The Love of Many Shall Grow Cold-Matt 24.12

Before we look at what it means for love to grow cold, we need to define a couple of words in context. The verse reads, “and because lawlessness is increased most people’s love shall grow cold (NASB).” The first word we need to define is “lawlessness.” In Greek, the word for the Torah is “nomos” and when you put an “a” before it, it means “against or none” or “lawless.” In other words, “anomos” means “against or no Torah.” Being lawless means one is against obeying the Torah for whatever reason. People believe that the “law has been done away with” or that they have been “set free from the law” but that is lawlessness (Torah-less-ness). The other word we need to define is “love.” The word in Greek is “agape” and that is God’s kind of love, love that is unmerited. It’s charitable love and that is the idea that Paul was conveying in 1 Cor 13 where love is action not an emotion. So with that in mind, let’s look at the verse again in context.

Yeshua is giving signs of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and the end of the age (Matt 24.1-3). We won’t go into all that now, but you can go to our study of Matthew in the teaching called, “Brit Chadasha Foundations-Concepts in Matthew-Chapter 24” for a deeper understanding. But he says in v 12 that because people have a disregard for the laws of God in the Torah their God-kind of love will grow cold. So, you have to ask, “Cold in what way?” There are three areas we will look at. First, their love for God will grow cold, which is really what Yeshua had in mind here. He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments (in the Torah).” Deut 6.4 says we should love Yehovah with all our hearts (desires, intentions), minds (intellect), and strength (physical action). Yeshua said this was the greatest commandment. Well, how do you love the Lord? You do it by obeying his Torah as it applies to you by your actions. When you don’t obey him by your actions, you are “lawless” or a law unto yourself by your action and deeds. The Torah has no effect on you. That is not loving the Lord, so your love for him will grow cold. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that their love for God and the saints was well known (Eph 1.15), but then later in Rev 2.4, Yeshua says they have left their first love and that they should repent and do the deeds (the Torah) they did at first by being obedient. Now for love to “grow cold” you must have had a love in the first place, which was for the Lord. But through self-centeredness, it grew cold.

Secondly, let’s look at family love. Not obeying the Lord will affect this area, too. To grow cold means to lose the warmth of love for the family and become self-absorbed, self-centered, and uncaring for your family. All of these are contrary to God’s word, of course. Do you know any relationship fails? It is because one person stops being kind to the other. When parents are unkind to their children, the relationship fails. When a spouse is abusive, is that being kind to the other? Again, when one does not follow what the Lord says in the Torah (is lawless) then the love for your family will grow cold.

Third, let’s look at love for your neighbor. Society is plagued with this. People stop acting charitably towards one another as a result of their own sin, or lawlessness. 2 Tim 3.1-4 says, “But realize this, that in the last days, difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy (not adhering to the kedusha God has defined in the Torah), unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of Good (as defined in the Torah), treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (by obeying the Torah).” You see, what it all comes down to is when we love God and our neighbor, our love will not grow cold. Now, that doesn’t mean that others won’t mistreat us, cheat on us, hate us, curse us, try to destroy us, leave us, and do all manner of evil against us because they will. People who love themselves tend to gravitate towards people who are kind and charitable because it’s all about what the other person can give them. Many relationships fail because those that are self-absorbed associate with one who is not like that, and they have no intention of giving to the other, but it is what the other can do for them, and it eventually destroys that relationship. In the same way, it’s like that with the Lord. He is a giver and charitable and the selfish want a relationship with him for what they can get out of him. But when he wants them to obey his word in the Torah, they won’t do it and will say, “I have been set free from all that”, and their love grows cold. We show that we love God by our actions, and those actions should line up with what he has commanded us to do in the Scriptures. If we do, then our love for God, our family, and our neighbor will not grow cold.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

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