Signs and Wonders
Our Lawless Age (5)
The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10
Our lawless age is characterized by many influences such as the Apostle Paul describes in these verses—people and institutions capable of impressive, amazing, even spectacular achievements, things so dramatic that they captivate the minds and win the hearts of the very people Christians are seeking to persuade to saving faith.
We make a mistake in this passage if we focus on the “signs and wonders” part rather than the result described in verse 10. The “signs and wonders” Paul had in mind were works inspired by the devil, works of such influence that they deceived people into thinking they were the form of truth.
It is important that we remember that such “signs and wonders” need not be of the miraculous sort so often depicted in popular end-times scenarios. Jesus told Peter that he was in the grip of Satan because he thought he could improve on Christ’s redemptive work (Matt. 16:23), which he presumed to do at the end of a sword (Matt. 26:51). Paul condemned Elymas as a “son of the devil” because he tried to persuade the proconsul not to believe in Christ (Acts 13:8-10). The work of the devil is unto deception, to keep people from turning to Jesus Christ. His methods and means are always appropriate to the time and place in which he chooses to work, and he sticks with what works for as long as it does.
Thus, in our day, when pop culture, technology, the secular media and academy, the worlds of entertainment and marketing, and large sections of the scientific community have proven to be so impressive and so adept at sowing doubt and deception into the population, why should Satan resort to more “supernatural” devices? In our lawless age, there is no shortage of distractions, diversions, and other secular “signs and wonders” which keep people from considering the claims of Jesus Christ as of any real importance.
Couple these with church leaders who allow people merely to believe and then to indulge all the worldly diversions they choose, and you have a script that Satan, having written, will be content to follow for as long as it holds firm.
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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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