Matthew 24:9-13 (NIV): Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold , 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Underline and bold added for emphasis)
In Matthew 24:12, Jesus said that in the last days the love of many will grow cold. Our fellowship with God is validated or invalidated by our love for others. Many people come to church looking to feel God in their bones, feel Him in their feet, and feel Him all over, but that feeling is not the true indicator that God looks at to measure how full of Him we are. His indicator is our love for one another. Our love for other Christian brothers and sisters is proof positive or proof negative of our love or lack thereof for God. Coldness affects us in many different ways, but it is heartbreaking when a Christian’s love grows cold! As Christians, we need our hearts reset, restored, and revived. In this post, I want to focus on just a few things that happens when God’s people quit caring and their love grows cold.
First, people experience Spiritual Deafness. While hunting many years ago I was so cold, and I didn’t wear earmuffs because I needed to listen for the deer. At one point, I tried to put my hands over my ears to help them thaw, but my hands were as cold as my ears. I see a lot of people, even in the church, who do this all the time. When they are growing cold in the Spirit, they don’t want to hear what anyone who is trying to turn them back to God has to say. People who are cold in their heart are deaf to the voice of the Lord and refuse to hear the word of the Lord. A fact of life is this: You will always hear that to which you are attuned!
When a person’s love grows cold, the person will be unable to sniff out the will of God. I call this Spiritual Anosmia (pronounced an-OHZ-me-uh). Dictionary.com defines anosmia as the “absence or loss of the sense of smell.” Our bodies have many parts, and God designed each part for a special function. Among the purposes of our nose, the main purpose is for it to smell things. I don’t know about you, but when my nose is cold, I can’t smell anything! When a person is cold spiritually, not only are their ears frozen to hearing, but their nose is shut to sniffing out the will of God! Ironically, when people are growing cold in the Lord, while they can’t sense the moving and wooing of the Holy Spirit, they can sniff out anything that smells rotten in the congregation!
When my feet get cold, I’m cold all over. I often see Christians who get cold feet. Every time God puts an opportunity in front of them to tell someone about Jesus or do a work for Him, they get cold feet and can’t move. Have your hands ever been so cold that you can hardly move your fingers? I see people like that in church all the time. They show every sign of being frozen. They can’t lift their hands to praise the Lord. They can’t clap. They sometimes can’t even shake hands with other people, all because they are just cold in the Spirit. They get spiritually frostbitten and God has to trim away the dead part of their heart and get them warmed up so He can use them again. If this is not corrected, it will lead to Spiritual Stagnation.
I have heard of people who died by freezing to death. A few of them kept journals describing their experiences. Some wrote that they were so cold that they were ready to give up and go to sleep. To avoid freezing to death, experts say that in freezing conditions you should stay awake and keep moving. People who grow cold in the Spirit are in jeopardy of being lulled to sleep by the devil. This is Spiritual Sleepiness. They become so cold that they are oblivious to their spiritual condition and unless God comes to their rescue, they will sit there and freeze to death in their sins. We need to guard against becoming cold in the Spirit. Don’t let the devil cause you to freeze to death spiritually in this life, only to burn forever when this life is over. Stay on fire for God. Only when you stay close to God can you feel the warmth of his love and the power of the fire of the Holy Spirit.
LIVE WITH GODLY EXPECTATION
What is the antidote to coldness? Philippians 3:20-21 says, “but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.”
To cure coldness, a person must live with Godly expectation. Living with a Godly expectation of your future should encourage you to live with others in peace and harmony. All born-again Christians are headed to the same place. Therefore, we should enjoy the journey together. Oftentimes we encounter discouraging circumstances as we travel this road of life. We need an eternal hope to keep us going when we meet with discouraging times, and the good news is that we have one! To have a Godly expectation we should:
Recognize this world is not our home! We are just passing through this world on our way to our eternal home. We are just strangers and pilgrims in this world.
Remember the Lord Jesus Christ is Coming Back For Us!
Realize that when Jesus returns, we will be eternally transformed!