The Secret Power – Gospel in Life

The Secret Power

Tim Keller |  August 18, 1996

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  • Prophecy
  • Sin
2 Thessalonians 2:1-8
RS 70-12

2 Thessalonians 2:1–8

Paul’s letter in 2 Thessalonians 2 alerts us not to be fooled by false predictions about when Jesus will come back. He tells us that before this happens, there will be a rebellion and a man who breaks all laws will be revealed. This aligns with what 1 John 2:18 says about the antichrist and the spirit of antichrist being active in the world’s last days. The focus here is to clear up misunderstandings and look deeper into the man who breaks all laws, the influence of lawlessness, and its healing.

1. The man of lawlessness

We don’t know who the man of lawlessness is. It’s also advised not to guess when Jesus’ return will happen because it will be as unexpected as a thief in the night. Some people believe that Christ’s second coming has already happened symbolically, but there are signs hinting at a future event, though they’re too unclear to give exact details. The important thing is to approach prophecies humbly, knowing that lawlessness is more than just disobedience. It’s a total rejection of law, a shift in societal beliefs that has been increasingly visible since the mid-twentieth century, with harmful outcomes.

2. The power of lawlessness

The secret power at work in the world is sin, personified by the man of sin who puts self-interest where sacrificial love should be in God’s temple. Sin works on the principle of “your life for mine,” which is the opposite of God’s sacrificial love. Understanding this helps us see how sin affects us and the world. But, by accepting Jesus’ sacrificial love, which meets the Law’s requirements, we can find healing and restoration.

3. The healing of lawlessness

The harmful power of lawlessness, which is already active in our lives, can be lessened by recognizing its influence and how it shows itself, like taking advantage of others or sacrificing ourselves for approval. Overcoming this doesn’t need more effort, but a focus on the wonder of Jesus and His grace, which can free us from lawlessness. To really value the Law, we need good friends who can remind us of the gospel, encouraging joy and thankfulness in obedience, and letting the greatness of Jesus wipe out lawlessness and bring healing.



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