Mystery of Lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:1-7 – Part 1)

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7, ESV)

Due to the events over the past couple weeks, regarding the death of George Floyd and the resulting protests and rioting, I felt led to look at these events from a biblical perspective. The question that always arises is, “Why?” Why do these things happen? Why the death of this man? Why the riots? Why the looting of stores? It does not seem to make sense. Or, does it?

Paul wrote to the church of the Thessalonians to settle their concerns that the “day of the Lord” had already come. To alleviate their concerns, he states that day will not come until the “rebellion comes” and the “man of lawlessness is revealed” (2 Thess 2:3).

Yet, in responding to their concerns, he gives us a glimpse into why the kind of events we saw over the past couple weeks take place. He states that, “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” There is a mysterious power of lawlessness that is at work in our world. The word “lawlessness,” the Greek anomia, literally means without norm or without law. As I watched videos of the events covering the past couple of weeks, the one thing that came to my mind was that it was “the mystery of lawlessness” at work in the lives of people.

This mystery works through a variety of means in the lives of people. It works through the world system, which Satan established and is opposed to the ways of God. It is driven by Satan who is a deceiver and entices people to act contrary to the ways of God. It is demonstrated by people driven by their own fleshly desires. The result is lawlessness and anarchy.

To me it seems that many are guilty of these events. I do not want to become political in dealing with this. But both the death and the resultant mass violence are indications of this “mystery of lawlessness” at work. However, are those who support such violence in their hearts any better than the perpetrators? Have we as a society gone too far with media and social media posts, adding fuel to the fire?

There is only one hope! We need a solid foundation. When society does not have a solid foundation, anarchy is right around the corner. The only legal foundation that is solid and unchanging over time is the moral precepts established by the Almighty. Any society that holds to these will stand firm. However, the only way man will have the inner strength to keep these moral precepts established by God is through faith in Christ alone.

(Tomorrow, I will discuss the restraining of lawlessness. Believe it or not the events over the past two weeks could have been much worse.)

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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