Friday, September 17, 2021

Wax Cold


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

We’re told of several signs in Matthew 24 of the end of the world.  There will be rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, martyrdom, hatred, betrayal, false prophets, and sin will abound.  And Jesus ends the list with the statement that the love of many will “wax cold”.

I find the term “wax cold” not only interesting, but even poetic.  Wax has two forms.  When warm it softens and flows, but when cold it becomes hard.  The term “wax cold” comes from a Greek word we hear a lot these days, psycho.  Yet, the meaning in Greek is somewhat different than we would expect.  It relates to breathing cold air or having a decreasing love.  The two definitions are related, in that the breathing of cold air reduces the temperature of air which prevents evaporation.  In the olden days of dating, going “parking” meant the car was parked somewhere secluded and what went on in that car would often fog up the car windows.  Love was not waning at that time!  But when the windows don’t fog up anymore, when breath is cold, love has gone cold.

There’s a story in the Bible that provides an example of a heart waxed cold.  In Mark 5 we read of Jesus and his disciples landing on the shore of Gadarenes.  As they came out of their boat a man came to them out of the tombs.  He was possessed with demons and would often be heard at night crying out and cutting himself with rocks.  The pain inside him was heard in his screams.  People had tried to help by putting him in shackles and chains, but he would break out and could not be tamed or comforted. 

When Jesus stepped on the shore, this man “saw Jesus from afar” and “he ran and worshipped Him.”  Even demons know who Jesus is.  The man, demons speaking through him, asked Jesus not to torture him.  Then Jesus spoke and said, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”. Then Jesus asked the name of the demon, no doubt looking to assign punishment for the pain of the body he called his home. But the demon answered, and said “My name is Legion, for we are many.”  And the demon then begged for Jesus not to send them out of the country.  Know that Jesus could have sent them anywhere, even into hell! 

Jesus even had compassion on the demons.  They spotted a herd of about 2,000 pigs nearby and begged Jesus to send them into the pigs, and Jesus gave them permission.  When they entered the pigs, they ran off the steep place by the sea and drowned. 

What happened next is a demonstration of hearts waxed cold.  When the people in the city found out what happened, they asked Jesus to leave.  That’s right – the healer was asked to ‘go on, git!’

Two thousand pigs were worth a lot of money.  The life of the man healed was not what they cared about.  Their hearts had grown cold, wax cold, to the pains of the man who was possessed.  What they cared about was the herd of pigs.

This is the perfect example of 1 Timothy 6:10, which says “For the love of money is the root of all evil”.  The love they should have had for the man was outweighed by their possessions, the pigs.  And so, they rejected Jesus, and sent Him away.

Think about the ways we send Jesus away today.  Sundays are filled with our own ideas of rest and relaxation, and we don’t want to be bothered with Jesus.  During the week when we could spend time praying, reading His Word, or showing love to others, we choose to do what we want, and put the love we have for ourselves before our love for Jesus. 

Friends, hearts are waxing cold.  And though this must come to pass because of the end times we’re living in, you still have a choice as to whether you let your love for Jesus and others wax cold.  Choose.  Choose to be that warm loving person that will fog up a heart with the love they express.  Choose to be the one others can depend on.  Express the love of Jesus.  Ephesians 5:1 says we are to be imitators of God as little children.  Do what God would do.  Sacrifice for others.  Plead for others.  Hold them up when they are weak and hug them when they are broken.  Don’t let your love wax cold.




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