“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

But he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:12-13)

In Matthew 24 we find Yeshua again prophesying, giving us signs which foretell the End of the Age.  Our Lord is saying here that iniquity (sin/unrighteousness) shall abound and the love of many will grow cold.  But whose love is He talking about?  Your love?  Your unsaved neighbors?  Your friends?  Actually, He is talking about the Church!  In the End Times the love believers should have for the lost will grow cold!  

There are three Greek definitions for the word love:  agape, phileo and philadelphia.  Briefly, agape is the love that God puts in our hearts for others when we are born-again (His love to be shed abroad to others), phileo is the love we have for a friend or to be very fond of someone, philadelphia is brotherly love (like the love you have for your brother/sister or there may be brotherly love among a group of like-minded individuals).

In the above scripture, Yeshua is talking about agape love.  The love that God has for us and us for Him; that agape being poured out and shed abroad to others when we share the Gospel to a lost world.

Agape, the love which has set apart and adorned the Church for so many years will grow colder, as the time draws near for the Return of Christ.  Agape, the love God gave us when we were born-again, the love we are to share with the lost, will grow cold.  Perhaps we will be so wrapped up in looking at our own situations in a panic-filled world, we will become  detached from the plight of those held in the grip of Satan.  Or perhaps, our sins will separate us from God blinding us to the Great Commission.  Agape love is poured out when we reach others for Christ through personal sacrifice.  Here what Yeshua has said to us: “A new commandment I give you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34, see also John 15:12-13; Romans 13:8-10, Galatians 5:13 and Ephesians 5:2).  

So what has caused us to lose our agape love?  Lawlessness!  A refusal to obey God and His Word.  We have become the lawless ones, tinkling cymbals, withered branches, with itching ears.  An example of this in Scripture is found in the warning to Ephesus in the Book of Revelation where we see that they left their first agape. They are commanded to repent in Revelation 2:4-5.  When the Church compromises, setting aside God’s standard of righteousness and holiness, no longer adhering to what He tells us to do in His Word, and instead sets up its own standards of righteousness and holiness, then the submissive love we should have toward God and men grows cold.

This coldness, this loss of agape because of an unwillingness to submit to God results in disobedience to God’s Word which births false prophets within the Church.“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:11).  While a true prophet of the Most High will always uphold God’s law (Deuteronomy 13:3-4; Isaiah 8:19-20; Romans 8:7), a false prophet is willing to compromise with God’s standard of holiness when it suits him.  Those following a false teacher will likewise slide into lawlessness, becoming separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-3).

Perilous times!  As representing the Church of Jesus Christ it is important that we strive not to lose the love, agape, that God has put into our hearts for the lost.  Yeshua warned us that many believers will grow cold in Matthew 24:12-13.  Today, as the pandemic continues to take thousands of lives, how many did not hear the Good News of Jesus Christ because our love (agape) had grown cold.  I believe we will be held accountable, there is a judgement for believers, we will stand before our Lord Jesus and give an accounting.  (Remember the parable of the Talents.)


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