Social Distancing, Social Justice and the Spirit of Lawlessness
The other day I was shopping for groceries and found myself going the wrong way down an aisle- not once but twice. I honestly did not think about it until the guy I had walked by the opposite way pointed out my error and said, “you’re going the wrong way!” He was really serious, and because I did not want an argument in the middle of Food Lion, I apologized and kept walking. I understand the initial reason why we have been asked to social distance. However, since the events in Minneapolis occurred, there is a new reminder from health experts that says;
HEALTH EXPERTS SUPPORT ANTI-POLICE PROTESTS- “As public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission… This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay at home orders.” (source Fox News)
What? This should not be confused…? This is ridiculously confusing and speaks to a potentially greater issue at hand. No one is denying there has been a virus. No one denies there should be equal justice under the law for every person regardless of race, color, or creed. But someone needs to be intellectually honest and identify if this is a health issue to preserve life, a justice issue to protect life or something larger that is unseen. No, I’m not talking about the deep state or secret meetings of a privileged few who have an agenda to destroy America. I am speaking about something that was clearly identified in the first century by the man who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament. The Apostle Paul wrote these words that give us insight about what we are watching around the world right now:
“For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work…” (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
God’s word indicates that behind every seen action, is an unseen spiritual agenda to bring the world into a place of chaos for the purpose of ultimate control. Rioting, calls to defund law enforcement, political unrest, minimizing the importance of houses of worship are all part of this hidden motivation. Daniel 7:25 gives a chilling prophecy about what this “spirit of the antichrist" will attempt to do;
“He will defy the Most-High God and wear down the saints with persecution, and he will try to change all laws, morals, and customs.”
To further understand, one has to look at the bigger picture. The word lawlessness is from a Greek word that means no law or anti-law. It is the opposite of Christ's Kingdom of order and peace. Keep in mind, it is a supernatural, unseen, demonic spirit. Much of what we are witnessing and what people are doing makes no common sense, but it doesn’t have to when it’s driven by a dark underworld that is unrestrained, undisciplined, and evil.
What is more frightening is that Jesus will use the same terminology when speaking about believers who are part of the last days' church. In Matthew 7, he taught
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice LAWLESSNESS!’
What is clear is that the Lord is not speaking to a lost world but a lost church. The reason they are driven away from Jesus is that those in the church were lawless. In other words, they did their own thing regardless of what God said. While singing "He is Lord" on Sunday morning, their lifestyles revealed THEY were Lord on Saturday night. This is that group who want the benefits of Jesus as long as no one tells them what to do. That’s the real definition of lawlessness; my way versus God’s way.
It also becomes clear he is not speaking about any kind of so-called Christian here but charismatics and Pentecostals. The reference to prophecy, casting out devils, and mighty works refer to supernatural gifts of the Spirit practiced among these groups including the one I belong to. It’s actually possible to be in the atmosphere of the miraculous and miss heaven; not because the gifts of the Spirit weren’t present but because the heart of obedience was not.
Quite frankly, I’m worried for many church people who say they know the Lord but have no evidence of a heart that wants to be submissive to him and the leaders who serve them each week. I’ve mentioned before that many in the religious world were upset the church got treated as non-essential during this pandemic but why not? American Christians have treated the church as non- essential for years. Our attendance is optional if we have better things to do, few serve, fewer give. We would never think of being late for work but come in late for church thinking the Lord would accommodate us whenever we happened to arrive. Sexual immorality is at an all-time high among churchgoers, the holiness of heaven is treated like legalism and we somehow can’t understand why there is a lack of supernatural power in our lives and revival in our cities. No wonder we were treated as non-essential. The world just followed our example.
Please understand, there are many good people in the body of Christ hungering for spiritual awakening. However, we cannot ignore this warning from Jesus to the church and lawlessness in the world that has the potential to seduce the strongest among us.
What’s the answer? It’s often quoted and yawned over but here it is again:
“if my people…I will heal the land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Our Land obviously needs healing, and many have become lawless in the eyes of God. Can this healing of the nation be done with a few governmental changes and emotional speeches? No. We’ve tried that for decades and it hasn’t worked. That is not to say we don't need to have decent conversations but the history of that still has not brought us where we need to be. But there is hope! Those of us who desire lawlessness out and the liberty of God’s presence in, have the option to humble ourselves and lean into the mind of Jesus and listen to His voice. This time there must be a supernatural shift of hearts by the Holy Spirit. That’s not just religious talk. It’s the only hope we have and how God has done it with the history of spiritual awakening. That’s why you’re essential to this worldwide plan of the father.
When Paul finished his teaching on lawlessness, he reminded us:
“With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say (2 Thessalonians 2:15)."
Now let’s get to it.