As lawlessness continues to grow and abound in our society and throughout the world, we are gleaning a clearer and clearer picture of the Man of Lawlessness.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God.”
ACCOMPANIED BY DEPARTURE
The Man of Lawlessness is accompanied by a great departure from the truth; “ἀποστασία” (GK-apostasia; ENG- apostasy) means to “forsake” or “turn away”. Lawlessness is the corrupting work of the spirit of the anti-Christ, who has already long been at work in the world (1 John 4:3).
Look at how the apostasy comes about and what the spirit of anti-Christ produces in people:
1 Timothy 4:1-2 “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!”
This turning away from the truth is able to grip even those within the faith because they turned their ear and attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons that lying men and women hypocritically preach with seared consciences.
The apostasy gives way to people adhering to a form of godliness but denying its power; being powerless, they will become;
- lovers of self,
- lovers of money,
- disobedient to parents,
- without self-control,
- without love for what is good,
- lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
This is the spirit that will grip the world to bring about the apostasy- that great abandonment that falls the whole world into irreconcilable darkness- this is the spirit that is gripping the world even now!
It is the reason why these times will be difficult for anyone who will live in true, powerful godliness.
MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS
2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way, and then the lawless one will be revealed.”
What we see reflected in those who are deceived by the mystery spirit of the antichrist is the essence of the Man of Lawlessness; it is as yet unknown in completeness- but, the drunkenness of its wine is seen throughout the whole world: we see it every time we witness a Christian’s defiant and rebellious heart towards God- and even more as the Church becomes comfortable with this kind of rebellion- we see its mystery in the mocking of authority and demeaning of purity witnessed throughout both the professional and entertainment realms of life. And the mystery of lawlessness is also present in the advance of tyranny and injustice throughout the world.
What is being birthed out of this mystery, however, is the abomination of desolation yet to be revealed.
Let me first exhort you all, my brethren, to “pay careful attention to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is, and don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit: ‘speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of Christ’.” Give yourself entirely to such things as these; let your spirit, soul, and body be sanctified through and through, and persevere in these difficult times- even rejoicing at the loss of money, relationships, and even life that you may suffer as the days grow darker- and always remember who is faithful to preserve you blameless until the end.
Know that you are loved dearly by the Father who is in Heaven, and He is faithful, amen!