Let no one deceive you in any way.

2 Thes 2:3

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It is hard not to notice the many ways in which faith, and in particular, Christ is denied in present day American culture.

I am most struck by the proposition that is often uttered, especially by the modestly educated from our once-prestigious universities and (of course) by the most political among us, that “religion is to be excluded from our discourse and public and private life.”

What these people are saying is, in essence, this: we are too good, too advanced to need religion, more in-the-know, smarter – and far more intelligent than to follow any supernatural nonsense like religion.

Let’s face facts – we live in an age of apostasy.  Yes, we live in an age where others (the Leftists, modern liberalism, secularists, the modestly-educated class, and the government, judiciary included) try to coax or force Believers to give up their faith – and as for Christians: deny Christ.

The Second Letter to the Thessalonians (among other portions of the Old and New Testament) address our circumstance and is useful in providing fair warning to each of us in these days.  (2 Thes 2: 3-17)

In a Chapter entitled “Christ and the Lawless One” we learn that it is through apostasy that the lawless one is revealed to us.  And that the one who is lawless is doomed to perdition as he exalts himself above all others and all else so to claim his status as “a god.”

Does this not provide a fascinating proposition?

We learn in this chapter that the “mystery of lawlessness is already at work.”  Yet, that this lawless one will be killed by “the breath” of the Lord and rendered “powerless by the manifestation” of the Lord’s coming.  Yes, the lawless one and in the advert of apostasy, are the herald of the Lord’s coming – a each a necessary element of Christ’s return.

In the presence of apostasy and the Lawless One – those who adopted “the lie” and “not believed the truth” face condemnation.

In these times – and in the present day, it is the sacred task of Believers to stand “as the first fruits of salvation,” to witness in the face of challenges “the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Thus we are instructed to “stand firm and hold fast to the tradition you were taught … 

Thus is our call today.

Shalom.

Addendum – After reading this chapter last night, I prepared to retire and the thought came to me that I might want to turn on the radio.  When I did: I heard a discussion of the second chapter of Thessalonians – yes, a discussion of “Christ and the Lawless One.” What are the chances of that happening?  What do you make of it?

For an excellent read on faith and apostasy, I highly recommend Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo’s Silence which depicts the plight of Catholic missionaries in 16th century Japan.

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