It’s cold in Michigan. Really cold. How cold is it?
It is so cold that….
- I stepped outside and my whole body had a Slurpee Brain Freeze
- When the Starbucks barista handed me a steaming Venti Pike Place at the drive thru window, I instantly had iced coffee
- After shoveling my driveway I thought about jumping in the freezer to warm up
- No matter what movie I choose on Netflix I get “Frozen”
- Even your friends give you the cold shoulder
- Folks at the First Baptist Church changed their name to Zero Degrees Calvin (Kelvin)
- The Jehovah’s Witnesses are calling themselves the “frozen chosen.”
- Streakers are known as “Polar Bares”
Baby, it’s cold outside!
But there is another type of coldness that is far worse than anything happening outside today. Jesus warned us about the last days with these words:
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (underlining mine. Matthew 24:10-13)
Are these the last days? I can’t say with absolute certainty. I don’t know when our Lord will return. But I know that many folks have “turned away from the faith” like Jesus said they would. There are plenty of folks spewing all kinds of hate these days. False Bible quoting prophets are not hard to find. There is an undeniable increase of wickedness in the land. Finally, I know plenty of folks whose love has grown cold—which has nothing to do with the subzero temperatures.
It’s easy to spot a cold heart. Cold hearts are selfish hearts, angry hearts, and gossip spreading hearts. A cold heart is a blaming, shaming and judgmental heart. A cold heart thinks they have been the one wronged, all the while they are harming others. A cold heart doesn’t see the hurting neighbor, the troubled child, or the sick saint. A cold heart finds fault with the church and God’s people. A cold heart may talk about Jesus, but hasn’t known Jesus for quite some time. A cold heart, in other words, is a carnal heart that will be in deep trouble on Judgment Day.
How can we insure that our heart doesn’t grow cold? Simple. Stay close to the flame. Stay close to Jesus. Peter got it right. He knew in the middle of the storm (polar vortex or otherwise), the safest place isn’t in the boat, but next to Jesus. The key, Jesus said, is standing firmly next to Him. Someone who’s staying close to the heartwarming love of Jesus will never grow cold no matter what the weatherperson says is happening outdoors.
Stay warm, my friends! Stay warm!
You are so clever and funny, too. Your sermon’s are outstanding! We love you and are blessed to have you as our pastor. Don and Paula