TEXT: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Many of us are watching what looks like the total breakdown of law and order in our land, as well as the corruption throughout our institutions and we are telling ourselves that the Coming of Jesus must be soon.
We find in 2 Thessalonians that the Thessalonians were living in similar days, days that were so lawless that some were saying that they were in the midst of the Tribulation Period, and times were so bad that many of the Christians in Thessalonica thought that must surely be the case.
It was to these people that the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit grasped the moment to speak to them (and us) about the subject of Lawlessness in the world.
1. THE PRESENT LAWLESSNESS (V.7 “…doth already work…)
A. Lawlessness is Nothing New to Today
Since the fall of Adam and Eve, rebellion against the laws of God and man
has been a part of everyday life. Wherever you find humans you will find rebellion against the Word of God and the established order of the day.
History is littered with periods of great rebellion and lawless leaders that have led their nations to horrible destruction.
B. Lawlessness Is Not Unique to America
Sometimes I think we in America live in a bubble and forget that there are others in the world besides us. We tend to forget that it is not only the nation of America that is part of God’s redemptive plan and is playing a part in His timetable to bring about history’s conclusion.
We are not the only rebels in the world. As hard as it may be for us to believe, we may not even be the worst rebels in the world.
C. Lawlessness Is to Have a Unique Period (V.2 “…the Day of the Lord…”; V. 8 “…then…”)
Even though periods of lawlessness have ebbed and flowed throughout the history of the world, we are told that there will come a time when lawlessness will grip the whole world as never before and it will not ebb, there will be no revival or reprieve, but will only continue to increase until iniquity will abound throughout the world. There will be a time when Satan and his Anti-Christ will take absolute rule over much of the world and when they do, there will be complete lawlessness and a complete breakdown of all the order and laws that has held civilization together.
2. THE PUZZLING LAWLESSNESS (V. 7 “…the mystery of iniquity…”)
So many are completely puzzled by the breakdown of law and order that is sweeping our nation and what seems to be taking place throughout the whole world.
For example, we look at the homosexual movement that has swept through nearly every nation in the world and we ask ourselves; can the homosexuals be that organized? Is there a secret headquarters this group is working out of that we don’t know about? Is there a supreme leader of this movement that has kept himself hidden?
The answer to those questions is both yes and no. Even though the homosexual community is well organized, I don’t believe that there is a worldwide collusion taking place. I don’t believe they have a world headquarters or one supreme leader. This is the unseen spirit of Satan and his demons working behind scenes throughout the world to stir rebellion, distrust, and anarchy in the people that belong to him.
A. The Universal Rebellion of Today
I have never witnessed such universal upheaval around the world as I am seeing today. It seems that the whole world is now in a state of chaos. The old order has been replaced by the new rebellion.
B. The Ultimate Rebellion of Today
Many people refuse to face the truth, but homosexuality is the ultimate rebellion against God. When God gives you up (Romans 1:26), it is because you have gone as far as you can go.
Never in the history of mankind have we seen so many people, so many nations, and so many religions embrace this evil as we are seeing today. And it is not a coincidence that at the same time we are watching, “the nations raging and the peoples imagine a vain thing… saying, let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalms 2:2, 3) There is certainly an undeniable correlation between the two.
C. The Unifying Rebellion of Today
The homosexual movement is the most unifying movement I have ever witnessed. I know that it is a polarizing issue, but every non-Muslim and non-Communist nation around the world have a majority of its people that have embraced this ultimate evil and are willing to zealously defend and promote it as well.
This rebellion that is so universal, so unifying and centered around the ultimate sin, can only be a sign of how close we are to the Day of the Lord. The day when the Church will be raptured, and Satan will have free reign upon the earth for a period of 7 years.
3. THE PERSONIFIED LAWLESSNESS (Vs. 3 “… that man of sin…” Vs. 8)
The world has seen some very evil people and national leaders, who Satan has used to wreak death and havoc upon the world, but the world has never seen such a lawless leader as the one who is soon to be revealed, the very Anti-Christ himself, the very embodiment of Satan in one evil and ruthless leader. The Scriptures paint a clear portrait of just how evil this man will be.
A. He Will Be Pompous (vs.4 “…showing himself that he is God)
Daniel 11:37 tells us that he will “…magnify himself above all.”
B. He Will Be Perverted (Daniel 11:37 “…nor the desire for women…”)
I know that many do not believe that speaks of the Anti-Christ as being a homosexual, but in light of the world’s embracing of homosexuality and rejection of the Christian faith, it is not hard to see a day when you will not be able to gain the support of the people unless you were an avowed homosexual. With homosexuality being so politically correct in this day and seeing the Anti-Christ is the ultimate rebel, it is difficult to see how such a lawless figure would not be a homosexual.
C. He Will Be Powerful (vs. 2:9 “…with all power…”)
Jesus for a period of time will allow the Anti-Christ to have absolute power over this rebellious earth. Those who have chosen to reject the benevolent rule of Jesus will be enslaved and tormented by the cruel rule of the Anti-Christ. Man will be helpless to overcome his evil and all those who choose to reject him in favor of Jesus will be martyred for the defiance of the Anti-Christ (Revelations 6:9; 13:7-9)
D. He Will Be Pitiless (Revelation 13:7 “…to overcome them…”)
He will be ruthless. There will not be an ounce of human kindness in him.
I have read where Hitler, a man that slaughtered millions, while in his bunker, with the Russians on his door step decided to kill himself by taking a cyanide pill, before taking it himself he first gave it to his beloved German Shepherd dog. His dog quickly died and witnesses said that when Hitler saw his dog was dead that he wailed and mourned and was inconsolable. It’s hard to believe that a man who had no pity for the millions of humans he slaughtered would have it for his dog.
You can be sure that the Anti-Christ would not mourn the death of even his dog. He will be without pity upon all whom he rules. How frightening it is to think one could be subjected to such evil, but that is exactly what will be the fate of all who willfully reject Jesus and are left behind after He raptures His Church. One taken and one left. Oh, how horrible is the fate of those who are left behind.
4. THE PUNISHED LAWLESSNESS (Vs. 8 “…shall consume…shall destroy…”, Vs. 11,12)
The time for lawlessness is limited. The good news for the righteous is that Jesus is Coming to rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27) The bad news for the rebellious is that Jesus is Coming to rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27). God is now allowing this lawlessness to bring about His purposes, but He has already set a date in which he will intervene to punish the lawless and to establish His absolute rule upon the earth.
A. The Anti-Christ Will Be Destroyed at His Coming (vs. 8; Revelation 19:20; 20:10)
B. The Anti-Christ’s Followers Will Be Destroyed at His Coming (Revelation 15:9-11; Revelation 19:21; 20:15)
C. The Anti-Christ’s False Prophet Will Be Destroyed (Revelation 19:20; 20:10)
D. The Anti-Christ’s Father Will Be Dethroned (Revelation 20:1-3)
i. Incarcerated in the Bottomless Pit for a 1,000 years (Revelation 20:30
ii. Incarcerated in the Lake of Fire for Eternity (Revelation 20:10)
This is the day of lawlessness. Satan and his spiritual forces are sowing rebellion and discord against God as never before. The time of the Rapture of the True Church and the subsequent revelation of the Anti-Christ is surely at hand.
This is also the day of salvation. Jesus is still extending saving grace to every rebel and to those who are willing to repent and submit to Jesus and trust Him and Him alone for salvation, believing the blood shed at Calvary was for your sins, for your years of rebellion. The door of mercy is still open, but it is soon to shut upon the rebels once for all.
This may be the day the door of salvation shuts upon you. You never know will the end will come, whether by death, by sinning away your day of grace, or by the rapture, the door will shut upon you one day and it will be shut eternally.
Your security and salvation is not found in your Religion, in your own self-righteousness, nor in your Church, but only in the Person of Jesus Christ.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; NO man cometh unto the father but by Me.” [John 14:6]
“Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved.” [Romans 10:13]
This may come as a shock to you religious souls that have never come to Jesus for salvation. You that believe that you are a Christian because you belong to a certain Church, or because you belong to a Christian Religion and not a religion such as Islam, Buddha, etc., or because you have been baptized or confirmed, your rejection of Jesus for your own religion or your own works, makes you the most lawless rebel of them all. You are clearly defying the clear Word of God in favor of your own self-willed religion and you are going to be left behind at the rapture and go to hell and the lake of fire just as sure as the Anti-Christ will.
In days like these be very sure. If you know that there has never truly been a time when you by an act of your will, have repented and come to Jesus alone for salvation, now is the time to do so. Now is the ONLY time you are assured of. An hour from now it may be too late. Flee to Jesus for a refuge from the wrath to come.