Whew…this study on lawlessness has been somewhat intense at times, but we’re about to end this series on a high note! Are you ready?
2 Thessalonians 2 has been our anchor point. There, the Apostle Paul warns of a man of lawlessness (the Antichrist) who will ultimately be revealed, but that the mystery of lawlessness is already at work in our world. That was written in the 1st century, and that “mystery” has gradually been revealed throughout time. We see lawlessness as clearly in our world today as ever before.
Now, be honest. How many of us have never done a lawless thing in our lives? In talking about those who have put their faith in Jesus, Scripture says we were formerly darkness, but now we are Light in the Lord! Read Ephesians 5:8-16. There, we learn to please the Lord!
- We are not to participate in deeds of darkness (lawlessness), but even expose them.
- We are not to speak of things done in darkness.
- We are to walk wisely, making the most of our time.
That’s a recipe for victory in a lawless world!
In a different way, the Apostle John also provides instruction for living in a lawless world when he exhorts us to discern spirits. In 1 John 4:1-4, he describes distinct differences between those who confess that Jesus Christ came from God and those who don’t. In verse 3, what is the spirit of one who does not confess Jesus Christ?
Yes, the spirit of Antichrist! Wow! How important it is to accurately discern spirits, and there are only two choices…so discern well! The good news is: we have help! Verse 4 assures us (children of God) that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world! Victory!
As we accurately discern spirits and live as children of Light, we also become representatives of Christ. In fact, notice what Paul calls himself in Ephesians 6:20. Likewise, what are we called in 2 Corinthians 5:20?
Believers who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ have become His ambassadors! What is an ambassador? Well, the US has ambassadors to virtually every other country in the world. They represent America’s interest there, they serve as guardians of American citizens in those countries, and they speak on behalf of the US government.
Philippians 3:20 tells us our citizenship is in heaven. This earth is not our home! We are simply ambassadors assigned by our Lord to represent His interests, help serve as guides to those who will listen, and speak on His behalf! To do so, we must be discerning of the spirits. We must hear His voice in the midst of a chaotic foreign land!
At times, it seems an impossible task, which is why 1 John 4:4 reminds us that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. So, we persevere.
But do you know what happens to ambassadors when war breaks out or things run off the rails in their posts in a foreign country? Ambassadors are called home! In John 14:1-3, Jesus Himself makes perhaps His greatest promise ever to His followers: He has gone to prepare a place for us, and He will return to take us home to our place of citizenship! He will call His ambassadors home!
Friends, be faithful to your call as ambassadors by representing His interests, being the “go to” for those in this foreign land, and speaking the Good News on His behalf!
11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.~Romans 13:11-14
But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.~Luke 21:28