Thought for Thursday

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matthew 24:12

Despite the danger of persecution, being a Christian in the very early days was a wonderful experience! Most of those early Christians had either personally encountered the Lord Jesus during His ministry or knew many other Christians who did know Him. They were still very excited about His resurrection, His great commission, and His promise to return. Their love for Him was very strong, bolstered by the many precious memories of Him. In addition, the great experiences of the crucifixion, the resurrection, the assension of the Lord Jesus, and the excitement of the day of Pentecost had drawn the Christians very closely together. Their deep love for each other resulted in kindness and compassion that was selfless and unlimited. Sharing of resources was the norm among those early believers. They were marked by a fervent love for the Lord Jesus and for each other. Why are things so different today?

Our text provides the answer: abounding iniquity. But Christians are not supposed to allow iniquity to abound, are we? No, that’s right. And most Christians are careful to not allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies. But we live in a world that is abounding, even superabounding, in iniquity. And unless we isolate ourselves from much of the world, we cannot help but be affected by it. We are like Lot, living in sinful Sodom. Although he was righteous, he was not the testimony for God that he ought to have been. Specifically, Lot had become accustomed to the rampant sin of homosexuality for which Sodom was punished. The same rampant sin pervades our society today, and we lose our perspective of how abhorrent this sin is to God. At the same time, we lose our perspective of how Loving God is and how loving He wants us to be. So our love for Him and our love for His people waxes cold. How do we avoid that?

Our love will remain warm and bright only as we grow in our knowledge of God’s love and holiness. God’s holiness demands that our sin be punished. God’s love provided that punishment in the person of His Son on the cross. Thus a God Who cannot look upon sin is able to look upon the sinner. Thus a God who hates iniquity can love the rebel. We cannot meet the holiness of God in our lives, but we should desire and attempt to be as holy as we can. And as we achieve that likeness to Christ that we should, we will find our love for Him growing, and our love for His people warming and being more evident.

Cold-hearted Christians are never far from sin, while warm-hearted Christians are never far from Christ. -Jim MacIntosh

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