After last week’s post about the coming of the man of lawlessness, a good friend questioned whether the moral lawlessness we are witnessing now is worse than in previous generations or that it just seems so because of the availability of the media. My friend has a good point. Broadcast news is available almost everywhere on the planet twenty-four hours a day. This has never been the case in the history of the world. Therefore, it’s difficult to determine if our knowledge of pervasive evil has increased just because we know more about it via the media or if it is just the way it has always been. The interest in this issue among followers of Jesus Christ is understandable. Every generation of Christians, I suppose, has thought theirs is the last—the New Testament writers did. Paul, Peter, and John wrote in their letters instructions to their readers about this time to come.

However, it seems indisputable that moral lawlessness has increased from previous generations; certainly it has numerically. Fifty million babies have died since 1973 in the United Sates alone, almost a billion and a half worldwide since 1980. Around one hundred twenty-five thousand helpless children are aborted daily around the globe. I don’t think it’s a stretch to contend that this level of murder has never happened in the history of the world. The killing of children for personal convenience is the ultimate example of moral lawlessness and the apex of selfishness. This “lovers of self” attribute is mentioned by Paul in the very well-known portion about the last days from Second Timothy: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). 1

One could counter by saying that people have always been lovers of themselves. It is hard to dispute that; however, again, killing one’s own child trumps all other selfish acts. It is what pagans once did—although the babies may not have been taken from wombs—so their gods would grant them favor. This is one of the reasons the Lord could not abide the ongoing survival of the nation of Judah and through Jeremiah prophesied their destruction (Jeremiah 19:5-6). In his song, Spirit of the Age, Michael Card calls the killing of “innocent and helpless little babies” as offerings to the spirit of the age—Satan.

However, the murder of millions of children is not the only manifestation of our current state of moral lawlessness. The definitions of good and evil have shifted. Behaviors that were once moral anathemas are accepted, even encouraged. The state sponsorship of homosexuality in the West, in what seems to be the blink of an eye, is stunning.

People in the West are much more interested in the occult than they once were. Television shows and movies abound with it.

Adherence to naturalism—that only natural laws and forces operate in the world—has greatly increased.

The notion of absolute truth is opposed, and doubt about the integrity of Scripture has spread widely.

Universalism—the belief that there are many roads to God—has increased in the Western world.

The accumulation of this lawlessness and the convergence of events since the re-establishment of Israel and Jerusalem causes me wonder if the last days are truly here. I freely admit that I could be wrong. However, I would rather be wrong about this than not ready. Jesus warned about this lack of readiness in His parable about the unprepared and foolish bridesmaids in Matthew 25:1-13.

And here: “But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12:39–40).

And here: “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!” (Revelation 16:15).

And here: “Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:28–31).

The man of lawlessness is coming. Before he comes, the world is being moved toward an acceptance of lawlessness; therefore, his rise to power as a lawless, immoral man will not seem unusual in the least.

Please be ready. The appearance of the man of lawlessness will precede the return of Jesus. Please endeavor to know Him.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.