Living a life is much like climbing mountains–the summits are always further off than you think, but when a man has a goal, he always feels he’s working toward something.”
–Louis L’Amour (The Lonely Men)
“If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”
–Exodus 18:23 (NLT)
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first…”
–2 Thessalonians 2:3 (NKJV)
“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.”
–2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 (NKJV)
Let me give you a couple of thoughts to ponder this morning and throughout the day. First of all, look at 2:3, “the falling away.” That is interesting, yet something that should concern us. Barna shows that the age groups that attend church the most, read their Bible more, and pray are the groups knows as Elders and Boomers. His study shows that each following generation grouping is less with the Millennials and Generation Z showing the least inclination to pray, study God’s Word, and go to church.
Here is the question: is this the “falling away” that is seen here? If so, and even if not, it should make us more aware of our responsibility to that generation; that they hear the Word of the Lord. This is the generations of my grandchildren. Let us be diligent with our responsibilities and obligations.
Second, in this version the “He” in “He who now restrains” is capitalized. I have heard that it refers to the Holy Spirit. But then, I have some questions. If the Spirit is God, and He is, He is omnipresent. If people are saved during the Tribulation, and there will be, who will convict them and apply the blood of Christ, if the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way?
In the past I have thought it may refer to the Church. What will it be like on earth once the Church is removed? The Church is you and me; it represents light and salt. If the light and salt is taken away evil will run rampant. Yet, I lean toward the idea that it is a particular ministry of the Holy Spirit that will be taken away. Troublesome times will overtake the earth.
I heard a preacher, several years ago, mention in prayer one day why evil continually abounds and why morality is dropping and changing in America. He mentioned in his sermon that God revealed to him that the Lord allowed the political climate so that a revival and a change could take place, yet the people of God did not heed the call. This was when Reagan and Bush were presidents. Following them the tide began to change. Moral standards began to drop and terror began to arise. Then another President, a man of faith–George W. Bush. Gene Smith in his book, Faith & the Presidency states that George W. Bush spoke about his faith more than any President in our history. For that he was maligned and the evil tentacles of hatred began to appear. Then there was eight years of the Obama administration when postmodernism and all its delights had a hey-day and political correctness ran rampant. Now, unless there is a national awakening what lies before us?
A falling away by the nation morally! The mystery of lawlessness is already at work, and soon the Holy Spirit will be taken away and it will be a literal hell on earth. Read the Book of Revelation and see all the times the word “Woe” is used. In this time it would be good for us to handle the pressures that are coming to bear. And perhaps we should pray that last prayer in the Scripture, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”