M’Cheyne: 2 Kings 2 (text | audio, 5:00 min)
2 Thes 2 (text | audio, 2:11 min)
Highlighted: 2 Thes 2:7-8
Taunts: On the playground, one kid questions the authority of another with a familiar taunt: sez who? As adults, our settings may be different, but our sentiments are largely the same, i.e, adultery is wrong sez who? Ever since God “died” in the Enlightenment, any appeal to the grand sez who seems backwards and childish. To whom do we appeal now? Yale Law Professor Arthur Leff says that authority “can be only one place: in us.” This may seem freeing at first, but it is actually quite “despairing,” Leff argues. 
Lawlessness: Paul says that “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.”  Lawlessness, however, is not a disregard for the law or a willful disobedience of its regulations. It’s an orientation of the heart and mind that asks, who sez what the law is? Even Leff, an agnostic, realizes the problems of such an orientation. He continues, “All I can say is this: it looks as if we are all we have. Given what we know about ourselves and each other, this is an extraordinarily unappetizing prospect … Neither reason, nor love, nor even terror, seems to have worked to make us ‘good,’ and worse than that, there is no reason why anything should. Only if ethics were something unspeakable by us, could law be unnatural, and therefore unchallengeable. As things now stand, everything is up for grabs.” Napalming babies, starving the poor, buying and selling each other—if there is no grand sez who, then who is to say what is “bad” or “immoral”?
Appearance: Lawlessness happens when we place ourselves at the center of reality. As the refrain in Judges repeats: “In those days, there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”  How does lawlessness end? “At the appearance of [Jesus’s] coming,” Paul writes, lawlessness will be brought to nothing.  Today, as we look upon the gospel, the Spirit empowers us to say No to lawlessness and Yes to Christ’s gracious authority over our lives.
Prayer: Lord, We have lawless hearts. Although we are Christians, we forget the gospel and, as a result, begin to hate the law. Because we live in a lawless age, we need accountability. Give us deep fellowship with others that is based on true and humble acknowledgement that we need other to help us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus so that we obey the law with happy and joyful hearts. Amen.
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 Arthur A. Leff. “Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law.” Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository. 1979. |  2 Thessalonians 2:7 ESV |  Judges 21:25 ESV |  2 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV