Love Will Grow Cold

By Pastor Teck Uy

What is the chance that believers’ love for the Lord will ever turn cold? If they respond to the command to love the Lord with all their hearts, there should be no chance that this should ever happen. However, Jesus warned, “Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). While they will try to hold on to their faith, the proliferation of wickedness will so influence believers that they will be enticed and pressured to go along. They will compromise their faith and will no longer be devoted to the Lord as they should.

But what is this wickedness that the Lord was referring to? To make this clear and to open the eyes of the believers, the apostle Paul gave a vivid description of these wicked acts and attitudes. He said, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim. 3:1-5). Reading through the list, we could see that these are very much alive even in our days. However, the intensity is growing each day. Indeed, people these days are so self-centered and covetous. They would rather spend their time somewhere else than spend it with the Lord. Though many still go to church, their going is no longer driven by their love for the Lord. They have the form of godliness but there is no more power in their worship. But while wickedness will indeed increase, we are not to be a casualty. We need to heed the admonition of the apostle Paul to have nothing to do with such wicked people.

In rebuking the church in Ephesus, the Lord said, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Rev. 2:4). But what seemed to be wrong with the church? If we look at the activities of the church, there appears to be nothing wrong with them and they can be considered a perfect church based on their activities and what they stand for. In fact, the Lord had said earlier, “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary” (v. 2-3). So, what was wrong with this church? Well, the church no longer served the Lord with all their heart. Their service became just a routine to them. They had what the apostle Paul called “a form of godliness” but there was no more power in their worship.

For us to be pleasing before the Lord, we need to go back to our first love. We have to go back to those days when we used to serve joyfully regardless of the cost. We were willing to make big sacrifices then because we were so in love with the Lord. We need to go back to the very experiences of the disciples of the Lord Jesus who were not deterred in their service, regardless of what they had gone through. Indeed, there was an instance when they were brought to court and threatened and beaten, but we are told that the disciples “departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:41-42).

While there will be an increase of wickedness, worse than what we are seeing now, we should nevertheless persevere in our walk with the Lord. The increase of wickedness should not cause our love for the Lord to turn cold. The only way that our love will turn cold is when we make compromises. There will come a time when we shall be so familiar with all this wickedness that it will be so tempting to go along. However, we should learn our lesson from fish that live in salty water. While the fish swim in salty waters, they themselves do not become salty. Believers should do the same. While we are living in the world, we should not become worldly. In fact Jesus prayed, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:15-16). Therefore, let us saturate ourselves with the Word so that we can be separated and protected from the world. Let us love the Lord with all our hearts and give no room for wickedness in our heart. Praise the Lord!