Remember reading about Abraham's negotiations with God regarding Sodom and Gomorrah?
Abraham came near and said, "Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? (Genesis 18:23 NASB unless noted)
God had informed Abraham of His intentions to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness. The only thing that was preventing their destruction was the presence of some righteous people. Abraham negotiated the conditions down to ten righteous people:
Then he said, "Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it on account of the ten." (Genesis 18:32)
In the end, of the two cities that is, God removed the only four people Abraham's nephew, Lot, his wife, and their two daughters. Although the angels were able to take Lot’s wife out of the city they could not take the city out of her. She turned to look back and was destroyed with the cities. Did she regret having to leave?
Today we read of the execution (beheading) and the expulsion of Christians from various Islamic cities/countries.
The point of interest is this, by removing the righteous, as God’s sees them, those who remain seal their own fate. It’s like cutting off the branch that you’re sitting on. When the righteous are gone nothing remains to prevent God from judging/destroying the unrighteous.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)
The word here translated revealed comes from the words “from” and “uncover.” In other words, when the covering is removed the Lord will slay the lawless.