Many Are Cold and a Few Are Frozen
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power...."1
I read about a vessel discovered over a century ago among the icebergs of the Arctic ocean. In it was the captain, frozen as he was making his last entry in the log-book. The crew were also discovered—some in their hammocks and some in the cabin—all frozen to death. The last date in the log-book showed that for thirteen years that vessel had been moving among the icebergs, "a drifting sepulcher manned by a frozen crew."
Someone suggested that there are some churches in a similar condition. Today's Scripture talks about people who have a form of godliness but without its power. Certainly there are some churches and religions like that too. They have an outward form of godliness but are frozen in that, while they have the outward trappings of religion, they are out of touch with God and reality.
Jesus said: "For many are called, but few are chosen."2 That is, many are called by God but few prove themselves to be chosen ones, That is, only a small percentage of confessing Christians do anything tangible about God's call to follow and serve him. Someone jokingly "translated" this verse to say, "Many are cold and a few are frozen."
While millions of people around the world desperately need the gospel, most of us who call ourselves Christian give little for or do anything much about it. Nor do we give much to help in that less than three percent of Christians tithe of their income for God's work. And even then the average church spends 95 percent of its income on itself. As the late Vance Havner said, "Our doctrine is sound—sound asleep."
In the last few years we have seen a great increase in some of the worst kind of violence and terrorism worldwide committed by radical Muslims, all in the name of Allah. Let us not kid ourselves, their relentless goal is to kill infidels, namely: Christians, Jews, Americans and other Westerners, and also to rule the world with their religious-political ideology.
At the same time, at least in North America, we are seeing an ever-increasing amount of "Christian bashing." Would-be opponents of the Christian faith are doing all in their power to destroy the very principles upon which western civilization has been built.
The only answer to combat evil is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, and unless we the church, and we Christians (and even our governments) wake up and "smell the gunpowder," I am afraid we will be witnessing an ever-increasing amount of violence and terrorism around the world.
Let us remember the words of Edmund Burke spoken over two centuries ago: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
More importantly, let us heed God's Word that says, "'Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.' Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please use me to be a shining light in the world's darkness and do what I can to help spread your gospel message around the world. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV).
2. Matthew 22:14 (KJV).
3. Ephesians 5:14-16 (NIV).