Journal 2 Thes 2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.  Only He (God) who now restrains it will do so until he (the enemy?) is out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed…

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore, God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth—but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thes 2:7-12

Observation:  Lawlessness is at work…and it is a mystery.  God restrains it until that Day when all will be revealed.

Analysis:  Often I wonder why folks do not respond to the Gospel?

Then I think: “Shoot!  I don’t often respond to the Gospel.  What makes me different from them?”

There is that understanding of the two doctrines involved: Justification and Sanctification.

Probably Paul writes to the Thessalonian church about their observation that many folks (perhaps including church folk and family) still engage in lawless behavior (read: sin) even after hearing the good news of the Gospel.  “Why don’t these folks respond wholeheartedly by believing in the Truth…and therefore be saved?”  It reads like Paul continues,

  • First, it is a mystery why lawlessness is at work.
  • Second, because God is Sovereign in all he does, I am of the confidence He sends a deluding spirit (something strong) that these folks may believe what is false.
  • Third, in this “delusion”, these folks refuse to love the Truth and loves pleasure in unrighteousness more.

Yeah, scripture says plainly that Satan is involved in this but, lawlessness—this is the attitude of the heart of those who are condemned.

So, what?  I should pat myself on the back because I supposedly “love the truth?”  Nanny, nanny, boo, boo: I am saved, and you are not….

Every so often I must haul myself by the back of the neck and face the mirror…and realize I am one short stagger into the arms of temptation leading to the embrace of unrighteousness.

That is why, I remind myself constantly, that there are no days off in being a disciple.

Prayer: Lord, sometimes it is so difficult to get out of the way so that You can come forth in me.  Why is it that I feel driven to learn about You, to proclaim Your purposes, but I don’t “feel” for the lost, the ones celebrating lawlessness?  Last night, to proclaim You, to delve into the Mysteries of the Word (not that there is much mystery there, plain words for plain understanding to those who can just read) and display You Glories to my family was a treat.  Help me from pulling my arm out of socket patting myself on the back and increase humility in me.  AMEN.