This winter got really cold in a lot of parts of the country. Up in Mansfield we had temperatures of somewhere near twenty below zero on more than one occasion! Folks, if you have never experienced cold weather like that, don’t tell me about it but praise the Lord. I understand Job 37:10 says, “By the breath of God frost is given…” But folks I’m just being honest when I say I prefer warm weather.
The title of my sermon this morning is “Have You Gotten Cold?” And in our text we read “… because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” I believe he is speaking of such a time as now when iniquity does indeed, abound.
Iniquity defined –
- Injustice; unrighteousness; a deviation from rectitude; as the iniquity of war or the iniquity of the slave trade.
- A sin or crime; wickedness; any act of injustice. “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God.” Isaiah 59:2
- Original want of holiness or depravity. “I was shapen in iniquitry.” Psalm 51
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (II Timothy 3:1-5)
The Scriptures speack of such a time as this as being perilous (dangerous) in which men will be lovers of their own selves, without natural affection, fierce, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof….
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” II Corinthians 6:14-18
Living in this world, a person can either get caught up in the world’s wickedness
or live a holy seperted life. That choice really is ours…. Iniquity does abound in this world, and because it abounds the love of many will wax cold. How caught up in the world are you? Have you gotten cold?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
Everyone of us needs to pray like the Psalmist prayed, to have that kind of a desire, to have the Lord to search us, know our heart, try us and know our thoughts….to shed light on any wicked way that would be there.
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12)
How cold is your love? According to our Saviour, we ought to have a love like this:
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
First of all, do we love the Lord with ALL our heart, with ALL our soul, and with ALL our mind? In other words, do you love the Lord with all your life, your intellect, and your strength? Is He your first love above everything else? (See Luke 14:26; Matthew 10:37-38).
Do you love His Word? How much do we spend in it? Are we like Job who said, “…I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12) Do you love His church? How often do you attend? “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:25-27) But attendance is not all there is to loving the Lord’s church. Do you love it enough to pray for her? Do you support the church?
Secondly, do we love our neighbor as ourselves? Who is your neighbor? Someone else asked that very same question. Luke 10:29-37 “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”
Let’s be honest here, how many of us would be like the Samaritan? I’d say most of us would be like the priest or the Levite. How cold we are!
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10)
Let’s bring this a little closer to home. Maybe we wouldn’t be like the Samaritan helping a stranger out in the street, but what about a brother or sister in Christ? How cold are you? When was the last time you:
Checked on someone who was sick?
Visited a brother or sister?
Invited someone over for fellowship?
Called a brother or sister on the phone?
Sent a note or card to a missionary?
Would you rather be with the saints of God or with the world? At the end of the church service, do you spend time fellowshipping with your brothers and sisters in Christ or do you rush home?
Did the thought of the conference and all the preaching make you nauseous?
Does the idea of church service get you excited at all?
Have you gotten cold?
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Revelation 2:4-5)
When the church at Ephesus had left their first love, space was given for repentance. The love of many has gotten cold, but let’s get warm again. Space is given for repentance. May God send a great revival that will warm us up again.