Cold Heartedness

 

Mat 24:12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

 

And, oh, how many leave Christ for the sake of sensual enjoyments! I will not enlarge upon this. Certain, however, is it that the pleasures of sin for a season fascinate their minds till they sacrifice their souls at the shrine of sordid vanity. For a merry dance, a wanton amusement, or a transient joy that would not bear reflection, they have renounced the pleasures that never pall, the immortal hopes that never fail, and turned their backs upon that blessed Savior, who gives and feeds the taste for joy unspeakable, for joy full of glory.

 

In our pastoral oversight of such a huge church as this, we have painful evidence that considerable numbers gradually grow cold. The elders’ reports on the absentees reiterate the vain excuses for non-attendance. One has so many children. The distance is too great for another. When they joined the church, their family was just as large, and the distance was just the same. But the household cares become more irksome when the concern for religion begins to flag; and the fatigue of traveling increases when their zeal for the house of God falters. The elders fear they are growing cold. No actual transgression can we detect, but there is a gradual declension over which we grieve. I dread that cold heartedness; it steals so insensibly yet so surely over the entire frame. I do not say that it is worse than open sin. It cannot be. Yet it is more insidious. A flagrant delinquency would stable one as a fit does a patient; but a slow process of backsliding may steal like paralysis over a person without awakening suspicion. Like the sleep, which comes over men in the frozen regions, if they yield to it they will never wake again. You must be aroused, or else this supine ness will surely end in death. “Grey hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.” Is it so with any of you, dear friends? Are you going aside by slow degrees? He that loses his substance little by little presently becomes a bankrupt, and painful is the discovery when the end is precipitated. How miserable must a spiritual bankruptcy be to him who wastes by degrees his heavenly estate, if he ever had any! No words can describe it. God preserve us from such a catastrophe!