Sunday, October 14, 2012

Evil Personified

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage (for Sun., Oct. 14, 2012)
II Thessalonians 2:1-17

 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. II Thessalonians 2:8-10 (NKJV)

The Bible teaches that history is headed for a SHOWDOWN between Good and Evil. Many have tried to figure out the details of this great clash, and such study can be quit engrossing. But, we need to be careful to stay on target with extending Christ's Kingdom rather than waiting for our escape. Particular, specific details of end-time sequences and personalities can change from decade to decade, but the underlying principles of spiritual conflict remain the same. 

Many have asked, "Who is the Anti- Christ?" This is a fascinating topic. Our passage today indicates that a "lawless one" is yet to be revealed in world history. It seems that the hidden agenda of evil ( the "mystery of lawlessness") that has worked throughout history will finally manifest itself fully. Evil will become PERSONIFIED. There is now a SPIRIT OF ANTI-CHRIST at work in the world, but someday (perhaps very soon) that spirit will find full expression in a person. 

Actually, I believe we have already seen many "forerunners". True evil has many times struck in the dark days of human history. If anyone looks at the sadistic cruelty of a Nero Caesar, you will see it.  

Consider the genocidal hatred of a Hitler.  

Or, the massive murdering of Joseph Stalin.

Recently, I viewed a very difficult movie called Machine Gun Preacher that tells how a very unusual American preacher is today trying to halt the demonic slaughtering and torturing of people in South Sudan, Africa. How can such cruelty and killing be explained?  Only by understanding that evil runs through our world and occasionally becomes PERSONIFIED.

Evil can and will find personal expression. It has happened. It IS happening. So, what are we to do?  Scripture gives us a few clear instructions:

1. DO NOT BE SHAKEN OR TROUBLED. Evil is not stronger than good. Jesus ultimately wins!
2. LOVE THE TRUTH. Stay in God's Word. Live in the light of fellowship. Don't allow darkness to grow in your life. 
3. STAND FAST IN REACHING THE WORLD BY WORD AND DEED. While the world becomes darker, we are called to shine brighter.  This is our privilege.  This is our duty. This is our destiny. 

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