“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:12-13)
This is one of the answers of Christ regarding the Apostle’s question on the signs of His return and the end of age.
What do these verses really mean?
We all know that these verses can easily be misapplied. How do we know that this verse is really being fulfilled?
We can see in verse 12 that the indicator is the word love. Love in Greek isagape, and this refers to the love that people have because God has given it to them. But, how do we know that God has given us His love?
Rom 5:5 And hope does not make us ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us.Paul says God has poured out His love through the Holy Spirit. This means the sons and daughters of God were the recipient of His love. (John 1: 13)
2Ti 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
1Jn 2:5 But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.
1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. 1Jn 4:8 The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.
The people whose agape love is growing cold must have had it in the first place, so it refers to those whom God has called into a relationship with Him (John 6:44).
Agape is the love of God, which was given to us.
Another type of love (phileo), means to be a friend or to be fond of a person or object, having affection for.
The love mentioned in the Revelation, especially the one mentioned by Apostle John, the philadelphia love refers to the love for a brother. Agape is more on the moral and spiritual aspect rather than an emotional one.
God is love. And that love of God was given to us. The reason is for us to share that love to everyone, forming a cycle of endless love to all. It is the kind of love that makes us submissive and obedient to the will of God and to His commandments.
We can show our love (agape) to God by doing and performing His commandments and statutes.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, whenever we love God and keep His commandments. 1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.
That love should also be shown to all, that is, loving thy neighbor. When we love, we don’t see the faults, instead we accept each and every one of us. So, the love (agape) teaches us to forgive and accept one another. An example of Christ is His sacrifice shown, giving His life for the sake of His church (Acts 20:28). And all those who become a part of the church were given that love, forgiven from their sins, and walked to a new way of life.
The love of God will grow cold if we stop fulfilling His will. Love can only continue through obedience and without it, it will grow cold. If we continue to disobey God, then we increase the coldness of that love in us.
In Revelation 2: 4-5, But I have against you that you left your first love.Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and will remove your lampstand out of its place unless you repent.
This is an example of what will happen as prophesied in the book of Revelation. The church of Ephesians had left their first love (agape), their love of God, and so God urged them to repent and stop from being disobedient to His will.
Every time we do the will of God and follow His commandments, the agapeinside us is burning like a fire. But when we disobey, and continue to do so, then the love grows cold.
But disobedience is only a part of the cause of love growing cold. Jesus says “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). Another cause of a cooling love is the deceits brought about by false teachers. When a person is guided falsely, the tendency is that he will be taken away from the truth and the true will of God, making him separated from God. (Isaiah 59:1-3)