I find it very interesting how the terms “lawless” and “lawlessness” have been all over the news and on the tips of many tongues lately. As the people of Ferguson, Missouri are experiencing great lawlessness, costing many their livelihoods, the spirit of lawlessness is spreading across the nation. The events of Ferguson are not isolated; we have seen them in the past and are experiencing a steady increase in occurrences.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines lawlessness as “not regulated by or based on law: not restrained or controlled by law: unruly.” As a nation built upon the rule of law, this lawlessness is a great threat to our nation, because it gives people the idea they can do whatever they want to do without consequences. They can riot, burn and loot and the law does not apply to them. They are immune to the rule of law.
Lawlessness is not only a threat to our nation, but a threat to the souls of man. In Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus said:
Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Those who practice lawlessness will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. They will not be recognized as children of God. The eternal threat to a man’s soul is even greater than what we see happening in our nation, but the events are painting an even bigger picture for us.
As I look at the looting and rioting taking place in response to an unpopular court decision, I recognize it as a sign of the times. As Christians, we must realize Jesus spoke of the Last Days, when lawlessness would abound:
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 24:11-13).
Many will say looting and rioting has happened before and Jesus has not come back yet, but they are failing to recognize the true signs. When people loot and riot in a protest against what they see as a failure in our legal system, they have begun to see good as evil and evil as good. Whether you agree with the verdict of the Grand Jury or not, lawless rioting in the streets is not the solution. It is simply an excuse to commit crimes.
Even greater lawlessness is taking place when government officials and sports players are participating in the perpetuation of the lawlessness. When you go out in public and proclaim law was unjust and we have to violently protest to make a stand, you are part of the lawlessness.
The saddest testament to this entire situation is the number of pastors who have come out in support of this protest, many using the name of Martin Luther King Jr, as an example. As a Christian man, who knew the Word of God, Dr. King Jr. was not a lawless man. He was a man of peaceful protests. He would not approve of the violence and lawlessness permeating our society over this tragic event, and even greater, our Lord Jesus Christ would not encourage or approve of the lawlessness of the people.
The most important thing to remember is man’s laws are not the final word. God will have the final judgment and He knows the whole truth. He will determine who was innocent and who was guilty. His judgment will be wholly just, for it will be according to His great love, grace and mercy.