2 Thess 2 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
This writer believes the Lord shared something with him yesterday. That is, restraint is progressively being lifted. The Lord often works progressively. He reveals His truth in the bible progressively. He changes lives progressively, and now it appears that the removal of restraint is occurring progressively.
What would a progressive removal of restraint do to and for the world. What it would do to the world is expose the world to what is coming. You can think of this as a foretaste of whats to come. This is also a great act of mercy. The Lord is not throwing people straight into the fire of tribulation, rather the world is being given a taste of what "the" tribulation is going to be like in advance. Those who are watching and take notice, are thus given time to change their hearts and minds beforehand. Have you ever heard the phrase "forewarned is forearmed?" Also those who overpower to escape as we read in Luke 21:36 may not take part in the tribulation as a result of the mercy being shown today.
The change of heart written of above is what is being done for the world. Every ounce of mercy and grace the Lord can show, He is showing to this world right now, today. The blind, deaf and dumb might look around and say "this is mercy?" To which this writer would say "yes, it is." Those who do not have eyes to see have not seen bad yet. They believe that "recovery" is right around the corner. They do not believe that any of the unfolding tragedies in the world have caused this world to permanently 'turn the corner' of no way back. The world as people knew it just a few years ago, is gone forever.
How can this writer say the old world is gone forever? Events like what is taking place in Japan are permanent change of state events. You dont just sweep tons of radioactive dust back under a doormat somewhere and get on with life as usual. No, change is taking place. In the case of Japan, it is destructive change and that change is evidence of the removal of restraint.
This writer believes that what has happened in Japan is largely manmade, earthquake, tsunami, nuclear plant failure and all. Thing is, what man has done, was allowed. That is, enough restraint was lifted that this was permitted to happen. Whether your view is that the earthquake and resulting events were manmade or not, it was allowed to happen. Our Lord with his perfect sight into the future, knows exactly what the results of this disaster mean for mankind. Unfortunately many too many people have their heads permanently buried in the sand. This writer is amazed at how unfazed humanity is at event after event striking this world like an iron rod, and they plod on through life as though everything is fine and "this too shall pass." Newsflash for these people, the half-life of Plutonium is such that people will "pass" before the plutonium does so no, everything is not business as usual.
The removal of restraint we see happening progressively before us is a great act of mercy. The tribulation itself will be a great act of mercy. The Lord will bring hell to earth instead of men to hell to try mankind in a fire so hot that any who can be saved, will be saved through the fire. Remember the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man begged Lazarus to tell people that hell was real so they would believe and not go there. The tribulation that is coming to earth will prove how real hell can be without people having to actually go there. That is mercy. An an eternity in heaven as the result of a finite time of trouble on earth is mercy multiplied by mercy.
The Lord has impressed this writer with a theme for today. That is, "finish strong." If there are two words that this writer believes the Lord has for us today, they are: finish strong. World events and the inner witness tell this writer that time is short. This writer plans to live the next 6 months as if they will be the churches last 6 months on earth. This fall the feast of trumpets has RAPTURE written all over it. Am I predicting anything? No. What if the Lord does not come back for us tomorrow or this fall? Easy, I keep patiently waiting for Him. Despite the foolishness that affects many "other tribbers" belief that we will "take the mark of the beast" or "not believe anymore" if the Lord tarries, we will continue to watch regardless of what happens. Why? Because thats what the Lord commanded us to do. How hard is that to understand?
If the tribulation starts and we are all still here, that means what? It means we continue to watch for the Lord as were commanded to. We can stop watching for the Lord when we are face to face with Him. Anyone who stops watching before that is a fool. The Lord called them fools, not me. The foolish virgins did not bring enough oil to have light. Without light you cannot see. If you cannot see you cannot watch. The Lord calls the foolish virgins fools for this thinking. No need to watch now they thought. They were wrong.
It does appear that we are living in the last days. The Lord appears to be progressively lifting restraint on the evil of our age so it can come out of the closet. The purpose of this progressive lifting instead of an all at once offensive of evil is to bring in those soul that can be brought in before hell does appear on earth.
There is an escape coming, thats a fact. Escape was promised, escape will be delivered. Those who wake up before the tribulation starts, may overpower to escape (Luke 21:36).
The Lord has impressed this writer with the words "finish strong." Those words have alot of meaning to this writer. Over and over again the Lord portrayed our life experience as a race. Let us finish the race with endurance and perseverance. Let us pray for all the brothers, our friends and family and ourselves that we will be given the wisdom and strength to both know the will and mind of the Lord and do His will.
grace and peace