Monday, February 18, 2013

The Love of Many Shall Wax Cold

     And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:11-12)

     Upon viewing this video I was amazed that the driver in the car was so alert as to stop. The danger was quickly assessed and proper safety maneuvers were enacted.

     Then I was astounded by the same driver’s actions as he inspected the front of his car for damage, giving only a cursory glance toward the driver of the truck, with seemingly no concern whatsoever for the other driver’s well-being.

     This sort of love waxed cold is becoming more and more evident today, at least in my daily observations. The caring that I remember observing as common in years past seems to be fading into the shadows.

     At the YouTube page for this video a number of people commented. Some expressing alarm or disappointment that the man did not display any apparent concern for his neighbor. Others, however, expressed sentiments like this one:

     You think YOU'd care about some asshole who almost just killed you? I wouldn't. I commend the guy for illustrating his apathy for the other driver's health.

     This is very disturbing to me. I cannot imagine not caring. Furthermore, I cannot imagine praising such apathy. This is entirely alien to me.

     My citizenship and mindset are not of this world, and so I suppose that I must simply accept that from the worldly perspective, I am the alien.

     If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)

     In times past there were many, especially in this country, who embraced this mindset. There are far fewer today who truly hold to this and indeed we are seeing the love of many waxing cold, just as the Lord Jesus forewarned. The more that the Christian churches muddy their doctrine and practice, the less grounded that they are in the pure preaching and administration of the Word and Sacraments, the less that God’s love shines.

     This is not to say that even among those of other religions and corrupted Christianity and even among atheists that no sense of caring is displayed. One would be acting blindly to make such a claim.

     For the law of God is written upon the hearts of all men, having been inscribed from the sixth day of creation, when Man was made in God’s image. Thus even in our corrupted state, we still show the dim reflection of how we were originally created. Even the various other religions and false Christian religions reflect this. This reflection is, however, very dim and lacking the true love that is of God.

     For example, the yin and yang philosophy, embraces a dichotomy of supposedly complementary forces. Thus fighting styles and methods are often used to teach peace. This is a very, very different way from the way of Christ. This concept of peace and especially of love is expressed as a balance of forces. Not so for the way of Christ, where love prevails and rules the heart and life of the believer. Christ’s way is not at all harmonious with the worldly way. For the Christian love is not a choice. For the Christian love is the very essence of one’s life in Christ.

     Such love does not wax cold. Such love prevails even when one’s reactionary response would be that the other person deserves to be treated with apathy or even worse. Even when the Christian becomes momentarily lost in the way of the sinful nature, the Holy Spirit speaks peace and love to the regenerated nature so that God’s peace and love again rise triumphantly in the heart.

     It is sad to realize that many will never know this love of God in Christ. Many will settle for the worldly notions of love that depend upon a person’s own willingness to act lovingly and caringly. Even from this perspective, most imagine love to be merely an emotional response. Such a view of love is flighty at best and has no real substance.

     The love of God is such that one’s enemies are blessed rather than cursed. The true Christian is moved by God’s love to pray for even one’s enemies, even as the Lord Jesus Himself did from the cross and as St. Stephen did as his enemies were stoning him to death.

     In a world where even most who call themselves Christians think of love as a choice and often even as a meritorious work, when this essential article of Christian doctrine is obscured, it follows that the love of many will surely wax cold. Thus Christians will want to prize the pure means of grace and flee to them where they receive God’s love, His grace, mercy, and peace, freely as His gifts from above administered to us in forms that we can see, touch, taste, and hear, even as He Himself took bodily form to live, suffer, die, and rise again for our redemption, salvation, justification, sanctification, and regeneration to life in communion in His love.

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