Except for His Restraint (2)
Our Lawless Age (14)
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 2 Thessalonians 2:7
We have seen that God restrains the ungodliness of our lawless age by the memory of His Law–in the codes and statutes of American jurisprudence and in the hearts of every human being.
There are two other ways that God graciously works to restrain our nation’s descent into a death spiral of rebellion and sin.
God’s Holy Spirit “strives” with sinful men (Gen. 6:3), wooing them through displays of beauty, noble and generous thoughts, the kindness of strangers, and many other ways to desire things which may not add to their pleasure but which, somehow, just seem right. How can it add to our pleasure, for example, to come to the aid of a sufferer or to give to relieve the plight of the poor? Yet we do it in spite of our selfishness, because the Spirit of God woos our consciences and provokes us to good works.
Finally, the Church of Jesus Christ, as the salt of the earth and the leaven of grace and truth, holds off what would otherwise be the rapid spread of moral decay and corruption. For all our shortcomings and compromises, we are still the people of the Book, those who look to God’s Word for guidance in how to live. And that cannot help but affect the people around us and how they live. Indeed, the more consistent the Church is in living out its calling as salt, light, and leaven, the more the other aspects of God’s restraining presence can have their powerful effects.
Let us, therefore, resolve that in this lawless age, we will walk with the One Who restrains the wickedness of men and nations, so that we might be a force for beauty, goodness, and truth in an age in flight from God.
And He walks a path, not of lawlessness, but of the Law of God (Matt. 5:17-19; 1 John 2:1-6).
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In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).
Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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