For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming.
The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (NRSV)
The law of inertia states that an object that is at rest tends to stay at rest, until a force is acted upon it to make it move. An object that is in motion tends to stay in motion, until a counter force acts upon it to stop its motion.
In our paradoxical lives in which we have one foot in the earthly kingdom and one foot in the heavenly kingdom, can we ask ourselves, in what direction are we allowing ourselves to be pulled?
Are we sitting on the fence, not moving one way or another? The church in Laodicea received the harshest criticism of all the churches who were addressed in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 3:14-22) simply because they were neither hot nor cold. They weren’t really terrible, but they weren’t doing anything good either. They were lethargic, apathetic and stagnant. Nothing got accomplished through them. Human beings were created to grow and move- or they will decay and wither away. Indifference does not remain an option for long. God’s message to us and love for us demands a response.
If we are set in motion to move toward the side of the heavenly kingdom and the things of God, then that inertia- and the Holy Spirit- keeps pulling us to desire God more and to concern ourselves with material gain and earthly power, pleasure and influence less. We respond to God’s grace and love and mercy, and the more we respond to Him the more we are pulled toward Him.
If we are headed toward all the power and things and influence that the world sets in high esteem here in the earthly kingdom, the inertia is set in the opposite direction, opening the door for the tempter – whether you see Satan as a spiritual entity or as a fallen angel, or simply as a personification of evil, the fact remains that evil in the world is real. Addiction is a good example of one of the worst temptations of the world. It holds empty promises, and hollow euphoria that only lead to destruction and death.
The good news in this is that good and evil are not evenly matched. Dualism is not supported in Scripture, because we know how the story ends. Evil is powerful and today it is most pervasive, but it is not going to last forever. Evil is not going to win. God and good prevail over evil, even though we might not be seeing that victory lived out right now. We are still in the “right now,” but “not yet.”
God has already chosen us. In Baptism we were named and claimed and marked with the Cross of Christ forever.
How do we live in response to that knowledge? How do we reflect the truth of “God Wins!” in our daily lives?