Already But Not Yet – The Day of the LORD
Watch Out for the Man of Lawlessness
2 Thessalonians 2
Our journey continues on the concept in Scripture of the Day of the Lord with a final two week look at the Book of 2 Thessalonians. Two themes are prominent: Avoid the man (or spirit) of lawlessness and avoid idleness.
Early church believers experienced the same things we do today. The tendency toward rebellion against God is great. The temptations to manipulate the natural order abound. The treachery of ignoring God’s moral order is easy to do. The worship of ‘self’ in the place of God is fashionable. These things were the same then as they are now. And Paul pleads with the church to be watchful, on guard and hopeful.
We are not to be ‘surprised by it.’ We are to be discerning about it. People have tried to identify the ‘man of lawlessness’ in the movements of history. Yet, we would be better served to focus on the ‘spirit of lawlessness’ at work in the world and in each of us. Paying attention to the ‘spirit’ instead of identifying a ‘man or woman’ of lawlessness will lead us to a more faithful walk with God.
Our text for Sunday is from 2 Thessalonians 2. Can you see the ‘spirit of lawlessness’ at work in our world today? Forces that seek to deceive, divide, and devour truth? Forces that prop themselves up in the place of God, manipulate the natural order and defile or seek to abolish the moral order? Do you notice any of those tendencies at work in you? All of these things are spawned from the ‘spirit of lawlessness.’ If we entertain it, allow it, act on it.
Where does Paul end this conversation on this topic? Wonderfully! “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word!” (2 Th 2:16-17).
Great place to conclude!
Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus!