Posts filed under ‘salvation’
Technocracy to Tribulation highlights many things that have been happening in society that have been moving the world toward the Battle of Armageddon. Satan has deftly used the world’s resources and leaders to bring about a one world system that comprises politics, economy, social mores, and all the rest. God will even give Satan a very large helping hand when He (God) pours out a delusion over the earth that will cause people to believe Satan’s lies wholeheartedly (2 Thessalonians 2:11). While it may seem unfair that God is helping Satan out, God only sends the delusion because people have consistently rejected God’s truth. God doesn’t send the delusion willingly, but only because this is what the world actually wants (Psalm 2).
The world can tell me to shut my mouth about specific issues. The world can also tell me to stop speaking about Jesus, His love for sinners of this world, and His desire to save those who see and embrace His truth. While I will not build a platform around an issue like homosexuality, I will build one around the need for the lost to embrace the only salvation that is available.
Though God threw a huge monkey wrench into things with the Tower of Babel, when Satan was initially attempting to build his one-world government, apparently, God has allowed Satan to continue working since then. In spite of the concerted prayers and effort on the part of true Christians everywhere, God has simply said, “I hear you, but I’m saying no to your requests. Satan will be given his time to come against Me and for that to happen, the world will become one, ruled by Satan’s spiritual son, Antichrist.”
The mere fact that Christians live on this earth goes much further in keeping God’s judgment at bay than the fact that righteous Lot lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. In spite of how evil this world is becoming (and will become), the fact of the Church’s presence acts as a wall of sorts that keeps evil in check. It is not the Church itself that has that power, but the Holy Spirit who resides within the Church. It is He who stands up to Satan and even though Christians are persecuted and even martyred for their faith almost daily throughout the world, this does not mean that the Holy Spirit is somehow weak or losing His grip. The Holy Spirit – through the Church – restrains evil, keeping the world from what it will one day become.
Paul implies that the Thessalonian readers already knew who the restrainer was because Paul had already told them (“you know what restrains him”). With reference to evil – the lawless one, defined also as the “mystery of lawlessness” – that is defined with a personal pronoun as well. Evil resides in Satan. He is thoroughly evil and one day, he will have a “spiritual” son who will do his bidding. That son will be the Antichrist and he will be completely indwelt by Satan. In fact, this “indwelling” will mimic the way the Holy Spirit indwells each believer.
How does one come away from a verse like that and determine that it was not God Himself who restrained Satan? It can only be done through exceedingly poor and sloppy exegesis of His Word. God spoke a warning to Satan, telling him he could do anything he wanted to Job except touch him on his person. Later, we know that God modified this to allow Satan to do what he wanted with Job except take his life. Why did Satan obey? Because it was God who gave him his marching orders, not some impersonal barrier or “restraint” that has no mind or power of its own. The restraint was literally God’s Word, which is God Himself (John 1:1).
It is the Rapture that is expectantly waited on by the powers of darkness. They know that once it occurs, the Holy Spirit will no longer have the invisible Church through which to work, to convict the world of sin and to call them to righteousness. At that point, Satan and his minions will have far greater leeway to work. They will not hesitate to use every dark art to their advantage as they race toward the culmination of human history in Armageddon. Satan actually believes he has a chance of “besting” God, but we know that Satan (via Antichrist) will be destroyed by a word from the mouth of our returning Jesus, during His Second Advent (2 Thessalonians 2:8).