Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
II Thessalonians 2:5-7
It’s clear from this section that Paul’s merely reminding them of the things he taught when he was with them. He apparently told them what was holding back the lawlessness.
It’s also clear that the secret power of lawlessness was already at work 2,000 years ago. What Paul literally says is that the secret power of lawlessness was already energized.
I’m reminded of a parable of Jesus (Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43). He said that the church and the world were going to grow up together. These two kingdoms would grow in power and mature side by side throughout history. The seeds that were planted by the enemy already had lawlessness working in them.
According to Paul, there’s something holding back the full force of this lawlessness. Most of the modern translations add a lot of preconceived ideas to the text. What Paul literally said in verse 7 is the restraining will continue until it is removed from the midst.
I believe he’s talking about the laws that govern us. Back then; they had a system of government where if you disobeyed the law, you paid the penalty for your actions. But more and more, around the world, it now seems that laws don’t mean anything. The lawmakers tell us that it’s how you interpret that law that matters.
My wife, Cheryl, was called for jury duty a number of years ago. She was selected to hear a drunk driving case. It was clear from the testimony that the man was drunk, and he was driving. He could have very easily killed somebody. Thank God, he was caught before he did any damage to himself or others.
As they were discussing the case in the jury room, an interesting thing started to happen. All of these jurors started seeing themselves on the stand.
“Well, I drink sometimes, and I’d hate to have a policeman take away my license because I got caught.”
“Maybe we should let this guy go because nothing happened and nobody was hurt. After all, there was no accident and no damage.”
Those who know Cheryl understand that she has a very prophetic ministry. If you can imagine how Elijah would’ve responded to all this, you’d be pretty close to what actually happened.
Cheryl’s response was that the question is not what we would do. It’s not even about what we would want to happen if we were caught driving under the influence of alcohol.
The question is; was he drunk? Was he driving? If so, then he’s guilty, whether or not you do it as well.
They did find him guilty. But please understand that if there wasn’t a Christian on the jury, then the outcome might have been very different.
Lawless man says, “I know what the law is, but I wouldn’t like that law if I were the one driving.” What we will find is that this what it’s going to be like more and more in the last days.
Yes, there might be laws, but they’re going to be followed less and less. Paul is saying that lawless man is going to be uncovered for what he really is. In the last days, we’re going to see an increase in lawlessness the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
That’s why, more than ever, we need to trust the Lord for our safety, protection, and provision.
Question: How have you seen a rise in lawlessness over your lifetime?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi