vv 3-4. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.
There was a time (probably during the Victorian era) when there was a general belief that the world was gradually becoming a more wholesome place. Better housing, better education, better food supplies, a good measure of peace in the world …. Humanity was on the up and up! Just how wrong that was. World Wars, over-population, climate change, plastic waste in the oceans, social unrest in huge cities and threats of atomic warfare. Add to all that the rise of aggressive religions and cultural divisions. Is the world really becoming a better place I wonder?
And where is God in all this? Has He abdicated His throne and left us to get on as best we can? Even Atheism has become a more acceptable and assertive world view.
But looking at the Bible we should not be unduly surprised. We may feel desperately concerned about it and quite rightly continue to pray for peace and stability in the world. With the impending return of Jesus however, Paul sees chaos and lawlessness looming on the horizon. He writes about ‘a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed ‘ Not a pretty picture is it.
The return of Jesus to this world as a triumphant King will bring great blessing for His people, but don’t expect a smooth run-up to that time. When you hear of wars and famines, floods and earthquakes, don’t think for one moment that God has lost control of history. There are likely to be more leaders like Stalin and Hitler who will shake their fists against God and claim to have supreme power. I will still hang on to the view of God which the Psalmist presents in Psalm 2:
Why are the nations so angry?
Why do they waste their time with futile plans?
The kings of the earth prepare for battle;
the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one.
“Let us break their chains,” they cry,
“and free ourselves from slavery to God.”
But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them.