End-Times Warning: The Rapid Advancement of Lawlessness and the End of the Age

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Shawn Akers

Note: This is part two of a two-part series. For part one, click here.

The return of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to meet Him at the “end of the age” has not yet happened. There are specific, end-times events yet to happen—in addition to the wars and rumors of wars mentioned in the previous article.

Paul’s eschatological teachings in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 speak of a wicked “man of sin” or the “lawless one,” who will sit as God in a rebuilt Jewish temple. He will perform all sorts of pretended miracles, deceptive signs and lying wonders through the activity and working of Satan. It is this end-times individual, characterized by lawlessness, who the letters of John speak of as the Antichrist, noting that “the spirit of the Antichrist…is now already in the world” (1 John 4:3).

Do you see evidence of a “spirit of lawlessness” running rampant in our world? Everyone seems to do what is right in his own eyes, demanding “equity” and “equality” of outcome rather than opportunity.

Do you find this rapid advance of lawlessness alarming? Could it “fundamentally transform our country” and world for evil, bringing opposition, pressures and persecution on the “righteous” ones who still stand up for God and against unrighteousness?

When and How Will This Happen?

When? Believers do appear to be present on Earth during the satanic oppression when there will be “great tribulation” or severe social pressures and religious persecution. Our God is able to preserve His own during “the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Rev. 3:10, NKJV).

“For then will be great tribulation, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. Unless those days were shortened, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened” (Matt. 24:21-22, MEV).

How? We are not told how this promise of shortened days of tribulation will be fulfilled. Will the actual number of predicted days of persecution be reduced? Or will the 24-hour days be shortened by the earth’s rotation from day to night being sped up, due to an unstable and wobbling planet (Isa. 24:19-21)? We do not know.

What we do know is “God did not appoint us [His church] to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:9). Believers will be rescued and removed from earth’s tribulations just before the Bowl judgments (Rev. 15:5–16:21), in the Day of the Lord’s wrath, in a great “harvest” by our Lord’s angels:

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matt. 24:30-31)

But God is merciful and “not willing that any should perish.” He doesn’t want us speculating on when the “end of the age” will occur, but rather to watch for supernatural signs of His soon coming in redemption for the saints and His severe judgment on the unrighteous ones yet living on Earth.

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall be forever with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:15-18). {eoa}

Gary Curtis served in full-time ministry for 50 years, the last 27 years of which he was part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the Van Nuys’ California Foursquare church. Now retired, Gary continues to write a weekly blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com and frequent articles for digital and print platforms.

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