Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
Outrage seems to be the new buzzword in our country today. Wherever we turn, people are shouting at one another and hurling insult after insult. We see it on the news, in airplanes, and in the public square. What is going on?
Behind all of this outrage is what Jesus called “the spirit of lawlessness.” To be lawless is to act without restraint. It is to rebel against the laws of God and man. This is exactly what we are seeing in our world today. And it is exactly what the Apostle Paul described in 2 Thessalonians 2: 7; “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work….”
The spirit of lawlessness is rooted in rebellion and often manifests itself in anger and rage. It is spawned by deception and wreaks havoc not only on society but also on the individual operating under its influence.
As the late prophet David Wilkerson pointed out, at the root of the spirit of lawlessness is the lie that God will not punish sin. Wilkerson further taught that in the last days, the spirit of lawlessness would become rampant as more and more people are deceived by this terrible lie.
Have you not heard the argument that a good God would not send people to Hell? This way of thinking is one manifestation of the spirit of lawlessness at work in a person’s life.
This lie is especially insidious when it infiltrates the Church and perverts the Gospel. Many churches today teach that God’s grace does not require a change in lifestyle once a person accepts Christ. This is blatant deception. Sin has become a bad word. An unmentionable word, lest we offend. But unless a life shows the fruit of conversion, I would seriously question if one has, indeed, been born again.
Lawlessness generates anger, and anger quickly turns into rage. A few years back, I was driving and came to a red light. While I waited for the light to change, a young man in a truck in the lane to my left jumped out of the passenger side and began screaming obscenities while shaking his fist in the air at the drivers around him. It was a sight frightful to behold. But more than fear, I experienced a deep compassion for this young man who was in the grips of Satan’s deception, and I prayed for him.
|“Sin has become a bad word. An unmentionable word, lest we offend.”|
So why is the spirit of lawlessness taking over our land? The Apostle Paul gives us the answer in 2 Thessalonians 2: 10: “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
People embrace lawlessness because they refuse to embrace the truth. The next verse explains what will happen to them because they refuse to embrace the truth: “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
There it is in a nutshell: Our land is raging with rage because many people have refused to accept the truth of God’s Word and, as a result, their minds are being deceived with Satan’s lies. Unless they repent, they will be condemned to Hell.
So, what can we, as followers of Jesus, do in the face of rampant rage?
Here are a few tips:
1–Always speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4: 15). Truth without love drives people away. Love without truth drives them farther into sin. Truth combined with love leads people to Christ.
2–Always be a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5: 18). It is to this we have been called as Christ-Followers. Rather than stir up foolish arguments just to prove we are right–arguments that lead to anger and rage–let’s focus instead on pointing people to Jesus Christ so that they can be reconciled to God the Father.
3–Always stay in God’s Word (Joshua 1: 8). Study it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. When you know the Truth, you will instantly recognize the Lie. When you recognize the Lie, you can renounce it and be free. And then you can lead others to freedom as well.
Bottom line, the rage problem in our land is a heart problem. And this heart problem can be solved only through the transforming power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Now, it’s YOUR turn: What suggestions would you offer regarding how to deal with lawlessness and the rage that comes from it? Please comment in the box below.
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Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.
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