Signs of the Times: The Love of Many Growing Cold
A key sign we are living in the End Times is the lack of natural affection in our world—or in other words—there’s no love.
In Cuba we stayed in a casa particular (bed & breakfast) where every room seemed to be about three feet away from the home beside it. I could reach out the window of our place and almost touch the house next-door. The place beside us was always loud and distracting, and not just because of blaring music and television, though that was bad too. It was the family. The mother and her children would argue and fight every evening at about the same time (I don’t know where the father was, or if there was one). Every night the same thing—screaming, yelling, and crying from both mother and children. The more the mother screamed and chastised the kids, the more the children screamed back. I’m sure it happens in every culture. How can people live this way?
The disciples ask Jesus in Matthew 24 what will be the sign of his return and the sign(s) of the end of the world. Most of us know the oft-quoted “wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, etc.” Jesus also says, “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold” (Matt 24:12 NLT).
When Jesus returns to the earth it will be a time when people simply do not love one another as they ought. This “loveless” generation is the direct result of Jesus’ previous statement: “Sin will be rampant.” Hearts will be darkened because of sin, and motives will turn inward, seeking only to please Self.
Case in point: just think of instances when parents will spend money on alcohol, cigarettes, or even lottery tickets…Self—instead of their children’s needs like food, school supplies, shoes, etc.
Apostle Paul mentions several characteristics of the Last Days in 2 Timothy 3. He says, “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…”
This phrase “without natural affection” speaks of people who do not love others even under “normal, natural” circumstances (e.g. a mother loving her child).
- “Without natural affection” (KJV)
- “Without love” (NIV)
- “Heartless” (ESV)
- “They will be unloving” (NLT)
- “Lack normal affection for their families” (God’s Word Translation)
- “Unfeeling” (ISV)
God is love.
When we receive the Spirit of God into our life, we receive absolute, perfect, infinite, abounding love. This love should emanate from our lives. It should be natural, easy, expected. Love should come forth from the wellspring of our heart, and that continually, bubbling up with sincerity and empathy for others.
It’s not enough to love our loved-ones only. Jesus explained that even many sinners know how to treat their own family right; many can “love” others when we know they can do something for us. I think we’ve all been in these shoes: treating someone with “love” because of the expected return.
But Jesus tells us to love all people, love our enemies, love those who use you, love those who talk about you behind your back, love your annoying neighbor, love the rude bum asking you for change, love, love, love, love. We must go beyond and love the un-loveable. Even unlovable people are souls, created in the image of God.
The love in our hearts drives us first into passionate worship and devotion to God; this same love of God then moves outward toward others. Much of the mundane activity our daily lives will vanish away as nothing with the passing of time. What will matter, what will last, are those attitudes, actions and words born out of love.
Our love can transform the hearts of others. When folks are stuck on tradition, love breaks through. When people don’t like “church music” or “shouting,” love can still melt the heart. When people do not understand or want holiness, love breaks in on them letting them know God is Love, God is Holy.
God help us kill our selfishness and replace it with selflessness.
If you have never won a soul, there is something very wrong with your faith. When we are saved there is a dramatic shift in our spirit; a radical change. The love of God is “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.” When we are truly born again it is not difficult to “shed” love on people.
We don’t have to try to produce good fruit any more than a mango tree produces mangoes. It comes quite naturally. Galatians five lists the fruit of the Spirit. First on the list…LOVE!
One of the signs of the End Time is the love of many growing cold. Conversely, Jesus says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
What sign do others see when they look at you and look at me?