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Devo for Sunday June 21

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  • Devo for Sunday June 21

    Satan’s Master Plan

    Most people underestimate the power of the devil. We imagine the prince of darkness tempting a grade school boy with pornography or enticing a high school girl to cheat on an exam. He does that…and does it well. But the Bible refers to Satan as “the prince of this world” and “the god of this age,” He offered Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world” if He would just bow down and worship him.

    Satan’s ultimate goal is world dominion. Our adversary is a fallen archangel who has some supernatural power. He knows his time is short and is determined to kill, steal, and destroy as much of God’s creation as possible before he is thrown into the fiery pit prepared for him and his minions. In the meantime, the father of lies is making every effort to drag as many people into hell with him as he can.

    The second chapter of 2 Thessalonians provides a glimpse into Satan’s master plan and helps make sense of recent events. The current world chaos is too well orchestrated to be mere coincidence. It speaks of an evil, sinister force working behind the scenes to counter God’s desire for peace and goodwill for all men. Not all students of Bible prophecy would agree with my interpretation. Yet the scripture warns, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

    Second Thessalonians 2 prophecies that in the last days a villainous world-leader, whom Paul identifies as ‘the man of lawlessness,” will ascend to power out of nowhere. “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called Godor is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

    In my childhood, I heard preachers insist that someday a devious, charismatic leader would usher the world into a global economy and a universal religion. This Satan-inspired tyrant would promise peace and safety but lead the world into chaos and war. Anyone who resists him would be ineligible to buy or sell anything and be bullied into submission.

    That idea is based on several Scriptures. The prophet Daniel wrote, “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood” (Dan. 9:26) The Apostle Paul calls him “the man of lawlessness” who is “doomed to destruction” (2 Thess. 2:3-4). The Apostle John predicted, “the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). In Revelation, he’s identified as “a beast coming out of the sea,” “… the dragon (Satan) gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority,” “the whole world was astonished and followed the beast” (Rev. 13: 2-7).

    Commentator David Guzik explains, “The Antichrist will look wonderful, be charming and successful. He will be the ultimate winner and appear as an angel of light. In this sense, the Antichrist will be a satanic messiah instead of the true Messiah, Jesus Christ.”

    So today, when I hear conversations about “A New World Order,” “Global initiatives,” “International law,” and “social revolution,” my spiritual antenna goes up. When the World Health Organization shuts down the entire planet for weeks with a warning of a pandemic, it’s evidence of how receptive the world is to universal oversight. It also demonstrates how vulnerable we are to embracing a charismatic leader who would promise assurance in a time of panic.

    The Bible teaches the antichrist’s efforts to establish world peace will be as futile as the tower of Babel was in the days shortly after Noah’s flood. Since he’s opposed to the one true God, the man of lawlessness is “doomed to destruction,” and Jesus will overthrow him, with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming” (2 Thess. 2:8).

    I’m inclined to believe several current events are Satan’s preparations for the soon-to-surface man of lawlessness.

    (1) The breakdown of law and order. “That day will not come until the rebellion occurs, and the man of lawlessness is revealed” (2 Thess. 2:3). Who would ever believe that a handful of anarchists could occupy six blocks of a major American city, including a police station, and the police vacate the premises and allow the subversives to take over? Or that city councils would seriously entertain defunding the police? There’s a widespread disrespect for civil authority.

    (2) The inversion of truth and falsehood. “God sends them a powerful delusion so they will believe the lie” (2 Thess. 2:11). The Bible warns, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” Church gatherings are dangerous and unimportant; massive protests are exempt and essential. Immoral behavior is celebrated; Biblical commands are derided. The racism of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, is ignored, while Christopher Columbus is trashed because of his racist beliefs. What inconsistency! Satan is the father of lies and the master of deceit. So all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness” (2 Thess. 2:12).

    (3) The elimination of nationalism. According to Acts 17:26-27, God established national boundaries for our good and our protection. Yet, for globalism to succeed, nationalistic pride must be eliminated. There seems to be a concerted effort to destroy America’s spiritual heritage, tear down heroes, and denigrate anyone who is patriotic. Revolutionaries are poised to welcome a new, more equitable system than the one offered in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    (4) The final prerequisite to a one-world government is the rapture of the church. “And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time” (2 Thess. 2:6).Jesus predicted in the last days, “many will depart from the faith” and “because of the increase of wickedness the love of most will grow cold.” Paul warned the time would come when preachers will not put up with sound doctrine but will just say what itching ears want to hear.

    Early efforts at re-gathering the church following the pandemic shutdown have not been encouraging. It’s estimated an average of only 33% have returned to worship. In the last days, the church will be so weakened by compromise that most members won’t be able to distinguish between God’s truth and Satan’s lies. They will endorse Satan’s irreligious agenda and get sucked into the lie that humans can save themselves through international cooperation and social engineering.

    In the end, the small remnant of believers who would offer strong resistance to the antichrist will be abruptly raptured by Christ and taken out of the world. “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed” (2 Thess. 2:7-8). When the Holy Spirit, living in the hearts of believers, is taken out of the world, the strongest resistance to Satan’s scheme will be removed, and the way paved for him take control.

    But the good news is, “The Lord Jesus will overthrow (him) with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.” After a brief and bloody reign, the antichrist is doomed to destruction, along with those who have worshipped the beast. Then every knee will bow to Jesus Christ as Lord. And “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).

    “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:11-12).
    “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you…” (2 Thess. 2:15).



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