cases many campaigns are held without a sinner coming to the services. Then, too, many churches don’t even have evangelistic meetings any more. There was a time when our grandparents would get so burdened that the tears would flow over their saintly faces, and their pleas to God for mercy for the sinner would so convict the hardest heart that his resistance would crumble and would cause him to pray the publican’s prayer, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" (Luke 18:13). There was a time when wayward sons and daughters after a night of reveling and sin, would come stealing home long after midnight to hear a saintly mother weeping and pleading to God for the salvation of that boy or girl, and often that wayward one would seek out mother and get saved.
Do we see results like that today? Why? Some folk say the people of today are Gospel hardened. How could folk be Gospel hardened when the major portion of folk never heard a convicting Gospel message – never saw a tear drop from the eye of a saint as they in passionate love spoke to them about their soul? How could folk be Gospel hardened when many never saw the saints burdened or concerned? The issue is not the condition of Gospel-hardened sinners. The real issue is that many Christians have waxed cold in their love to God and man, until little or no compassion or concern is manifested for the lost.
Notice the reason Jesus gives for love waxing cold. He says, "…because iniquity shall abound." Many an individual Christian and the Church body as well has looked upon a cold, spiritually-dead world, a world full of iniquity and sin, and has said the condition is hopeless, beyond reach of human and even divine aid, and then has settled down to a cheap religion to await Christ’s return. This may be comparable to the man who wrapped his talent in a napkin and hid it in the ground and then awaited his Master’s return. In the end he was banished from His Master’s presence.
Instead of settling down, our churches over the land should be praying, "Lord, stir and equip us for the hour – for the duty that faces us!" Then allow the Lord to put a burden and a compassion on every Christian that would melt the stoutest sinner. God is able for the present condition, if the Church will allow God to use it in His way.
Has your love grown cold? If it has, you are contributing to the condition of sin about you. Repent and ask God for the former burden and concern you carried for the lost, lest He come and find you unfaithful to His cause and lest you, by your unconcern, cause a soul to be lost to eternal despair.
– From The Gospel Witness and American Holiness Journal.