The Difficulty of Keeping on
Matthew 24:12, 13
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. These verses are connected with Christ's prophecy of the history of his Church. There may be difficulty in fixing the precise references of his language, but he describes general features which are seen in every passing age. There is always a disposition to exaggerate or overestimate the evils of the age in which we happen to live, because they are specially prominent to us. But we may certainly say this much - we live in an age when outside wickedness and semi-wickedness are telling very directly and very injuriously on the Christian spirit. It cannot be said that there is general failing from the Christian profession; but there is a strange, sad "chilling of the Christian love," a "leaving of the first love." In some ages the separation of the Church from the world is more marked, and so the influence of the world on the Church is less felt. Illustrate by Slapton Sands in Devonshire. A freshwater lake well stocked with fish is divided from the sea only by a road and a narrow belt of sand. Usually the two are well kept apart. But when wind and tide unite, the sea rises, floods the sand and the road, and pours the defiling and destructive salt waters into the sweet lake.

I. EFFECT OF GROWING INIQUITY ON THE CHRISTIAN SPIRIT. "Love waxes cold." The true idea of Christian life is the sanctifying and ennobling power of a personal love to Christ. Iniquity, self-willedness, and self-willed ways chill this love

(1) by presenting to us other and rival claims to our love (preacher must be left to select illustrations of such claims);

(2) by undervaluing and putting slights on Christ. Show how human friendships are spoiled when our friends are satirized and scorned. Show how jealously, in these criticizing days, we need to watch over our high, adoring, admiring thoughts of Christ.

II. THE MASTERY OF SURROUNDING INIQUITY IS THE TRIUMPH OF CHRISTIAN STEADFASTNESS. "He that shall endure to the end." It will cost persistent and persevering effort if we are to keep loving Christ supremely. True endurance is not possible unless we have a strong grip of Christ. We must have and cherish warm feeling toward Christ. We must keep on

(1) trusting,

(2) obeying,

(3) following,

(4) honouring,

(5) working for Christ.

And if ever faint, it must be "taint, yet pursuing." - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

WEB: Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold.

Temptations of the Early Christians to Apostasy
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