“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

   Ask just about anyone and they will tell you that this world is a very cold and calloused place and it is worsening almost daily. Every day there are news reports that are very disturbing because of the violence and the ages of those involved. Last week, we saw that we are living in a worldly climate and we are living in a wicked climate. I wish that I could say right here that I can see improvements happening in our world, but I cannot. It is only going to get worse; I say that for the following observations:
1.  We are living in a wayward climate. It is very easy to point out the prevailing iniquity of the world; however, in the context, Jesus was not speaking only of the secular climate, but the spiritual climate as well. Consider the phrase, “the love of many.” The word “love” here is agape (Greek) and means, “the self-denying, self-sacrificial, divinely wrought love that comes from God Himself.” Those who have not received Christ as their Lord and Savior cannot truly embrace this kind of love. Believers are instructed and exhorted to love one another with the same kind of love that God the Father extended toward them through the Lord Jesus Christ. “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). Therefore, when Christ is speaking about the “love of many waxing (becoming) cold,” He was speaking of the religionists of His day, those who were called believers. There are several examples of this “love of many waxing cold” in Scriptures. In Ruth 1:1,2, there is a man named Elimelech who moved his family to Moab because of some hard times (famine) in Bethlehem-Judah. He did not intend to settle there; his intention was to “sojourn” for just a while. But, he continued there, he died there and his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, died there too. Moab is a type of the world. Elimelech and his family got too comfortable there. They were removed from Bethlehem (the house of bread), their relationship with God’s Word, His place of worship and His way for them to follow became cold and undesirable. The apostle Paul sadly speaks of a man, once referred to as at “fellowlabourer” with him who ended up in the world. “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world…” (II Timothy 4:10). Here we see the waywardness (unpredictability) of people you expect to be strong all the way to the finish.
2.  We are living in a waxing climate. The word “wax” means, “to grow or become.” Jesus is saying that the love of many shall grow cold. This “global coldness” did not occur overnight but over a span of years, even centuries. How has this happened? The phrase “wax cold” comes from a Greek word that means “to slowly harden by blowing cold air.” The concept of waxing cold can be illustrated by the laying of concrete. It takes much longer for concrete to harden than the actual laying out of the mold or foundation, i.e. “forms.” For example, when pouring a slab for a driveway, the liquid-like concrete is poured into the mold, dragged out by the workers, and then covered with a plastic sheet(s) so no one can walk on it; the concrete will then begin the hardening process (slowly), which is referred to as “waxing cold.”
    Certainly, our nation has experienced spiritual apathy over the past century, but in reality, the causes and contributors to our national spiritual decline have been working for quite a while. In 1859, Charles Darwin published his book, On the Origin of Species,” and evolutionary thinking skyrocketed. In the early 1900s, Sigmund Freud wrote, The Future of an Illusion, which along with many of his and other writers’ works opened the door for the deviant sexual revolution that grows wider to this day. The Christian’s place in our “global coldness” is simple enough and we will cover this next week in Part III.
                                                                                                                                                           Pastor H. Preston Parker