Home > Content Index > End Times > Keep Watch > Love of many will grow cold

What does it mean that the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:12)?

love of many will grow coldaudio
Question: "What does it mean that the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:12)?"

Jesus predicted that the love of many would grow cold as part of His answer to the disciples’ question, “What will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” In Matthew 24, in the Olivet Discourse, Jesus describes the end of the age that will precede His second coming. He says that there will be false Christs (verse 5), wars (verse 6), and strife and natural disasters (verse 7).

Jesus also warned of the persecution of believers, some of whom would prove to be false disciples who would turn on one another (Matthew 24:9–10). “And,” Jesus said, “because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (verse 12, ESV). Whether it is because of the deluding influence of the false teachers or the persecution or the fear of death, the zeal of many false professors will diminish. Their love toward God and toward the church will “grow cold.” True Christians, even those whose faith is weak, will persevere to the end (verse 13). Theirs is the true love, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22), and it cannot fail (1 Corinthians 13:7). True love cannot become cold because it is sustained by Christ who is able to keep us from falling (Jude 1:24).

For those without the Spirit, however, what love they do have will become colder and colder in the last days. Paul expands this idea in 2 Timothy 3:1–4 when he describes the last days. The love those people have is not a warm, living love for God and His truth and His people. Rather, it is the love of self and the love of money (verse 2). Paul describes those whose love for God, Christ, and the saints is only in pretense, not in reality. They do all they do in a religious way from self-love and to selfish ends. Their aim is to gain glory and applause from men or to use religion to gain something for themselves. They do nothing for the glory of God, the honor of Christ, or the good of others.

How can we be sure that the love we have for Christ will never grow cold? We begin by examining ourselves to be sure we are truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). If we truly belong to Christ, we can be confident that we possess the love from the Spirit that never grows cold. Then we should make every effort to increase our love:, “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9–11).

Recommended Resource: Understanding End Times Prophecy by Paul Benware

More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!

Related Topics:

What does it mean that he who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13)?

Who are the "least of these" in the Bible?

What does it mean that there will be wars and rumors of wars before the end times?

What did Jesus mean when He said, "this generation will not pass"?

What is the battle of Armageddon?

Return to:

Questions about the End Times

What does it mean that the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:12)?

Share this page on:

Find Out How to...

Statement of Faith
The Gospel
Crucial Questions
Content Index
Top 20 Questions

Question of the Week

Preferred Bible Version:


Subscribe to our Question of the Week

Get our Questions of the Week delivered right to your inbox!