Matthew 7:23, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
Matthew 13:41, “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness.”
Matthew 23:28, “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Matthew 24:12, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”
Lawlessness is an interesting word. It was used frequently by Jesus. In the original language it is the word for iniquity (anomia). The original word is a compound word. The prefix “a” means “not” or “without,” and the root word “nomia” means law. So, the meaning of the original word is “without law.” It is like the word apolitical in English. The letter “a” modifies the word political and refers to someone who has no interest in politics or who is otherwise not involved.
Again, Jesus used this word frequently. We would do well to pay attention to what it means. It refers to a person who sets aside law. But Jesus is not referring to any law. This is a person who has no interest in the commandments of God. When I use the word “commandments” I am not referring only to the ten commandments, but to the will of God as revealed in scripture. I believe this is how Jesus is using the word. What is important about the word, then, is not any specific law to which is refers, but the concept of being without law.
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“Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
We hear people say that “life is short.” But the reality is that very few people allow that truth to guide how they live. Most people go on as though they will live forever. But if we would pause every now and then and remember that our time has an expiration date, we might stop to consider eternal things. One day – and it is fast approaching – we will stand before the eternal One. Wisdom is gained by remembering the brevity of life. One day we will stand before God and give an account of the time we had. In that moment so much that we find important today will seem like trivial nonsense. “Why?” we will ask, “Why didn’t I think about this day?” The only thing that will matter in that moment is God. And we will know then that the only thing that mattered in life was God. Remembering that that moment is fast approaching will encourage us to “redeem the time.” And it will encourage us to live for God. The truth is that life is short. We are but a vapor and a breath. It goes by so fast. That moment of accountability will be here before we know it. We should live today with the knowledge that tomorrow we stand before Him. How would that change your day? What would be different today if you knew that tomorrow you will stand before Him?
In the book of Ecclesiastics Solomon writes that God “…has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end” (Ecc. 3:11). I believe the eternity he speaks of refers to the place that God is meant to fill in our lives. Notice, eternity is placed in the heart. Just like each cell has a nucleus with a DNA molecule, so each heart has Continue reading →
One of the most important decisions a person will make in life is the choice of their spouse. According to the One who designed marriage, marriage is to be a lifelong commitment. The Bible is clear, God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Therefore, choosing a spouse is not a matter to be taken lightly.
Unfortunately, we live during a time when the idea of marriage Continue reading →
It is an unfortunate reality that evil exists in the world. It is an even more unfortunate reality that much of the evil found in the world is found in the human heart. When we are confronted with the gospel, we are confronted with our own sin. It is often the case, however, that while we recognize Continue reading →
In his letter to the Corinthians Paul wrote, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32b). He was writing to the church to help them understand the importance of the resurrection of Christ. Without the resurrection of the dead, there is no forgiveness of sins and there is no motivation to suffer in service to God. Why suffer if this is the only life we know? The whole verse says, “If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’” Paul was not encouraging sinful living, only Continue reading →
I want to suggest that the title to our lesson is more challenging than we might think. We are accustomed to hearing that when one believes in Jesus as their Savior, all is well. Such a person is said to be “saved.” Indeed, the call of the gospel is to believe: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31). However, those who believe are given the equally important command to, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19). When we follow the Lord, Continue reading →
When Jesus stood before Pilate, Pilate asked the question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). He asked this in response to Jesus’ claim, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). Pilate demonstrated an unwise heart. As a result, he was unable to hear the voice of God. He was looking truth in the face and denied Him. Jesus was trying to open his eyes with His statement. We serve such an amazing God. Even while a prisoner, Jesus was seeking Continue reading →
We love rag to riches stories. It cheers our heart to see a person born into adversity only to make it big. Our text reveals just such a situation. In Proverbs 8:1-21 we see wisdom calling simple ones, and to those who answer we see their station in life elevated.
In the opening verses of chapter eight, wisdom is standing in the public square calling Continue reading →
We live in a very permissive society. Sexual immorality has swept across the land. The porn industry is a multi-billion dollar a year business. That’s billion with a B. Both men and women have been swept up into the spirit of the age concerning sexuality. Unfortunately, very few have not felt its effects. In such an environment, Continue reading →