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Un-waxing the Chruch

Matthew 24: 12 (KJV) sends a straightforward warning to Christians living in a world that is pro-sin, “And because iniquity shall bound, the love of many shall wax cold.”  Space will not permit us to discuss the context of this statement, but if you read Matthew 24: 1-12ff, you will see that Jesus is warning His disciples that a sinful world is going to turn up the heat on them and put them through a furious fire of persecution and suffering.  The NIV translates Matthew 24: 12, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”  Jesus is affirming what human experience and observation have proven to be true in every age, i.e. sin has a major cooling effect on the spiritual heart.  When sin heats up, the church is in great danger of cooling off as love for God waxes cold!

What is the greatest threat faced by the church of our Lord today?  Is it the rapid moral and spiritual erosion that now characterizes our cultural?  Is it materialism, or atheism, or agnosticism, or hedonism, or narcissism, or Darwinism, or any of the other “isms” that now grip the heart and soul of millions in our beloved nation?  A close study of the New Testament reveals that similar ideas and philosophies held good news of the gospel.  The gospel came to and took root and flourished in a world so pro-sin and anti-God that they crucified Jesus and often tortured the apostles and early Christians.  But the fire of persecution from an ungodly world proved no match for the fire of faith and love than burned in the hearts of Jesus and the early church!  No, the greatest threat the church of the Lord faces in any age is not heat from sin loving world.  Instead it is the gradual waxing of the church with a heart and soul that is cold toward God and the gospel and lost people.

What the church of Christ needs today is a good un-waxing.  We need to re-light the fire that fueled the first century church and compelled her to take the compelling story of the cross to every creature.  We need to un-wax the layers of lukewarmness and lovelessness and apathy and perverted priorities which have caused the hearts of so many to grow cold toward the Son of God and His church.  A church with no fire in itself will never warm a world that is already cold toward God.  Will you help un-wax the church?

Dan Gulley, Evangelist
Smithville church of Christ