This article is the fourth in a series based on the assumption that God is after something, He is doing something to get what He is after, and He is willing to tell us everything that we need to know for our participation. God is using this time of chaos (like so many others) to prepare His children for a season of opportunity that will be exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work… 2Thessalonians 2:7a

Lawlessness has been around since Satan rebelled against God. It has plagued mankind since that fateful day when Adam and Eve succumbed to his deception and chose to follow his lead. The events of the last few weeks remind us that lawlessness is already at work.

The truth is, most of us have become comfortable with some level of lawlessness in our lives. We have learned to justify our lack of lawfulness. Who drives the speed limit anymore? For that matter, who loves their neighbor as themselves? Lawlessness is not a respecter of persons. Our comfort with it should cause great concern, perhaps even fear. Things could get worse.

Chapter two of Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonian church describes the tragic culmination of the legacy we have carried since mankind’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden. It warns of a great apostasy, a falling away of people from the kingdom of God prior to Jesus’ return and His gathering of the faithful to Himself.

Like me, you are probably wondering how a follower of Jesus Christ could ever leave Him. There are doctrines of man that argue against such a possibility. As you might imagine, such doctrines have become quite popular. Personally, I don’t understand them. But that is not what this article is about.

Our purpose here is to expose the enemy’s tactics and encourage a sufficient response. You see, lawlessness is simply a symptom of, and a cover for, the enemy’s primary weapons.

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish… 2Thessalonians 2:9-10a

The rise of lawlessness is like smoke to a fire. Yes, the smoke can kill you, but the fire is the source. Put out the fire and the smoke will eventually abate.

For the children of God, the lawlessness we are experiencing can be a distraction, or it can become a warning of Satan’s more insidious strategy and an encouragement to responsively step up our game. We would be wise to mount a proportional counter-offensive guided by the battle strategy revealed in this passage.

…because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2Thessalonians 2:10b-12

These two-and-a-half verses identify three things we must do to protect ourselves – and those in our spheres of influence – from Satan’s power, signs, lying wonders, and unrighteous deception. Just to be clear, we are suggesting that this response is as important today as it will be at the end of the Age. In fact, those that wait to the end will have little chance of mounting a defense.

  1. Receive the love of the truth. Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to study your Bible? Do you ever wonder why others enjoy Christian podcasts,, and Precept studies? God is offering each one of us “the love of the truth”. Not just the truth, but love of it. How could we refuse such an awesome gift? The love of the truth is a heart-tie with God.
  2. Believe the truth. Receiving must be followed by believing. Keep in mind that faith is also a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). It comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). This begins a process – the process of faith – whereby we become obedient to the faith we have received, for the good work of faith God has created for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). The process of faith is God’s prescription for our participation in His working in us to will and to do in His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
  3. Resist the pleasures of unrighteousness. Unrighteous pleasure stands opposed to God’s good pleasure and our belief in the truth. Unrighteousness and lawlessness go hand-in-hand. In the midst of lawlessness, we must remind ourselves and each other to overcome evil with good. Vengeance is unrighteous; forgiveness and blessing flow out from God’s instruments of righteousness.

In every battle and lawless uprising, we must resist the temptation to respond hastily to the external crisis and chaos of our day. Works without faith are not good works; they are sin (Romans 14:23). They will likely miss the mark. Feelings of urgency to respond must drive us to God – to receive (more) love of the truth, faith for the truth, and righteousness for a transformational response.

Lastly, it is good to remember that the world does not have the answers and neither do we. We are deceived to think otherwise. Only God has the truth we need individually, corporately, and societally. Humility toward God is the key.

God bless you with humility, meekness, and a hunger for the truth.

Humbly yours and forever His,