7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is take out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, 12 that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12
The mystery of lawlessness reared its ugly head in the Garden of Eden when Satan, the serpent, gainsaid God’s Word of command to Adam and Eve. From that time forward depravity has degraded and denounced God’s marvelous work in Creation and His beloved mankind. God sent His Son Jesus Christ into this world to redeem for Himself His own special people zealous for good works who have been delivered from the power of Satan to God through faith in the Son of God who died for His own to redeem them from the curse of sin and the curse of the law.
Satan, though, owns this world system and opposes God’s glorious work on behalf of sinners by doing what he does best, attacking God’s Word, the only source of truth. He has cleverly led the lost to prefer the word of men instead of God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant, and preserved Word given to us in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. The devil has raised up men throughout the centuries who have cast doubt about the clarity of the Holy Writ. Men like Augustine of Hippo who allegorized the Scriptures and led the way for the heresies of amillenialism and preterism, thus turning men away from looking for the blessed hope of our great Redeemer’s appearing, to instead working to establish man’s kingdom on this earth. Men like Darwin who lied about Creation denying God’s marvelous masterpiece of this created order leading to the heresy of gross immorality. Men like Bruce Metzger who wickedly denied the truth of the Scriptures, attesting his own craven ideas having greater validity then God’s awesome Word promoting the heresy of the insufficiency of the Scriptures. All of this has led the religiously lost to focus on establishing man’s kingdom, which is actually Satan’s kingdom, a fallen kingdom in which the truth is cast aside for the pleasures of sin, and God’s Holy law, the Ten Commandments, is trampled underfoot accelerating the growth of lawlessness preparing the way for the lawless one.
Much of what passes for the church today is actually the work of sinners intent upon establishing and securing their own way rather than God’s way. This evil congregation is preparing the way for the Antichrist as they wallow in lawlessness and prefer their kingdom over Christ’s kingdom. Dearly beloved, the nation in which we live could not be so depraved were it not for the wickedness of sinners masquerading as believers, who despise the truth and have pleasure in unrighteousness. Tony Campolo has candidly come out in favor of homosexual unions, believing homosexuals should be fully included in the church. He and his wife worked for years in support of homosexual rights. David Neff, the former editor of Christianity Today from 1985 to 2013, agrees with Campolo. These are men who make a pretense of loving Jesus Christ, but in actuality despise Him and the truth that He came into this world to give witness to. These two wicked sinners are just the tip of the iceberg when looking at the field of fallen “Christian” leadership in this country. This travesty, as always, starts with believing man’s word over God’s Word.
1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: 2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. 5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering vengeance of eternal fire. Jude 1:1-7
There is a reason that God through His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, led Jude to write to believers to contend earnestly for the faith. We must wage battle against the forces of this fallen world by believing, obeying, and proclaiming the truth of the Scriptures. We must be the vanguard that stays the course by speaking the truth in love for the edification of believers, the correction of the erring, and the salvation of sinners. To do any less is to be a traitor to the truth and one who works with the enemy in preparing the way for the lawless one. Like Nehemiah of old let us work with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, the Bible, in one hand, and in the other do the work of love and praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and ministry of His love to all.
The coming of the Antichrist is according to the working of Satan, and one of the methods he uses is unrighteous deception. He spreads this among those who have not received the love of the truth that they might be saved. In the Apostle John’s first epistle we see that the precursors of the Antichrist are those who have turned away from the truth and gone their own way. This has been continuing for centuries but appears to have gained deadly momentum making the way for the beast in this last hour of God’s judgment upon this world before the return of Christ.
18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he how denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:18-22 3
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him: and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly, the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself to also walk just as He walked. 1 John 1:3-6
Any who “claim the name of Christ” but promote lawlessness and reject the Bible as the Word of God are under God’s judgment and wrath. Any who do not turn away from these workers of iniquity show they too belong to this world and its ruler. Popularity and a well-made reputation within the church will not deliver these wolves in the day of vengeance. They refused to receive the love of the truth so they could be saved but instead had pleasure in unrighteousness. They turned away from following the good way set forth in the pages of the Bible by God’s holy prophets and apostles. We who belong to Jesus Christ through faith in Him and His finished work need to come out from among them that we do not share in their plagues. May God grant us His glorious grace to stand steadfast in our faith and faithful proclamation of the truth of the Word of God.
4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in a cup which she has mixed, mix double for her.” Revelation 18:4-6