The Bare Soul - February 6, 2011
The Law of Love

Matthew 24:12 - Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.

Have we lately considered that law and love are inextricably linked? One really can't exist without the other. In our respective societies, laws are enacted for the general welfare of the populace. While we may not always agree with each and every law, they are created to provide a sensible, safe living environment for all its inhabitants. For instance, we my not agree with a jaywalking law, especially if we are the one that decides to dash out in traffic to avoid walking to the protected corner crosswalk. However, we impinge on the rights of drivers who have to avoid hitting us, or worse case, the trauma and horror of actually running us over! Our insistence on our supposed "rights" has violated someone else's rights by our selfish, self-centered act. So, by abiding to simple laws, we commit ourselves to the common good. We allow just laws to draw us into a collective sense of community that is a form of love for all.

However, there are forces at work that disdain and actually despise any form of law. Anarchists say that we should have no laws that arbitrate or dictate against a human desire to fulfill themselves through self-expression. This is a most dangerous mind-set. The enemy of our souls can only wish that all mankind would arrive at this demonic conclusion for living. As far as the devil is concerned, we should all live by the law of relativity, which is really no law at all. Satan's desire is that there would be no absolutes other than that absolutely anything is permissible. After all, he might say, as long as we're not hurting anybody, right? For example, people inspired by this devilish thinking will often say, "If I want to take drugs, or drink myself silly, or use pornography, what business is that of anyone else? After all, don't I have the right to live and die for myself?" The short answer to this type of logic is ... no. We were created as individuals, however, we were not created to be singular in our mores and life values. While it is arguable whether drug use to the point of overdose would affect the health industry (e.g. if someone lived as a hermit in the woods and drank or drugged themselves to death), it is NOT arguable, according to scripture, that lawlessness against God's word does not become a detriment to society at large. To continue with the example of one drinking or drugging themselves comatose, the scripture states that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:10). Also, the Proverbs tell us that those who drink to the point of intoxication are not wise (Proverbs 20:1). Regarding drug use, the book of Revelation states that outside of the kingdom are the "dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons". In the Greek, the word for sorcery is pharmakeia where we derive our English word for pharmaceuticals or drugs. As previously stated, one's own behavior may not affect others in the physical sense, but it does go against God's laws which creates a spiritual paradigm that "stores up wrath" for the impending judgment of God (Romans 2:5). Literally, every sin committed that isn't covered through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, becomes a foul stench in the nostrils of God. This, ultimately, affects us all.

Jesus' words in Matthew 24:12 is an indictment of our current end-time society. The Savior's implication is that love is "temperature-sensitive". Cold hearts are directly created by lack of love, or in other words, relativism against the absolute law of God. Relativism, while seemingly benign in many of its outward manifestations, has at its heart a hatred toward God and all that He stands for. However, wherever sin increases, grace does abound all the more (Romans 5:20). The Lord, by His infinite mercies, allows an escape for all who have icy hearts. He tells us in His word, when addressing the Laodicean church, that He would wish that they were either hot or cold for Him. Their lukewarmness or indifference becomes the catalyst of God's displeasure. This relativity, or lack of the law of love, creates a hostile relationship between man and God. Fortunately, for those needing His grace, coldness of heart is the most desirable place to be other than being hot or on fire for the Lord. At least with a cold, icy heart the Lord is able to reconcile himself to a sinner by showing him or her the lack of love by the presence of His great mercy. For example, if a man's heart has become so embittered against their family or friends or life at large, then the Lord can invade this man's conscience with His presence. By the very lack of love, the Spirit of conviction can show this man his extreme disparity of anything of God, thereby bringing him to a saving knowledge of Christ (John 16:8).

While humankind's hearts will continue to grow cold in these end-times, there is still hope for their redemption. As stated, God's laws and His love are inextricably linked. It is impossible to have one without the other. The hope for all mankind is that they would discover the law of liberty (James 2:12) which ultimately allows a man to truly live as an individual, accountable only to God. Only in Christ, is there true liberty. Only as we follow the Lawgiver can we know true freedom. Though hearts be cold and stony, God has promised that He can break into these ungodly lives. He only needs the fire of His love, that is bound to His laws of mercy and forgiveness, to come into a man's heart and to melt and mold him for His good pleasure. He waits, He longs, and He will not relinquish His quest to bring us the to His law of love. May we all yield to His irresistible, powerful presence that will truly set us free!

Lord God Almighty, thank You for Your laws because they draw us to Your infinite love. Help us to be on fire for You, always embracing your law of love. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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