2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
From the moment we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we should be looking for one thing.
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
This is believing Biblically!
In our lessons we have been seeing ways to improve our walk with the Lord.
Many places in the Bible will teach us how to better serve the Lord but the bottom line is that looking for Jesus Christ to return to take us home is our greatest encouragement to living a life dedicated to Him.
We need to live our lives with the expectation of seeing our Lord.
We should be filled with joy continuously with this thought and the reality of it.
This is the medicine we need when we are having that bad day.
There is nothing wrong with this being the topic of our conversation!
Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
It is only after the Rapture of the Church that it will be the “time of Jacob’s trouble”.
Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
Jesus is coming and we will be going and only then will the Lord begin again to deal with Israel.
Israel will go through the 7 year tribulation period but not the Church!
So Paul continues:
*****2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
Paul is writing this epistle to erase any doubts and any confusion this church may have had about the return of Christ in the two separate events. (The Rapture and The Second Coming)
Paul will go further to explain the time of Christ’s return and place it in it’s proper light.
Paul is not referring to the day Christ came as a babe born in Bethlehem.
Paul is not referring to the day of the Lord when Christ will sit on His throne in Jerusalem.
Paul is referring to the day Christ will gather His Saints in the clouds!
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in “the day of Christ”, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
The “day of Christ” is the day of the Rapture.
The “day of the Lord” is the day the Lord returns to this Earth at least 7 years after the Rapture.
This also the “time of Jacob’s trouble” and Israel will be saved out of this tribulation to begin the 1000 year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
Paul is speaking to saved people as these things only concern saved people.
It is these saved people who gather together unto the Lord and have been commanded to gather more often as they see the day of the Lord approaching.
Paul said we must consider and learn all these things before we get so shook up worrying about God’s day of wrath.
Let the world concentrate on the day of God’s wrath and we concentrate on the day Christ Jesus will gather His Church!
For the Church, we should be looking for that “Blessed Hope” and not the “wrath of God”!
The Bible teaches us these things for a specific reason.
*****2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
We sometimes have poor memories. Paul had tried to make himself clear in his first epistle but through false teaching or a letter from some other source than Paul, these people had gotten confused and were shaken in their minds.
When they found themselves going through such bitter persecution and in their many troubles they felt that they had missed the Rapture and were already in the “day of the Lord”.
They had lost sight of the truth!
When we lose sight of the truth of the Word of God, we will get confused!
The Lord will definitely return with His mighty angels but not till the Church has been removed from this Earth!
We must not be deceived.
*****2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for “that day” shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
The “day of the Lord” cannot begin until the Church has been gathered to the Lord!
There are some things that must take place before the Second Coming of Christ!
Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
What is the “falling away”?
A “falling away” is a defection from the truth. A falling away is a turning away from the teaching the sound principles of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
Not one soul that believes on the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ can be lost but much teaching today denies the fundamental doctrine of the “Gospel”.
This was occurring even at the time of these Thessalonians and this was the reason Paul was writing this second epistle.
Many who claim to be saved today do not know what to believe in and to doubt in the truth is to remain lost!
In the Book of Revelation this is called the doctrine of the Laodicean Church.
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
When this teaching reaches it’s full fruition the Lord will return.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
When the Lord Jesus cannot enter any doors He will call His Church out of this world!
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
That “falling away” actually means “standing away” and on the day of the Rapture, the Church will stand before Christ at the “Bema Seat”.
Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
The 7 year tribulation period cannot begin until after the Church has been removed and it is only then that the “Man of Sin”, the “son of perdition” can be revealed!
This a fact of the Scriptures!
That “man of sin” is called the “son of perdition” because of his being fully energized and control by Satan and can be said to be the “son of the Devil”.
When we look back we have one example who was named Judas.
Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.
Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and “one of you is a devil”?
Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the “son of perdition”; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
Mar 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: “but woe to that man” by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.
This same person is called the “Antichrist”.
1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
Just as Judas was antichrist there were many others but the true Antichrist will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church.
This is the same prince that shall come in the Book of Daniel.
Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of “the prince that shall come” shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
This is the Beast of the Book of Revelation.
Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
His true identity will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church and soon after that the first half (3 and one half years) tribulation period on this Earth will be begin.
This is the 70th week that is mentioned in the Book of Daniel.
Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The second half of the tribulation period (The Great Tribulation) will begin when this Antichrist sits on the throne in the rebuilt Temple of God.
*****2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
The Apostle Paul clearly understood all these things and he was trying to keep the “Gospel” simple for these Thessalonians.
This Antichrist, the son of Satan, will be the leader of a worldwide global religion that is against all the Word of God.
This will consist of all false religion that is left behind after the true Church has been removed!
This is the false king of the Book of Daniel.
Dan 11:38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
This evil son of the Devil will take this opportunity to speak to all those that are left behind by speaking great words against the Most High God.
He will win many over with his “God given” powers.
Dan 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
He will proclaim himself to be God to all those that are left behind.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, “whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.
We must remember the things that are taught in the Word of God and not from those that teach a false doctrine.
*****2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
Wherever Paul preached he declared the whole counsel of God.
Just like these Thessalonians, we listen to others who only preach what we want to hear or just tickle our ears when we truly need to the truth of God in it’s entirety over and over again.
As faithful as these Thessalonians were they did not study the Bible as they should have and none of us do!
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
There are no secrets in the Bible “that we need” during the Church Age that are hidden! Everything we need to know is in the written Word of God!
Luk 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
The Word of God is perfect now.
Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
So what restrains the man of sin from being revealed?
It is not in the power of governments that hold back the “Man of Sin”!
It is not in the power of social structures that hold back the “Man of Sin”!
It is not in the power of man-made laws that hold back the “Man of Sin”!
It is only by the work of the Church that follows the whole counsel of God that can hold back this evil Antichrist!
The true Church would point this man out immediately and he would lose some of his power!
Evil in our world is growing because so many places of worship avoid teaching the whole counsel of God as the truth!
It is the influence of Christians in this world who, not only win others to Christ Jesus but who are the salt of this Earth and the light of this world!
This only happens because each Christian is indwelt and guided by God’s Holy Spirit.
It is the presence of the Holy Spirit within the Church that prevents the revelation of the Antichrist!
*****2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
The “mystery of iniquity” is the exact opposite of the “mystery of godliness”.
What is the mystery of the godliness?
1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
The “mystery of godliness” is the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!
The Holy Spirit indwells each believer and delays and hinders the “mystery of iniquity” which is the Antichrist, the “Man of Sin”.
That word “let” means the Holy Spirit will “make late” and will not “permit” the Antichrist to reveal himself until He (The Holy Spirit) is taken out of the way.
When will the Holy Spirit be taken out of the way?
Paul has been teaching the Rapture of the Church. The Church has no power without the Holy Spirit.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
When the Church is removed from the Earth there will be no one left on this Earth who will have the power of the Holy Spirit to resist evil.
There will be no one left to witness for Jesus until God begins dealing with Israel.
The Holy Spirit is not removed, it is His influence on evil in the world through the human beings that follow the Word of God, that will be removed. It is the Church that has been removed.
The Holy Spirit will not be restraining the forces of evil as He is today through true Christians!
This is when the “son of perdition”, the “man of sin”, the Antichrist will be revealed.
*****2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
This evil man will have 7 years to claim to be triumphant!
He will be lawless. He will set himself above the laws of God and also the laws of man.
He will have certain powers given to him by God.
Rev 13:5 And “there was given unto him” a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and “power was given unto him” to continue forty and two months.
Rev 13:7 And “it was given unto him” to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and “power was given him” over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
After these 7 years the Lord will destroy him with the “sword of the Spirit” from His mouth.
Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Rev 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
In our day and for many years, many Christians have sought for “signs and wonders” to increase their faith.
Jesus preached against these things.
Joh 4:48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.
It is obvious that the danger is very real of being led into a false doctrine and not in the “Saving Grace” of God.
It already estimated that 80% of those that say they are Christian will slide off the pews into Hell.
Satan and his false prophets are also able to shew “great signs and wonders” but these are “lying wonders” intended to mankind into a false worship of this “Man of Sin”.
Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, “they shall deceive” the very elect.
How are these things avoided? By receiving and accepting the truth of God.
*****2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
What is the truth of the “Gospel” and the entire Word of God?
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Those that refuse this truth before the “Rapture” of the Church, will “perish” into eternal damnation under the rule of the “Man of Sin”.
There will be no second chance after the Church has been taken out of this world for anyone who has had the opportunity to receive the truth of the Word of God.
God is sending His Word around the world as time goes forward and with the technology of today surely the Word of God can reach into all places.
Behold, now, today is the day to believe!
2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, “now is the accepted time”; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Now, before the Rapture of the Church, is the accepted time to to be guaranteed to miss eternal damnation.
Christ Jesus has made this to be such a simple thing.
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted “from the simplicity that is in Christ”.
Because they have rejected the truth of the Word of God they will have missed their opportunity to be saved when the Church is taken out!
*****2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
A merciful God will withdraw His mercy from these that have rejected Him because they received not the love of the “truth”.
The “truth” is still the “truth” even when no one believes it!
Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
What is strong delusion?
“Delusion” is the misleading of the mind.
What is the lie that Satan has told from the beginning of sin?
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and “ye shall be as gods”, knowing good and evil.
That “lie” is the idea that man is his own god and can do whatever he pleases without any judgment!
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and “worshipped and served the creature” more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
All those who have refused the “truth” of the “Gospel” will be given strong delusion by God Himself when the “man of sin” is revealed and they will believe Satan’s lies.
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Now we are foolish to believe that the Holy Spirit will not convict souls to be saved after the Rapture of the Church.
There will be those that never had the opportunity to understand and receive the “Gospel”.
There will also be those Jews who will then see the “light of the Gospel” once the Church has been removed!
Souls will be saved during the tribulation period!
Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Most of them will have died as martyr’s!
Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
**And there will be a great many saved BUT not one individual who has rejected the Lord Jesus during the Church Age and is alive during the 7 years of tribulation will get another opportunity to be saved because they will believe the lies of the Antichrist, the lies of Satan!
All those that did not believe the “truth” of the “Gospel” will be damned to eternal damnation.
Even during the tribulation period salvation can still only come by Jesus Christ!
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The names of those that die before accepting the Lord Jesus Christ are not in this book of life.
Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life”, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
The names of all that worship the Antichrist are not written on this book of life.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, “whose names are not written in the book of life” of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Why should we be so thankful? Because from the beginning this has been God’s plan.
God has never had to piece meal a plan together, God has always had this plan!
*****2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God has had this plan from the beginning to save every soul He created!
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
The means of salvation was decided before God spoke His first words of Creation in Genesis 1:1.
Those that are saved are called when they hear the “Gospel”, believe the truth of the “Gospel” and are then sanctified by the Holy Spirit or set apart by walking in the “Gospel” by the Holy Spirit.
It is only these who have believed who will one day be “Glorified”!
How was this plan accomplished for these Thessalonians?
Act 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
And there are always those that will reject the “Gospel”.
Act 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
Act 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
God will provide this opportunity to every human being that has been born on this Earth!
God already knows because God knows the beginning and the ending of us all!
Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
Therefore because these things are true.
*****2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
Traditions can be either valuable or they can cause harm depending on whether they follow the Word of God!
The New Testament Church was barely 20 years old at this time and there were only a few books of the New Testament written.
The Word of God was taught according to the Doctrine of the Apostles.
Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
These teachings are the “oral traditions” that Paul was referring to.
To deviate from this “Doctrine of the Apostles” caused confusion in the early church, until all the books of the New Testament were written and then there would be no more “oral traditions” of the Doctrine of the Apostles it was this doctrine that has now been written down for them and us all.
We now have the complete Word of God and Jesus has these words as John last Apostle has written.
Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
We can be established if we adhere to the Word of God!
*****2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and “good hope” through grace,
2Th 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
All these things have been provided for us by the “Grace” of God and by God’s salvation plan, and they all come through Jesus Christ!
We must go through Jesus Christ to reach God, Our Father.
Because He has given us everlasting comfort, and not just hope but “good hope” because He loves us.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Don’t you just love the Word of God and the Truth of it?
God’s Word is not confusing!