Matthew 24:12

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.

The love of many shall wax cold.
uity: —


1. When those who are set for the defence of the gospel can see its doctrines corrupted without emotion.

2. When those who live in total disregard of practical religion increase.

3. When all classes give each other countenance in crime, and provoke each other to it by example, by solicitation, and by menaces (Genesis 6:5-7; Genesis 19:12, 13).



I. THE EXTERNAL POSITION OF THE CHURCH. Abounding iniquity in the forms of speculative error, obvious and shameful sin, direct opposition to the gospel, etc.

II. THE INTERNAL STATE OF THE CHURCH The same circumstances which cause gross wickedness to abound in the world, produce coldness of love in the Church. Antediluvians, Jewish history, etc. The wickedness which abounds in the world is often the fruit of coldness in the love of the Church, and then the reaction, etc. That you may sustain no harm by the abounding of iniquity, guard your attention, affections, etc. Cherish ardent, enthusiastic love to Christ.

(A. Tucker.)

Conversation with cold ones will cast a damp, and will make one cold, as Christ here intimates; there is no small danger of defection, if not of infection by such; they are notable quench-coals. This both David and Isaiah found, and therefore cried out each for himself, "Woe is me" (Psalm 120:5; Isaiah 6:5). There is a compulsive power in company to do as they do (Galatians 2:14). It behoveth us, therefore, upon whom the ends of the world are come, to beware lest we suffer a decay; lest, leaving our first love, and led away with the error of the wicked, we fall from our former steadfastness (Revelation 2:5; 2 Peter 3:17). The world, says Ludolfus, has been once destroyed with water for the heat of lust, and shall be again with fire for the coldness of love. Latimer saw so much lack of love to God and goodness in his time that he thought verily Doomsday was then just at hand. What would he have thought had he lived in our age, wherein it were far easier to write a book of apostates than a book of martyrs?

(John Trapp.)

There was always, in the converts of Jerusalem, a strong temptation towards a relapse into Judaism; and in those disturbed times which preceded the fall, any man with Jewish blood in his veins, with the traditional Jewish temper, the ancestral beliefs, the intense love for his nation and people, must have been hard beset. Why should he, too, not choose the heroic part, and cast in his lot with the defenders of the sacred walls? Why not with his dying body make a rampart against the on-pressing Roman, rather than slip away in cowardly desertion like a traitor, leaving the glorious city to perish as it might? All patriotic instincts, all that the Jew most cherished, must have drawn the convert in that direction: it was a sore trial to have to make this choice between the Old Testament and the New. It was such a crisis as rarely happens to a man, to a society, to a nation. It broke up the old Church, the old national life. By destroying the centralized worship of the temple, and staying the immemorial sacrifices, it taught Christians to look far afield, it bade them bow down in no single shrine to worship the Father, and it sent them forth to evangelize a world lying in darkness. They learnt, by the fall of the Holy City, that the Christian faith was to be not national but cosmopolitan, and that out of the ruins of a narrower polity a larger and wider world would grow .... It was by endurance and self-denial of no ordinary kind that these early Jewish Christians succeeded in overcoming the danger besetting them at every turn. They endured to the end; they learned by patience to get a broader and wiser view of the true position and relation of the faith of their adoption. The sneers of the unconverted Jews, the sense that they had lost their patriotic standing-ground, the oppression and sword of their Roman masters — these were the bitter draughts which refreshed their souls, and nerved them for independence in a larger sphere of life. By these they not only saved their souls, but ennobled their views and aims, till they were able to enter fully into the new conditions of the faith of Christ, and thereby take an active part in the outward movements of a missionary church.

(Dean Kitchen.)

We are not to expect that apostates will own that iniquity is the cause of their apostasy. They have always assigned other causes of it, which in their opinion clears them from all suspicion of unjust prejudice or prevention. And these are

(1)the immoral and unexemplary lives of the clergy; and

(2)the irrational system of Christianity.

(Bishop Warburton.)

It is but a "he," a single man, that holdeth out, when "many " lose their love and therewith their reward. Eeebolus, AEneas, Sylvius, Baldwin, Pendleton, Shaxton, and many others, set forth gallantly, but tired ere they came to their journey's end. Like the Galli Insubres, they showed all their valour in the first encounter. Like Charles VIII. of France, of whom Guicciarden notes, that in his expedition to Naples he came into the field like thunder and lightning but went out like a snuff. Like Mandrobulus in Lucian, who, the first year offered gold to his gods, the second year silver, the third nothing. Or, lastly, like the lions of Syria which, as Aristotle reports, bring forth five whelps, next time four, next three, and so on, till at length they become barren. So apostates come at last to nothing, and therefore must look for nothing better than to be cast off for ever; when they that hold out and hold on their way, passing from strength to strength, from faith to faith, etc., shall be as the sun when he goeth forth in his strength; yea, they shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Caleb was not discouraged by the giants, and therefore had Hebron, the place of the giants: so those that hold out in the way of heaven shall be sure to have heaven. Thomas San Paulius, at Paris, a young man of eighteen years, being in the fire, was plucked up again upon the gibbet, and asked whether he would turn. To whom he said, That he was in his way towards God, and therefore desired them to let him go. That merchant of Paris, his case was nothing so comfortable, who, for jesting at the friars, was by them condemned to be hanged; but he, to save his life, was content to recant, and so he did. The friars, hearing of his recantation, commended him, saying, If he continued so he should be saved; and so, calling upon the officers, caused them to make haste to the gallows to hang him up, while he was yet in a good way, said they, lest he fall again.

(John Trapp.)

There lies a ship in the stream. It is beautiful in all its lines. It has swung out from the pier and is lying at anchor yonder; and men, as they cross the river on the ferry-boats, stand and look at it and admire it; and it deserves admiration. But it has never been out of port: there it stands, green, new, untried; and yet everybody thinks it is beautiful. It is like childhood, which everybody thinks is beautiful, or ought to be. There comes up the bay, and is making towards the navy-yard, another ship. It is an old man-of-war. It has been in both oceans, and has been round the world many times. It has given and taken thunder-blows under the flag of its country. It is the old Constitution we will suppose. She anchors at the navy-yard. See how men throng the cars and go to the navy-yard to get a sight of her! See how the sailors stand upon the deck and gaze upon her! Some of them, perchance, have been in her, and to them she is thrice handsomer than any new vessel. This old war-beaten ship, that carries the memory of many memorable campaigns, lies there; and they look at its breached bow, its shattered rigging, its coarse and rude lines, its dingy sides, which seem long since to have parted company with paint; and every one of them feels, if he is a true patriot, "God bless you, old thing! God bless you!"

(H. W. Beecher.)

When Diogenes had spent the greater part of his life in observing the most extreme and scrupulous self-denial, and was now verging on ninety years of age, one of his friends recommended him to indulge himself a little. "What!" said he, "would you have me quit the race close by the goal?"

Daniel, Jesus, Noah, Noe
Jerusalem, Judea, Mount of Olives
Abound, Abounding, Cold, Disregard, God's, Grow, Increased, Iniquity, Law, Lawlessness, Love, Majority, Men's, Multiplied, People's, Prevail, Prevalent, Wax, Wickedness, Wrongdoing
1. Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple;
3. what and how great calamities shall be before it;
29. the signs of his coming to judgment.
36. And because that day and hour are unknown,
42. we ought to watch like good servants, expecting our Master's coming.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 24:12

     5885   indifference

Matthew 24:3-24

     1450   signs, kinds of

Matthew 24:3-25

     9170   signs of times

Matthew 24:5-14

     2565   Christ, second coming

Matthew 24:9-12

     9140   last days

Matthew 24:9-13

     8743   faithlessness, nature of

Matthew 24:10-12

     8706   apostasy, warnings

Matthew 24:10-13

     8102   abiding in Christ
     8707   apostasy, personal

Matthew 24:12-13

     6156   fall, of humanity
     8459   perseverance

The Carrion and the Vultures
'Wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.'--MATT. xxiv. 28. This grim parable has, of course, a strong Eastern colouring. It is best appreciated by dwellers in those lands. They tell us that no sooner is some sickly animal dead, or some piece of carrion thrown out by the way, than the vultures--for the eagle does not prey upon carrion--appear. There may not have been one visible a moment before in the hot blue sky, but, taught by scent or by sight that their banquet
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Two Forms of one Saying
'He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.' --Matt. xxiv. 13, R.V. 'In your patience possess ye your souls.'--Luke xxi. 19. These two sayings, different as they sound in our Version, are probably divergent representations of one original. The reasons for so supposing are manifold and obvious on a little consideration. In the first place, the two sayings occur in the Evangelists' reports of the same prophecy and at the same point therein. In the second place, the verbal resemblance is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Watching for the King
'Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh. 45. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season! 46. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

March the Twentieth the Lord is at Hand!
"Ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." --MATTHEW xxiv. 42-51. Then let me always live as though my Lord were at the gate! Let me arrange my affairs on the assumption that the next to lift the latch will be the King. When I am out with my friend, walking and talking, let me assume that just round the corner I may meet the Lord. And so let me practise meeting Him! Said a mother to me one day concerning her long-absent boy: "I lay a place for him at every meal! His seat is always ready!" May
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

What Lasts, and what Passes Away.
25th Sunday after Trinity. S. Matthew xxiv., 35. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word shall not pass away." INTRODUCTION.--Yes! all will pass away! This beautiful world and all that is on it. Our houses, our churches, our cities, will crumble away; the very earth with its mountains and rivers, and plains, and seas, will pass away. The stars will fall from heaven, the sun will have exhausted its fires, the moon will sink into night. But the words of Christ will last. SUBJECT.--Incessant
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

"And Watch unto Prayer. "
1 Pet. iv. 7.--"And watch unto prayer." "Watch." A Christian should watch. A Christian is a watchman by office. This duty of watchfulness is frequently commanded and commended in scripture, Matt. xxiv. 42, Mark xiii. 33, 1 Cor. xvi. 13, Eph. vi. 18, 1 Pet. v. 8, Col. iv. 2; Luke xii. 37. David did wait as they that did watch for the morning light. The ministers of the gospel are styled watchmen in scripture and every Christian should be to himself as a minister is to his flock, he should watch over
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Of Meditation Upon Death
Very quickly will there be an end of thee here; take heed therefore how it will be with thee in another world. To-day man is, and to-morrow he will be seen no more. And being removed out of sight, quickly also he is out of mind. O the dulness and hardness of man's heart, which thinketh only of the present, and looketh not forward to the future. Thou oughtest in every deed and thought so to order thyself, as if thou wert to die this day. If thou hadst a good conscience thou wouldst not greatly
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

"Take heed that no man deceive you."--Matt. xxiv: 4. "Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."--Col. i: 27, 28. To give a warning is a sign of love. Who warns like a mother, and who loves like a mother? Your mother, perhaps, is gone, and your father is gone. Let me take the place of those who have departed, and lift up a warning voice. With Paul I would say: "I write not these
Dwight L. Moody—Sowing and Reaping

Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold.
^A Matt. XXIV. 1-28; ^B Mark XIII. 1-23; ^C Luke XXI. 5-24. ^a 1 And Jesus went out from the temple [leaving it to return no more], and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him ^b as he went forth ^a to show him the buildings of the temple. ^b one of his disciples saith unto him, Teacher, behold, what manner of stones and what manner of buildings! ^c 5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and offerings, he said [The strength and wealth of the temple roused
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Second Coming of Christ.
^A Matt. XXIV. 29-51; ^B Mark XIII. 24-37; ^C Luke XXI. 25-36. ^b 24 But in those days, ^a immediately after the { ^b that} ^a tribulation of those days. [Since the coming of Christ did not follow close upon the destruction of Jerusalem, the word "immediately" used by Matthew is somewhat puzzling. There are, however, three ways in which it may be explained: 1. That Jesus reckons the time after his own divine, and not after our human, fashion. Viewing the word in this light, the passage at II. Pet.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Christian Conception of Life Has Already Arisen in Our Society, and Will Infallibly Put an End to the Present Organization of Our Life Based On
The Condition and Organization of our Society are Terrible, but they Rest only on Public Opinion, and can be Destroyed by it-- Already Violence is Regarded from a Different Point of View; the Number of those who are Ready to Serve the Government is Diminishing; and even the Servants of Government are Ashamed of their Position, and so often Do Not Perform their Duties--These Facts are all Signs of the Rise of a Public Opinion, which Continually Growing will Lead to No One being Willing to Enter Government
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you

The Evening of the Third Day in Passion-Week - on the Mount of Olives: Discoures to the Disciples Concerning the Last Things.
THE last and most solemn denunciation of Jerusalem had been uttered, the last and most terrible prediction of judgment upon the Temple spoken, and Jesus was suiting the action to the word. It was as if He had cast the dust of His Shoes against the House' that was to be left desolate.' And so He quitted for ever the Temple and them that held office in it. They had left the Sanctuary and the City, had crossed black Kidron, and were slowly climbing the Mount of Olives. A sudden turn in the road, and
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

A Key to the Knowledge of Church History
A KEY TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHURCH HISTORY [Ancient] Edited by JOHN HENRY BLUNT, M.A. Editor of "The Dictionary of Theology," "The Annotated Book of Common Prayer;" Author of "Household Theology," Etc. Etc. "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations."--St. Matt. xxiv. 14 Rivingtons Waterloo Place, London Oxford, and Cambridge MDCCCLXXVII [New Edition]
John Henry Blunt—A Key to the Knowledge of Church History

Our Lord's Olivet Discourse Shows that There is no Universal Triumph of the Gospel Before his Second Advent.
The Olivet Discourse of our Lord is recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. We cannot now attempt a detailed exposition of these highly interesting and important chapters, but would simply single our from them a few things which throw light upon our present inquiry. At the beginning of Matt. 24 we find that three of His disciples asked our Lord, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the age?" (vs. 3). What then was the answer which
Arthur W. Pink—The Redeemer's Return

Third Sunday Before Lent
Text: First Corinthians 9, 24-27; 10, 1-5. 24 Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. 25 And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air: 27 but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

The vineyard and Its Keepers
'Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34. And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Watching the Horizon
"Thy Kingdom Come." "Thou art coming! We are waiting With a hope that cannot fail; Asking not the day or hour, Resting on Thy word of power, Anchored safe within the veil. Time appointed may be long, But the vision must be sure: Certainty shall make us strong, Joyful patience must endure. "O the joy to see Thee reigning, Thee, my own beloved Lord! Every tongue Thy name confessing, Worship, honour, glory, blessing, Brought to Thee with glad accord! Thee, my Master and my Friend, Vindicated and enthroned!
by S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation

Another Shorter Evening Prayer.
O eternal God and heavenly Father, if I were not taught and assured by the promises of thy gospel, and the examples of Peter, Mary Magdalene, the publican, the prodigal child, and many other penitent sinners, that thou art so full of compassion, and so ready to forgive the greatest sinners, who are heaviest laden with sin, at what time soever they return unto thee with penitent hearts, lamenting their sins, and imploring thy grace, I should despair for mine own sins, and be utterly discouraged from
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

There is a Blessedness in Reversion
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3 Having done with the occasion, I come now to the sermon itself. Blessed are the poor in spirit'. Christ does not begin his Sermon on the Mount as the Law was delivered on the mount, with commands and threatenings, the trumpet sounding, the fire flaming, the earth quaking, and the hearts of the Israelites too for fear; but our Saviour (whose lips dropped as the honeycomb') begins with promises and blessings. So sweet and ravishing was the doctrine of this
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

An Analysis of Augustin's Writings against the Donatists.
The object of this chapter is to present a rudimentary outline and summary of all that Augustin penned or spoke against those traditional North African Christians whom he was pleased to regard as schismatics. It will be arranged, so far as may be, in chronological order, following the dates suggested by the Benedictine edition. The necessary brevity precludes anything but a very meagre treatment of so considerable a theme. The writer takes no responsibility for the ecclesiological tenets of the
St. Augustine—writings in connection with the donatist controversy.

The Completion of Our Saviour's Prophecies Confirmed Pagans in their Belief of the Gospel.
I. The completion of our Saviour's Prophecies confirmed Pagans in their belief of the gospel. II. Origen's observation on our Saviour's disciples being brought before kings and governors; III. On their being persecuted for their religion; IV. On their preaching the gospel to all nations. V. On the destruction of Jerusalem, and ruin of the Jewish oeconomy. VI. These arguments strengthened by what has happened since Origen's time. I. THE second of these extraordinary means, of great use to the learned
Joseph Addison—The Evidences of the Christian Religion, with Additional Discourses

I. (i) Against Eunomius. The work under this title comprises five books, the first three generally accepted as genuine, the last two sometimes regarded as doubtful. Gregory of Nazianzus, [303] Jerome, [304] and Theodoret [305] all testify to Basil's having written against Eunomius, but do not specify the number of books. Books IV. and V. are accepted by Bellarmine, Du Pin, Tillemont, and Ceillier, mainly on the authority of the edict of Justinian against the Three Chapters (Mansi ix., 552),
Basil—Basil: Letters and Select Works

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