Man of Sin


(Interesting comment from James Denney in his Exposition of Epistles to the Thessalonians; Hodder and Stoughton; 1906)

His (the Anti-Christ's) coming, he says—and he uses the word applied
to Christ's advent, as though to teach us that the event
in question is as significant for evil as the other for
good—his coming is according to the working of Satan.
When Christ was in the world, His presence with men
was according to the working of God ; the works that
the Father gave Him to do, the same He did, and
nothing else. His life was the life of God entering
into our ordinary human life, and drawing into its own
mighty and eternal current all who gave themselves up
to Him. It was the supreme form of goodness, absolutely
tender and faithful ; using all the power of the
Highest in pure unselfishness and truth. When sin
has reached its height, we shall see a character in
whom all this is reversed. Its presence with men
will be according to the working of Satan ; not an
ineffective thing, but very potent ; carrying in its train
vast effects and consequences ; so vast and so influential,
in spite of its utter badness, that it is no
exaggeration to describe its "coming" by the very same words which are
applied to Christ Himself. If there is one word
which can characterise this whole phenomenon,
both in its principle and in its consummation, it
is falsehood. The devil is a liar from the beginning,
and the father of lies ; and where things go on according
to the working of Satan, there is sure to be
a vast development of falsehood and delusion. This
is a prospect which very few fear. Most of us are
confident enough of the soundness of our minds, of
the solidity of our principles, of the justice of our
consciences. It is very difficult for us to understand
that we can be mistaken, quite as confident about
falsehood as about truth, unsuspecting victims of pure
delusion. We can see that some men are in this
wretched plight, but that very fact seems to give us
immunity. Yet the falsehoods of the last days, St.
Paul tells us, will be marvellously imposing and successful.

(Picture by Linda Smith)

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