But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!2 Timothy 3:1-5
We are now living in what many have termed “unprecedented” days or times! What life was like 3 months ago will not return. One of the many evils of our day, and on the rise, is the worldwide use of force to intimidate, strike fear into the hearts of many, and the ruthless destruction of thousands of human lives.
Two words, in particular, come to mind:
- LAWLESSNESS (disregarding the law, illegal, law-breaking, not subject to law, transgression, unlawful, violation, without or against law).
- TERRORISM (The Oxford American Dictionary, p. 709 – – defines terrorism as “use of violence and intimidation, especially for political purposes;” and, I may add, to cause fear and submission to one’s agenda.
Putting these two words together, we live in a worldwide society wherein there are numerous individuals or groups that seek to lawlessly terrorize those who are law-abiding citizens. They consider themselves to be “right,” as they define “right” to be “might!” So, throughout the world we find lawless terrorists, whose aim is to force others to submit to their ideologies by “hook or by crook!”
Here we find a total disregard and rebellion against the laws of God, who is the Almighty, the omnipotent One! And it is to His authoritative Book, the Bible, that we now turn for insight and instruction. (I will limit our study to what the New Testament teaches about Lawlessness, although there is much in Scripture dealing with Terror as well) – –
Let’s first glean some INSIGHTS from the Scriptures regarding lawlessness
The particular Greek root word for “lawlessness” (anomia, or anomos) occurs 25 times in the New Testament. It is found six times in the Gospels, one time in Acts, 12 times in Paul’s writings and six additional times in the General Epistles or letters.
Due to time and space restraints, I’ll only direct you to a few of these 25 occurrences:
- During the upcoming and worst time in all of human history, lawlessness will abound. In other words, there will be an abundance of it! (Matthew 24:12) … During this most dreadful time, one will appear whose very title will be “the lawless one,” he is the antichrist, the very epitome of lawlessness (II Thessalonians 2:7, 8) …
- Robbery (stealing) and murder are against God’s Laws (Mark 15:27, 28; Acts 2:23) …
- Christ hates lawlessness (Hebrews 1:9), because lawlessness is sin (I John 3:4) …
- This sin is forgivable (Romans 4:7; Hebrews 8:12; 10:17) …
- For Christ came to redeem us from every lawless deed (Titus 2:14) …
- And finally, He is also able to deliver the godly from the deeds of the ungodly lawless ones (II Peter 2:7-9) …! [Soon, God will deliver us as He alone can (II Corinthians 1:8-10), and this is why it is called “the blessed hope” in Titus 2:13 – – the removal of genuine believers in the Messiah to heaven]!
Now that we have gained some INSIGHTS regarding lawlessness, let’s look at some INSTRUCTIONS from the same Scriptures:
- Instructions have to do with what we’re going to do about this matter of lawlessness: or, how we are to handle it.
- In this regard, I would like to make 2 points:
- WE MUST REMEMBER THE PAST!
- There are literally hundreds of illustrations in Scripture and history to this day of the way believers have dealt with various crises relating to the lawless behavior of the ungodly.
- Out of these multiple real-life crises, I would just like to look at one for now. It is found in the Hebrew Scriptures and comes from the life of David. Please turn to I Samuel (30:1-6)….
- Let me point out some salient points:
- Amalek was a grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:12, 16) …
- Amalekites were sworn enemies of God (Exodus 17:16) … [No evidence of them found since the 8th century B.C.]
- They stole, they kidnapped, and burned Ziklag (30:1-3) …
- David’s human & natural response was weeping (v. 4) …
- All his people were bitter [marah] (v. 6) …
- BUT, David strengthened himself in the LORD (v. 6) …
- WE MUST ALSO RESPOND IN THE PRESENT!
- Here we have some important similarities with what is taking place in our beloved nation today. Unless we seek the LORD our God and explicitly trust Him & Him alone, we have no hope. He is not only our only Hope, but the greatest One in this universe and for all times! He alone is God! Isaiah 26:3,4 and12:2 put it this way….
- By way of conclusion, let’s ask ourselves some important questions:
- Does God keep His Word, & can you count on His promises?
- Is God all-powerful, or are mere men and circumstances more powerful than God?
- How often has God told us to trust Him? (Psalm 53:6) …
- Do we pray & really believe in God answering prayer?
- Is there ultimate deliverance for the believer?
- Is there ultimate and eternal wrath for the lawless?
- Might this not be the best time to share the Gospel (good news) of Jesus the Messiah with others?!
- Do you know Him personally as your Savior??
- WE MUST REMEMBER THE PAST!
Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.Isaiah 55:6-7