Pastor Mac Hammond | May 9, 2021
God is a God of order. He does not create chaos. In fact, He ordained offices of authority within various realms of humanity that will help keep chaos and anarchy at bay. Why would anyone step outside of those laws and choose to create chaos? Why would anyone choose anarchy over peace? What can we do to prevent lawlessness in our family, our city, and our nation? These are the questions surrounding the mystery of iniquity, the next mystery Pastor Mac addressed this past weekend in his series, Mysteries of the Kingdom.
God’s law is important. It establishes moral and ethical boundaries for our behavior. Without it, there would be chaos.
When we see the law’s boundaries within which life can be lived well, lawlessness is frustrating.
Watching other people blatantly break the law and choose anarchy over peace can leave us speechless. Is there anything that we can do when we see lawlessness and iniquity at work?
Yes. Paul talks about the mystery of iniquity (or lawlessness) in 2 Thessalonians 2. Lawlessness is in this world, and one day will be centerstage when the antichrist (“the man of lawlessness”) takes over. That will not happen, however, until the Church of God is removed from this earth through the rapture. Until that day, we are here to hinder lawlessness.
How do we hinder lawlessness? First, we follow God’s law. That remains true, even when the law of the land goes against God’s law. We don’t act out in lawlessness, but we use the channels given to peacefully stand for God’s law above all. Second, we teach our families how to choose wisely. We train children to see the benefit of following God’s direction. Third, we follow the royal law of love.
You see, we can’t force anyone to follow God, but we can love them—and God’s love fulfills the law. We can have an effect on lawlessness by loving people. We can provide an environment for them that makes it more likely for them to choose to follow God. This is our path to unity over division and our chance to shut down chaos: love people well with the love of God that He has placed in our hearts.
2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 KJV
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
Romans 13:1-5 KJV
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Romans 13:8-10 KJV
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shbalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Romans 5:5 KJV
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Matthew 7:22-23 KJV
Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
1. What does loving others look like to you?
2. What’s one way you can practically love others today?
3. When anarchy is seen in the streets, what will our behavior on social media promote: lawlessness or love?
4. How does God’s grace help us fulfill God’s law?