Love Of Many Has Waxed Cold

November 2, 2001 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, open up your Bible with me to the book of Matthew chapter twenty-four. Matthew chapter twenty-four. And we're going to take one Scripture from Matthew chapter twenty-four tonight. And we will speak on that one Scripture in Matthew twenty-four and verse twelve. Matthew twenty-four and verse twelve.

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

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You that You are truly the God of love. Father, we ask tonight that Your Word would go forth unhindered by the forces of darkness, unhindered by the powers of flesh.

Hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. And Father, as I decrease, I ask that You would increase. And Father, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus' Name, amen.

It said,

12. And because iniquity (because iniquity) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Another translation said, "Because of lawlessness, because of the increase of lawlessness, most peoples' love will grow cold."

This is a plague that's trying to grip the body of Christ. This is a plague that wants to grip end time believers. The devil has set up a stronghold in the body of Christ to cause our love to wax cold against one another.

When we look at the body of Christ today as we pertain to love, our love has become discriminating. Our love has become calculating. And in some instances our love is not even available. It's a plague that Satan is sending in the end time for the body of Christ to be divided one against the other. In the Name of Jesus. It's another form of spiritual warfare.

We discriminate about who we're going to love. We take calculations about people the way they act whether or not we'll decide if they're worthy to be loved. And then on the other hand, we close up and say, "Love don't live here any more." It's a plague. Oh, Jesus, tonight. Come on, help me, Holy Ghost. And it's trying to grip us.

Saints, our Christianity (come on, help me) is only as real as our love. Our Christianity is only as real as our love is, because God is love, and they said that they will know that we are Christians because of the love that we have for one another. Our Christianity is only as real as our love.

When there's a decrease in our capacity to love, this is an indicator that the thermometer that's built inside of us has reached temperatures that are below standard. When you feel on the inside of you that there's no one worthy of your love, you better start checking yourself, because the plague done took over you.

This is a major area of spiritual warfare in the church. We're looking on how to prophesy, but God is checking our love. We're trying to figure out how does T. D. Jakes get words to flow from his mouth so eloquently, but God is checking our love. We're trying to find out how in the world can CeCe sing like... Oh, you don't hear me tonight. And all the while we're trying to do these things, God is checking out our love.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of temporary blessings. I don't know about you, but I"m tired of seasonal breakthroughs. I want the real deal. I want it all. I want God to consume me with what He's promised for me. I don't care if it takes loving the unlovable. You don't hear me tonight. I'm going to love the hell right out of them in the Name of Jesus.

There's a plague. It said the love of many would wax cold. Because of more sin in the lives of Christians, love has become battered and bruised. When love tries to step into a place, the enemy is waiting. Many of us in the body of Christ have been hurt, and we've been wounded; therefore we cause ourselves not to want to be vulnerable to anybody. You don't hear me tonight.

But it was Jesus' vulnerability that caused Him to have a Name that's above every name. The more I make myself vulnerable to you (oh, you don't hear me), the more Christ can be built up in me.

Listen. Many of us in here tonight have built a wall. And not only a wall. We have a barb wire fence at the top of the wall. And not only that. We have signs that say, "No trespassing."

You know, in my classes they tell me that we are all territorial; and what we do even without consciously knowing it, we mark our territory. You can be sitting at a dinner table, and you can be waiting on somebody to come. Automatically we'll start moving things around, because we're marking our territory.

But if somebody's going to see the real Christ in me, then all that I have, just as Jesus said, is thine. Stop marking your territory. Stop giving faces to indicate, "This is mine." You don't hear me tonight, do you? Stop gesturing as to say, "Stand back. You're treading on dangerous territory."

We do this in the body of Christ. We don't want to open up to nobody. In church there can be many seats in the middle, but we want to sit on that side away from everybody. There can be seats right here, and we want to sit all the way back there. We don't want anybody around us. Do you hear what I'm saying?

Many Christians' love has waxed cold. There's bitterness in the house of God. Let me tell you what bitterness is. Bitterness is unfulfilled revenge.

When I hold bitterness against somebody, really what I want is revenge on that person. I am holding their debt in my heart as if they owe me something. Oh, you don't hear me tonight. But if He will forgive my debts, then who am I to hold on to somebody else's debts?

We hold on to it, and we refuse to let it go. Hebrews twelve and fifteen says,

15. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby (not just you, but) many be defiled;

You heard of one spoiled apple will spoil the whole bunch? One bitter person can mess up a church. Oh, you don't hear me. All it takes is one person to get bitter against the pastor. You don't hear me tonight. It's sad. Not only will it defile that person, but there are many that will be defiled.

When I don't forgive, I retain in my spirit that thing, that person, their soul, their very soul. Listen at what I'm telling you. When you become keen in the Spirit, you can literally feel the hatred that people have against you. You can feel it. It's like something is all around you.

Because they're holding you in a spiritual place. And what they want so badly as Christians (this is who I'm speaking of) is for God to do something to you. But with all that they did to Jesus, as He hung on the cross at Calvary, His words were, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do."

The love of many has waxed cold. You can see it on the faces. Because what's in the heart is going to show on the face. Oh, you don't hear me tonight. I can only pretend for so long. I can only wear a mask for so long. But after a while that mask is going to come off of me, and you're going to see what's really going on.

It's time to repent of these attitudes. It was only a test of your love walk. And we need to say, "Thank You, Jesus, because now I've grown. I'm not where I was before."

You know when T. D. Jakes preached, "Loose That Man and Let Him Go"? Women, some of you need to loose that man and let him go. Oh, you don't hear me. And men of God, it's the same thing. Woman, thou art loosed.

We hold people in our hearts because we're not trying to help them to conform to the image of Christ. We're trying to help them to conform to who we want them to be. Uh oh. And the love waxes cold. Do you hear what I'm saying?

Listen, saints. Romans five, five tells us that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. As we embraced God's love and walk in forgiveness, this stronghold of cold love will begin to come down.

It's when we get stumbling blocks placed in our way, that's when we become distant. But the Bible says... Jesus said that offences will come. It is inevitable as you walk in this life that one day by someone you will be offended. It's inevitable.

We think that when we harden our hearts against one another, we're just hardening our hearts against one another. But we're not just hardening our hearts against one another. We're hardening our hearts also against God. If Christ can accept me right where I am, then we need to learn to accept each other right where we are.

Many of us Christians, we begin to forget where we came from. But somebody had patience with you, didn't they? Oh, you wasn't always the saint you proclaim to be. Oh, you weren't always this holy, now were you? Somebody knew you weren't no good, but they prayed for you anyhow. And oh, what a wonderful change.

We form opinions about people. And once we form opinions about people, that's when these opinions turn into attitudes. You have already formed an opinion about me. So your opinion about me will either cause you to have a positive or negative attitude towards me.

But see, that's when we run into problems. Because the Bible says, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged. For with the same measure that you mete, it shall be met back to you."

You see, sometimes... Let me tell you what happens. Sanctified churches get so sanctified that they run the sinners out. Hello, somebody. But Jesus said, "With love and kindness have I drawn thee." Draw them with your love and kindness.

The love of many has waxed cold. Many of us have the "Jesus and me" attitude. "It's just Jesus and me." But that's the wrong attitude. You have got to open yourself up, because the Kingdom is only revealed by our relationships. It's revealed by our relationship, by our love walk.

Listen. There have been things that you have gone through since you were child that you believe that no one else have never been through and no one else could ever understand. But you ain't the only one.

Went to Canada. And you know, people will give their testimony. This woman that was preaching the Gospel and was anointed, she felt led to give her testimony. Raped by her father over and over, by her uncle over and over. Had no place to stay. Mother didn't... You don't hear me tonight.

Listen. There's always someone that has been through more than you have. Offer your love anyway. And if they reject it, so be it. But refuse to close up. In the Name of Jesus.

According to John seventeen, we are being perfected into one unit. We talked about being on one accord before. Listen, saints. Show love. And if you don't know how to show love, ask God to teach you how to show love.

Some people need hard love. But everybody doesn't need that kind of love. Some people need love that's drawn from wells of compassion.

Love. Cold love must be pulled down. Acknowledge it to yourself. You're hurt. And not only are you hurt, but you're bitter. And it causes us to be critical of everybody else.

Saints of God, Jesus offers us love tonight. Jesus offers love that can only come from a Father that really cares. You don't know why they act like that. You want them to stop, but they're hurting. He won't do right because something happened that you don't know about, and they're hurting. She won't act right because something happened and she's hurting.

One of the number one reasons why people can trust God enough to love Him is because they didn't get that love from a real daddy. Daddy wasn't there, or daddy either worked all the time, or something happened. And so that love that would extend from a child to a parent, because a parent is the God that children see, they grow up without that father figure. And so it's hard for them to love God, because they feel like, "Daddy didn't love me."

So you're wondering why they act the way they do? That might be one of the reasons why. But I want you to know tonight that Jesus will be your Father. He'll be that daddy that you long for to tuck you in at night. He'll be that daddy that you wanted to hold you. Yes, He will. Yes, He will. Yes, He will.

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