C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL MANUAL FOR AUGUST 22 & 29, 2021 LESSON THREE : TOPIC – LOVE WAXES COLD
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH WORLDWIDE
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
(KINGDOM OF GOD FAMILY)
THEME: IN TIME LIKE
Unit One : MAN’S DISCONNECTION
Date : 22nd & 29th, August, 2021
Lesson : THREE
TOPIC : LOVE WAXES COLD
Memory Scripture : And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold
Don’t allow the unconditional love of Christ that saved you to become ice-cold!
The disciples of Jesus came privately to Him, asking what the signs of His coming would be. He was quick to tell them many signs, one of which reads, And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold (Matt. 24:12). Bad spiritual standards will spread like wild harmattan fire in the last day, because of lawlessness (iniquity) within the ecclesia.
The word iniquity seems to include the cruelty of the Jews and Romans in their persecution, betrayers and errors of the false prophets. The effect of these would be that the ardour of many Christians would be lessened as they fear sufferings and deaths coupled with the dubious practices of false teachers all around them. The word ‘wax’ means become. So the love of many would become cold because of all these.
While some would desert the faith openly, some others would corrupt theirs and grow indifferent about it (Matt. 24::10-12).
Are we not witnessing defections today as some who started in the Spirit are now being controlled by the flesh, and sadly, they boast it with impunity (Gal. 3:3). Like Phygellus and Hermegenes, many are turning away from the sound doctrine.
As a gospel preacher, where are your children? The more Christians grow cold in their faith, the more they suffer serious blows from the devil, and instead of the gospel advancing to the uttermost, those who were once saved are now being found wanting in the kingdom, though they remain within the walls (cf. 2 Tim. 3:5). May the Holy Spirit’s fire awaken our consciousness, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Devotional Bible Readings For Week One
Mon. 16: Love Me? Keep My Commandments (Jn. 14:15)
Tue. 17: Love God? Then, Love His Law (Psa. 119:97)
Wed. 18: Let Your First Love Remain (Rev. 2:4).
Thur. 19: Love God? Keep His Commandments (1 Jn. 5:3)
Fri. 20: Love God? Obey Him Only (Acts 5:29)
Sat. 21: Love God Wholeheartedly (Deut. 6:5)
1. To sustain your faith in God in this polluted world, don’t allow Satan to quench your love for Him, no matter the situation.
2. We must follow the old path of our patriarchs, and do the first works, as we remain resolute to defend our faith, in all circumstances, and with all we have (1 Pet. 3:15). Let us not be like the Israelites who refused to walk in the good old ways of their godly fathers (Jer. 6:16).
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To awaken our consciousness to the coldness of the faith of so many, and help us make necessary amends.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, students should be able to:
i. identify and discuss the different kinds of love;
ii. explain and demonstrate what true love is;
iii. point out the dangers associated with cold love, and be more resolute to run from them; and
iv. clearly identify steps to take to return the our first love.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: MATTHEW 22:39-40; 24:4-13; ROMANS 12:9; 1 TIMOTHY 1:5-7; 4:1-5; 2 TIMOTHY 3:1-4; REVELATION 2:4-5,9-10,22,23; 3:18-22; 22:12
Thank God for the lesson considered last two weeks, bordering on PEACE BECOMES ELUSIVE, where we discovered that Jesus is our Foundation for peace, and in Him, all can find peace. We are also taught that peace can still be restored on earth and in our lives, if we seek Peace Himself. May God enables us, by His Spirit, to accept Him wholeheartedly. Amen.
This week, we shall be discussing the topic, LOVE WAXES COLD. We need a better understanding of what love truly means. Different types of love exist, but we shall be discussing the agape love which is sacrificial, but sadly, has waxed cold among believers today — love towards God and man. The commandments of love towards God and man is the greatest of all commandments.
We also need an understanding of why love waxed cold among believers, so that such can be forestalled, by God’s grace. There are lots of danger associated with cold love. People become impatient, and abandon their faith for idolatry and all forms of ungodliness. Here also, we shall discuss the way out of cold love, some of which are repentance, returning to the first love, enduring persecution and rebuke here, while we surrender the totality of our hearts to Jesus in the display of our love towards Him and our neighbours.
May the Holy Spirit help us not to digest these lessons but also put them to practice as we journey home (Lk. 11:28; Rom. 2:13). Amen.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
The lesson is divided into 2 sections, I and II, with a further division into A and B, respectively.
DIVISION I: THE TRUE MEANING OD LOVE
This division has been sub-divided into A, What True Love Is, and B, What Makes Love Wax Cold. Descriptions of the different kinds of love have been given with more emphasis and explanation on the agape love. Many reasons have been given for why love waxes cold, as there is no smoke without fire. These includes abounding of iniquity, end-time false teachers’ challenges, and many more as explained in the lesson.
DIVISION II: WHEN LOVE WAXES COLD
The second division has been divided into A, The Dangers of Cold Love, and B, Tackling Coldness Of Love. Hatred for godly things, serving strange gods, poverty of the spirit, among other things have been identified as dangers associated with coldness of love. We will also be talking about repentance, how to face persecutions, and returning to God like the prodigal son as means to tackle coldness of love in our lives, homes, churches and the entire society. We must heat up the furnace of our love for the ultimate Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
I. THE TRUE MEANING OF LOVE
A. WHAT TRUE LOVE IS
B. WHAT MAKES LOVE WAX COLD
II. WHEN LOVE WAXES COLD
A. THE DANGER OF COLD LOVE
B. TACKLING COLDNESS OF LOVE
I. THE TRUE MEANING OF LOVE(Matthew 22:39-40; 24:4-13; Romans 12:9)
Love is commitment, compassion, care, respect, loyalty, intimacy, trusting, forgiving, gentle, courteous, giving, free, endearing, and strong and many more; where you have to abandon yourself to satisfy others. Only agape kind of love fits in, and God is the first practitioner, when in Jesus, He came to die for humanity.
A. WHAT TRUE LOVE IS (Matt. 22:39-40; Rom. 12:9)
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37)
i. Different types of love exist in Greek: Philia (brotherly love), Storge (family love), Eros (romantic love), Ludus (playful love), Philautia (self-love), and Agape (sacrificial love).
ii. Agape is the true meaning of love as displayed by God Himself (Jn. 15:13). It is giving to someone the totality of one’s life (body, soul and spirit).
iii. Rom. 12:9: Love is described as something that one is passionate about to see, or has given his heart wholly to, without seeing any shortcomings. It is being one with God, for where one’s treasure is, there his heart will be (Matt. 6:21).
iv. It is the love that made Jesus to agree to surrender His life for sinners whom He loves (Rom. 5:8)— the sacrificial love that never betrays.
v. Matt. 22:39: This is a great challenge, not only to love ourselves, but also relate to our neighbours and us. Jesus’ kind of love must be emulated (1 Cor. 11:1; CACGHB 524).
iv. v. 40: Though the Pharisees requested only one commandment (v. 36), Jesus gave them two, because the spiritual way of life is not a case of isolating one, or two rules and keeping them, but of living holy and wholly; full and encompassing (Matt. 5:18; Jn. 6:63).
vii. God gave the 10 Commandments to test Israel’s love for Him, and so led them to their promised land. Our love must not bother about the world, but follow heavenly things, and be expectant of the Christ’s return (Heb. 13:14; Phil. 3:20). Are you still looking up (Heb. 12:2)?
viii. Love for God will make you look unto Him in all situations, pleasant or otherwise (Heb. 12:2). As Jesus endured the cross to please His Father, we are expected to focus on Him for whatever betides us. Love is the one propeller that can drive a man to face death for the sake of others.
B. WHAT MAKES LOVE WAX COLD (Matt. 24:4-13)
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold (v. 12).
i. Obviously, we are drawing closer to the end of the world, and everything has become chaotic with many things changing. This is the perilous time (1 Tim. 4:1ff; 2 Tim. 3:1ff), when Satan’s nefarious activities are on the rise, wanting to lure many to hell.
ii. v. 4: Because iniquity abounds everywhere, even on the altar, God’s people are being misled into believing other things: materialism, fame, position, etc. hence, the manipulation of disobedience and all that is false.
iii. vv. 4-5: False prophets with false miracles (magic) in ‘Jesus’ name’ have made the love of many to grow cold, because they are being disdained by the world, and their churches are not filled up like some others. The multiplier effects are worldly, false membership whose interests are no longer in God and godliness.
iv. vv. 6:12: End-Time happenings, like rumours of war, tribulations, persecutions, famines, earthquakes, unemployment, killings, etc., have made the love of some Christians for God and His things to wane. No thanks to the dwindling world economy. Will God take our excuses when Paul, Peter and the others faced such terrible things but didn’t compromise (Acts 4:16-21; 5:40-42; 2 Cor. 11:23-28)?
v. Inability of some Christians to continue doing things, including praying and fasting. Bible study, vigil, among others, is a sign of the love waxing cold (Rev. 2:4-5). Imagine our youths now seeing our God-given doctrines and legacies as ‘old school’.
iv. v. 13: Awake, O sleeper (Eph. 5:14)! Only those who endure to the end shall be saved.
vii. At baptism, we are quickened together with Christ (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12) and if we have now relapsed into all forms of ungodliness, then we must arise from dead works and be knitted with Him and the power of His resurrection (Phil. 3:10). What is your focus?
1. There are two great commandments which are one, love God and your neighbour at the same time. That defines love, truly.
2. To begin early is not enough, but he who endures to the end shall be saved (Matt. 24:13).
WORK TO DO
Discuss more signs of cold love among Christians, and the effects on present day Christian living. Any way out?
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
More signs of cold love:
* Bad attitudes to church programmes
* Less emphases in giving
* Reduced commitment and dedication
* Trivialising spiritual matters
* Undervalue/underrating God’s ministers
* Want to be too free to do anything, anyhow
* Don’t like discipline
* No more evangelism
* No enough fund for missionary outreaches
* The society and the church can’t be separated
* Disobedience to God’s Word, will and way.
* Awake from slumbering
* Return to first love, works
* Repent from sins (Jer. 3:22)
* Seek God in prayer, word
* Church leadership must brace up to make the desired change