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The Love of Many Will Grow Cold: How We Combat This Problem

During a discussion about the end of the age, Jesus said, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). But what does this truly mean? And how does it affect us as believers?

Read on to learn more about Jesus’ prediction, the possible causes, and ways to combat this problem.

What Is the Meaning of Matthew 24:12?

In Matthew 24, the disciples come to Jesus on the Mount of Olives to ask about the signs of His coming and the end of the age. In response, Jesus warns against deceit, natural disasters, and wars. However, He also explains these are just the beginning.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”Matthew 24:9-12 (emphasis added)

To love God is to have faith in Him and to obey Him. Obedience here is key.

During the period Jesus describes, false prophets will appear and direct people away from God. Those who allow themselves to be swayed will stop recognizing His authority, following His instructions, and conforming to Him. It’s this lack of obedience that will result in relationships with God to suffer and the love for Him to grow cold.

Why the Love of Many Will Grow Cold

Before Jesus’ prediction can shape the reality for believers, it’s important to pause and consider this: What are the possible causes of the love of many growing cold?

Love of Money and Worldly Values

The love of money and worldly values is widely talked about in the Bible, with many verses referencing it as a potential barrier to growing the love of God.

  • “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”—1 Timothy 6:10
  • “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”—Matthew 6:24 (NIV)
  • “And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’”—Luke 12:15

 

When people become embroiled in a life that values worldly desires, human recognition, and other selfish ends, they end up compromising their values and beliefs. Over time, their love of God can erode and be replaced by a more selfish kind of love.

When this occurs, they attempt to fit into societal norms and try to please other people instead of pleasing God. Then, the love of many will grow cold because they distance themselves from spiritual convictions and live by the laws of people.

The worst kind of love for worldly values are those that use religion as a tool for selfish ends. They engage in religious activities and partake in the biblical community not to honor God but for their own selfish gain. Their act is neither for the good of God nor that of others. It’s a selfish kind of love.

Lack of Spiritual Discipline

Another manifestation of a love of God gone cold is when one neglects their spiritual duties. As an individual neglects prayer or reading the Bible, they can spiral into spiritual lethargy.

This is a major hurdle to living life in the way of God. It’s also the easiest way to make the love of God grow cold. Joining a biblical community is one of the best ways to rekindle that fire of faith in God.

Worldly Distractions and Busyness

When it comes to Jesus’ prophetic statement that the love of many will grow cold, another problem we face involves people’s lifestyles. The fast-paced world and busy lifestyle can be a barrier to forging a connection with God. Work, personal entertainment, technology, and all these various aspects of life can hinder our quest to cultivate a relationship with God, which we can see happening as 2.7 million become inactive from church annually.

Hostility to Authority

One of the lesser-examined roots of the love of God and within the church growing cold is the hostility toward authority. Church leaders and members are all but human, so it’s not uncommon for internal conflicts and strife to develop.

Those with a weaker faith will allow these conflicts to become victorious over the deeper desire to foster a biblical community. That’s why it is crucial to examine the benefits of being part of a community to overcome any hostility toward those that govern the church and allow respect and love for one another to reign supreme.

Pride and Self-Reliance

Disillusionment with one’s innate ability for self-sufficiency can create a belief that we can thrive even without faith. As such, the love of many will grow cold as they increase their self-reliance and pride. God’s role in their lives is diminished due to their growing belief in their own abilities.

However, true faith must create the reverse effect in one’s life. Rising over challenges and trials in life must further cement your belief in God, not sever it. It’s important to shift from self to the community if you want to experience being in the presence of God.

How We Can Prevent Love from Waning

Understanding what makes the love of many grow cold is the first step toward addressing the problem. To prevent our love from waning, we must gather together in biblical community. Doing so can help us face the challenges ahead and keep the flame for our Lord lit!

1) Seek Spiritual Mentorship

No matter how strong your faith may be, you are still vulnerable to the external elements that can shake the core of your beliefs. Therefore, it’s essential to find a spiritual mentor within your biblical community who can provide support and guidance in your spiritual journey.

You can also leverage the spiritual wisdom and experience of a mentor to navigate spiritual challenges and keep you along the path of God’s love.

Working with a mentor, especially within the church and community, ensures you can walk alongside God and be empowered when doubt or fear creeps in.

2) Fellowship Regularly

A group of people with hands clasped over Bibles, demonstrating fellowship as a solution to the love of many growing cold.

What is the best way to overcome Jesus’ prediction that the love of many will grow cold? 

Keep it burning with the help of the biblical community!

While it’s crucial to foster your personal faith, you can keep it burning and growing when you are part of a bigger community that shares the same vision. It is part of God’s teaching to have fellowship with others so that every member of the community can build each other up.

What does this mean in your practical, daily life?

  • Go to church. 
  • Attend a Bible study and church gatherings. 
  • Attend sermons at church or online. 
  • Get to know other members of the community outside the church.

 

Fostering godly relationships builds the foundation for developing a godly lifestyle. And that is why you must find individuals who share the same commitment and love of God as you do. These connections bring Him to glory!

3) Perform Acts of Godly Service and Kindness

As part of the biblical community, you can use your position and role within the church to make positive impacts on others. Engage in acts of kindness and show compassion toward others with the help of other community members.

4) Attend Regular Church Services

Attending regular church services and being an active participant within the biblical community fosters that strong connection with the Lord. This is especially beneficial since the love of many will grow cold due to God’s absence in their lives. Therefore, worship and praise of the Lord on a regular basis helps us maintain a deep understanding of His character and virtues.

5) Strive to Persevere

A strong faith in the Lord is one that perseveres. In Matthew 24:13, Jesus says, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

What does this mean in regard to Jesus’ prediction that the love of many will grow cold?

This verse is Jesus’ appeal to keep the love burning, to prevent it from getting cold. Like any relationship that requires nurturing, so does the relationship with the Lord. He calls those who have faith in Him to persevere and nurture that faith instead of going with the flow, especially when hardships arise. 

You must be committed to following Christ and endure even when external factors try to drive you away from His love and detach you from the biblical community. When you persevere, you will find it easier to follow Him and His ways.

In Summary

Jesus’ prediction that the love of many will grow cold is a testament to the complexity of faith and the significance of active participation in biblical community. For our personal faith in Christ to thrive, we must forge bonds with other believers. Moreover, we must shape our spiritual existence within the community.

Find a biblical community near you at one of Abundant Life’s campuses or online. Doing so will keep the love of God burning so that it may never turn cold!