THE MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS - P1
“And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold” (Matthew 24:12).
Lawlessness is increasing, and at a record pace. We see it in the hearts of anarchists who violate God’s Law when they tear at every human authority—looting, burning, assaulting, destroying. And at the other end of the spectrum, we see authorities who trample God’s Law by exerting their lawless hearts over others through tyranny and dictatorship.
Jesus told us that as we approach the End, lawlessness will increase. Ask yourself: Do you feel love between your neighbors in your community? Do you feel love in the decisions authorities make for your life? You can literally feel the mercury dropping around us.
But what is lawlessness? The Apostle John gives us a succinct definition: “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness” (1 Jn. 3:4). God’s Law reveals sin, and sin is everything contrary to His moral Law, which is: You shall have no other gods before Me, you shall make no idols, you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, keep the Sabbath day holy, honor your father and your mother, you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, you shall not covet.
In truth, “we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and worldly, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, homosexuals, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching” (1 Tim. 1:8-10), for “the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Gal. 5:14). And it is in the violation of this commandment that all human lawlessness proceeds. Yet, the source of lawlessness really begins in violating the foremost commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). .
And just so, Adam and Eve initiated the human rebellion against God in Eden by violating the greatest commandment. And from that time onward, “the Lord saw that the wickedness of mankind was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). For “there is no righteous person, not even one; There is no one who understands, There is no one who seeks out God; They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, There is not even one” (Rom. 3:10-13).
In Romans 1, Paul walks us down the human death spiral of lawlessness—and it all begins at the foremost commandment: “even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened” (Rom. 1:21). And it ends here: “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper, people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them” (Rom. 1:28-32). No society can function once lawlessness abounds—it will destroy itself.
And it is in the shadow if all this that we can see how truly “blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered” (Rom. 4:7). Amen!