Overcoming the Problem of Cold Love

Daily Devotional: Day 181

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:12-13, NKJV).

Have you been in a relationship with someone (maybe a friend, a fiancé or a spouse) and you noticed that your love him or her love for you was growing cold? In modern parlance, we call it growing apart. Physically, you may be in the same place, even running into each other often; yet you sense that your relationship is not where it is supposed to be.

According to the online Cambridge Dictionary, “If two people in a close relationship grow apart, or if they grow away from each other, they gradually begin to have a less close relationship, usually because they no longer have the same interests and want the same things” (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/grow-apart).

Today’s passage is part of Matthew’s account of Jesus’ prophecies about signs of the end times (Matthew 24:1-51). Remember, we’ve been in the end times at least since the Day of Pentecost. Jesus says that one sign to look for in the end times is that lawlessness will abound, and the love of many will grow cold. Lawlessness simply means the breaking of God’s commandments or sinfulness. But Jesus adds, “he who endures to the end shall be saved.” This means the one whose love for Jesus remains fervent to the end, he shall be saved. In John 14:15, Jesus said the way to show your love for Him is to keep His commandments. Therefore, those who endure to the end and are saved, are those who remain faithful to the Lord’s commandments to the end. For Jesus, the only acceptable love is fervent love, not cold love. You can probably relate to that.

Furthermore, notice that Jesus says, “the love of many will grow cold.” He didn’t say, “the love of a few will grow cold.” Therefore, Jesus isn’t anticipating a great worldwide revival where most people are going to be on ‘fire’ (figuratively) for the Lord. The opposite will happen; in fact, it is already happening.

Who are the people Jesus is referring to when he says their love will grow cold? They are people (Christians, believers) who at some point loved the Lord fervently and kept His commandments. But later, due to lawlessness (i.e. transgressing God’s law), their love for Jesus gradually grows cold. In other words, they and the Lord grow apart. It takes two to have a working relationship. If the two parties have different interests or want different things, the relationship will eventually grind to a halt. It happens in marriages and friendships. Our relationship with Jesus is no different.

Let’s be thankful for the prophetic warning of Jesus. As the saying goes, “Forewarned is forearmed.” Let’s watch our love.

The peace of the Lord be with you today! Amen.

For further study: Revelation 2:1-7