Wax Cold, Wax Hot

The words “waxing cold” came to my mind as I sat to write this. That phrase comes from the King James Version of the Bible in Matthew 24:12. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” The NIV translates this passage, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,” it continues in verse 13, “but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” This comes from a passage entitled “The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times.” It seems we live in very tumultuous times; I know a bunch of people who believe we are living in the end times. Times are certainly hard right now.

Does the fact that I may be living through some very hard times mean that God loves me less than He loves other Christians? When I see other people living their best life, while mine is really stinky, do I really believe that I am living this blessed, abundant Christian life talked about in Scripture?

Envy, resentment, and a bad attitude can creep in when we follow this line of thinking.

Daisies are pretty. While not my favorite flower, they have a lot of merit. They are medium-sized and fill in gaps in a floral arrangement well. They are just as appropriate for a birthday bouquet as they are for a funeral bouquet. They grow and spread like mad in the garden. And they look happy, almost like a face smiling at you. I remember picking daisies and pulling their petals off as a child. “He loves me, He loves me not.”  I had it down to a science. I could look at the flower and know whether I should pick it or not because it had the right number of petals to get me the result I was looking for.
I’m sure that is not the way you are supposed to play that game.

Before becoming a Christian, perhaps we thought that way about God. If circumstances were good in my life… “He loves me.” If I am having a bad day… “He loves me not.” Maybe as a Christian we are still tempted to think this way. To use the KJV wording from Matt. 24:12, today God is waxing cold, or maybe He’s waxing hot.
Don’t we sometime ascribe these false attributes to God?
Life is good – I am blessed. Life is bad – why is God punishing me?

But God is not like that. He loves me the same on my worst day and on my best day because He is unchanging.
  • And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind. I Sam. 15:29 NLT
  • “I am the Lord, and I do not change…” Mal. 3:6 NLT
  • Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. Jam. 1:17-18 NLT

That verse in James – wow! God thinks I am His prized possession. The Message says it this way:
  • So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. Jam. 1:16-18 MSG

I am re-reading one of my most favorite books: Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom. (If you are unfamiliar with her story as a Christian in a German concentration camp, I highly recommend The Hiding Place!) She states in another book, “The end-time has started already. Those who pay attention to the signs of the times will not doubt this at all. If we watch the events in the Middle East, in Israel and the Arab States, then we cannot do anything else but look expectantly for the coming of the Lord. Every day, every hour brings us nearer to His coming.”[1] She penned those words in 1969, believing that she may see the end in her lifetime. Even John the apostle said similar things:
  • Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. 1 John 2:18 NLT

Here we sit in 2023 and Jesus has still not returned, and the world has become increasingly more degenerate than it was in 1969. What is going on?  How do we survive? It can seem so hopeless. But Peter has an answer for us:
  • The Lord isn’t really slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief… 2 Pet. 3:9-10 NLT

God loves me. All day. Every day. And He loves you, too. As also He loves the people causing the wars in Israel and Ukraine, the human traffickers, the people on death row in the prisons, the homeless person panhandling for his next drink, the prostitute selling herself for her next high, the teen who deals with her parent’s divorce by cutting herself, the neighbor who gets on your nerves, the foreigner who just wants to provide for his child, the doctor who overcharged your insurance for your last appointment, the guy who ran the red light and nearly hit your car, the annoying coworker in the next cubicle, your ex, and He even loved Judas, His betrayer.

He loves us all and wants us to know and love Him in return.
  • For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Rom. 10:13-15 NLT

Corrie ten Boom watched her father die in prison for helping Jews to escape the Holocaust, and then she watched her sister slowly waste away and die in a concentration camp. Did God love her less because He handed her suffering and hard times? No. When she was released because of a clerical error, she took her message of forgiveness to the world and many came to know the Lord, including one of her Nazi captors.

We are all called to do the same. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and He loves us. We are His prized possessions.
   [1] Boom, Corrie Ten. The end battle ; this day is the lord’s. Guideposts, 1969, 91.

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