So many passages to the Church from Christ’s apostles give serious and dire warnings.. forewarning of things to come, lest we be swept up into the error of the age – warnings that the mystery of lawlessness can damage the stability, of a Christian.
We are well down the path of that volatile society, about which we are warned. We are living at a time when Christian stamina is increasingly being wearied. We are experiencing a season when the believer’s endurance is being taxed.
Are we to throw up our hands in horror as we see society tumble into the abyss? Are we to bemoan these evil days and sink deeper into a Slough of Despond? Are we to simply to sit back and sanctimoniously accept prophetic inevitable? – for scripture tells us that the error of lawless men will wax greater in end times.
I think not – important though it is to recognise the signs of the approaching “day”, we shouldn’t accept the inevitable by allowing it to submerge our witness and walk. The deeper the darkness of the hour, the more vivid the brightness of His illumination. The greater the troubles of this age, the more manifest is His glorious, sufficient grace. The bigger today’s pressures and pain, the more readily will Christ carry His own – though not always in the way we expect.
Grace upon Grace
As the mystery of lawlessness increases, so the mystery of godliness multiplies – grace; more grace; much grace – grace built upon more grace. ‘For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.’ John 1:16 ‘For where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, Romans 5:20 -pressed down; shaken together and running over.’ Luke 6:38 We are to be lights in this darkest of age. We are to live our life in patient endurance. We are to hold fast and not to lose our steadfastness. We are not to be swept away by the error of the age – the mystery of lawlessness.
The mystery of lawlessness is the multiplication of evil in a world of fallen men. We are forewarned that this mystery can cause the loss of a believer’s stability: ‘for men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. John 3:19 But we are forewarned of this approaching period by the apostle Peter: ‘you, therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware..’ 1 Peter 3:17
It is often said that the darkest time of the night comes just before the break of dawn, and the darkness we are experiencing today is heralding the bright Morning Star. Today’s increasing wickedness is a precursor to Christ’s return for His bride: the Church. In the meantime, the mystery of lawlessness is reaching fullness and we are to take care. Beware: ‘be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position’. 2 Peter.3:18
Grow in Grace
But – praise God this dear apostle, Peter, continues with the next verse. He explains in simple terms how this is achieved… ‘but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 2 Peter 3:18 We grow in grace and mature in the faith when we fix our eyes on the Lord, and the mature believer is the one that will not be overwhelmed by life’s circumstances.
Remember – God has an eternal perspective, and we are called on to patiently endure.. and God has equipped His children as He prepares us for our eternal future: ‘for I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us’. Romans 8:18
103 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;
18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
20 Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
21 Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.