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Santa Fe High School. Another horrific shooting at another school in the United States. Why do people do such things? Speculation immediately begins about the shooter’s motive, and, as is usually the case, the picture is murky. So, with no callous intention or lack of compassion for suffering, I would like to offer my opinion about these terrible murders. It has to do with the age in which we live. It is an age that continues to slip into wickedness, which I think is a foretaste of the lawless one who is to come.

Now, I may be accused of being a Bible-thumping, apocalyptic (read “deranged”) Christian, but I don’t need an apokálypsis, which means revelation (Think that word has been compromised a bit?), to think this way. I just need Paul, who wrote that before Jesus returned, the lawless one must appear and the one who restrains will be taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). So, do I believe Jesus will return? Yes. So, I also know at least these two things must occur.

But what does this mean, the lawless one? I once thought that the man of lawlessness would be a man of chaos. However, I think this no longer. Governments will always respond to chaos with restrictive power, to protect their own power. However, the word “lawless” in Scripture also means “sin” or “wickedness.” It is difficult to deny that sin is on the rise and has now been institutionalized in our governments. Thus, I think that the onslaught of wickedness we are experiencing is in preparation for this evil individual. Our moral condition will not improve (barring a continent-wide revival), although, certainly, we should try to restrain the decay with the power of the state as long as possible. However, the government of the U.S. has already surrendered to lawlessness by making abortion and homosexual marriage legal (Think Canaanite religions, which required the sacrifice of babies, and Sodom and Gomorrah). Thus, I think that lawlessness will continue to cause moral chaos in the world—like the murdering of children in schools. I don’t believe anything of this earth will curtail it. God is slowly withdrawing His restraining hand and has been for some time. “Only he who now restrains it (lawlessness) will do so until he is out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7b).1 The “he” in this sentence is very probably the Holy Spirit, since He is the One who convicts people of their sins (John 16:8).

Thus, to return to apocalyptic thinking, this verse comes to mind when insane, murderous incidents occur:

“When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come!’ And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword” (Revelation 6:3–4).

Is peace being taken from the earth so that people should kill each other?

In the 20th century, over 25 million people were massacred all over the world—massacres, not wars. Concerning war, almost 2.5 billion died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the War in Vietnam. Over 26 million people died in China’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Thus, almost 3 billion people died in these violent catastrophes. I add with sadness that almost as many babies were murdered in that century, as well, somewhere between one and two billion.

Is it outlandish to maintain, then, that he who restrains sin is being taken out of the way?

The man of iniquity is coming. He will be a man without law, a son of destruction, coming with wicked deception, blasphemy, and working false signs and wonders. He will hate the saints and try to destroy them.

This man is coming. Restraint is being removed. It must. It must because Jesus will return, and these things will happen before His coming. Scripture plainly tells us this.

What should Christians do? Pray. Pray for your nation, for your community. Pray for revival. Pray to remain strong in Him. Don’t be sucked into the sinfulness so pervasive in the culture. When the Book of Revelation tells us that the beast will conquer the saints, it says, “Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:10b). We will need this. When the Book of Revelation tells us that the saints will be pressured to take the mark of the beast, it says, “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).

Three things: Endurance. Faith. Obedience.

 

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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