“Let all your things be done with charity.” (1 Cor. 16:14)
I would like to caution many of you with this truth, this verse does not mean the emotion of love, save outside of the love of Christ, but of the action of love. I have read accounts of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been severely beaten for their faith and testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in between those beatings they prayed for them that were inflicting those horrors upon them, they spoke kind words to them, they did not love them for what they were doing to them though.
The emotional side of us can at times over power our intellect, and we can act in a manner that does not truly reflect our heart. Have you ever received a present that you did not want, but thanked the person who gave it to you anyway? Which is more loving, the lie or the truth? It is a poor analogy, but it fits well in the context of “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matt. 15:8)
You meet these people at church every Sunday morning, and on Wednesday afternoon or Saturday night you would have a difficult time recognizing them as born-again believers. Their love for the Lord is feigned, and they are so proficient at it that many have deceived themselves in their supposed salvation. I have recognized this trait in nearly every person I meet that attends a works-based religious organization, for once the work is completed, so is the act of love, the obligations replace the heart. “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” (Luke 18:13)
But the issue today seems to be not only found in those so-called churches, but in many that call themselves Evangelical, meeting because of obligation, the love they proclaim for the Lord is left in the pew as they head back into the world for another week of self.
There is a great deceit, a misconception in our world today, one that few I believe are recognizing, it is not because the world is growing more evil, it is because the hearts of many are growing cold, they have forgotten what loving the Lord Jesus Christ means. Does the Holy Spirit find it difficult to hold back this ever-increasing evil that is encompassing the planet? Of course not. Is it becoming more difficult to find those who actually are loving? Perhaps, for the world knows nothing of the love spoken of in the Scriptures, so those who serve the Lord Jesus Christ are the fulfillment of the last part of Matthew 24:12, “the love of many shall wax cold.”
I could be wrong here, or only partially correct, but I ask you, where are the voices of those who have been born-again, where are the cries of those who have been crucified with Christ, who are to “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph. 6:13) Has personal fear overridden that love, are they so concerned with the Rapture that they have forsaken that commandment to love their neighbor? Have they become fearful of seeming judgmental?
Is it loving to reprove and correct or not?
When did dying to self begin to include loving oneself?
Many who have been born-again are simply watching from the sidelines today, perhaps occasionally bringing something up about the terrible condition of the world today while they stand in the security of other believers in that church building. True love is dying, fear is killing it, personal fear, the possibility of personal retributions. And those who are doing so still want to be called by the name “Christian.”