Summary: What could be more comforting than the promise of Jesus being fulfilled - that Jesus could come at any moment, even today to take us to heaven.
1. DOUBTS & DISCOURAGEMENT, … They’re making their way through the church in Thessalonica.
a. Soon after Paul’s departure, the false teachers were so quick and so thorough in shaking their faith.
b. DOUBT: Lacking confidence, Distrusting, to consider unlikely.
c. DISCOURAGEMENT: disheartened, lacked confidence
d. James describes the effects of doubts when he says…
James 1.6-8 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
AND that’s exactly where this young church is…
• They lack confidence in the truths surrounding Jesus Christ.
• They distrust the reality of the resurrection.
• They consider the 2nd Coming of Jesus HIGHLY unlikely!
• So Paul opens CH2 with…
I. (2:1-2) Stand Strong
1. (1-2) A Letter was circulating…
a. He says, don’t TREMBLE, don’t be NERVOUS, don’t be filled with ANXIETY over these false teachings & false teachers.
b. Whether they come by word or false letters, don’t believe them… Just dismiss them completely.
NOTE: there is that need as mentioned in 1 Thess 5:21
• “Test all things, hold fast what is good.”
• Don’t just accept what you hear on the radio, or TV but be a student of God’s Word and compare all you hear with the Word.
APP: this is especially true in the basics of the faith.
• Here at Calvary Chapel, there are at least 2 ways you can get grounded & rooted in the basics of Christianity.
• First there is the FOUNDATIONS CLASS on Monday nights.
• Then there is THROUGH MAIL BIBLE BASICS study.
• Both will give you a solid foundation on essentials like faith, love, sin, the nature of God, the deity of Jesus, etc.
Why is this so important? Because the Bible warns us of different WINDS OF DOCTRINE floating through the church.
• And believe me, they do. Let’s over to Ephesians 4.11ff
• These winds are not necessarily false doctrines, but still things that are designed to shake you, unsettle you, & distract you.
• Which naturally leads to deception… look at v3.
II. (2.3-12) Sinful Man
1. (3) Don’t be deceived by any means.
a. This truth is so important to hang on to & understand.
b. Don’t let ANYONE deceive you in anyway.
NOTE: Satan will use ANY & EVERY MEANS that is at his disposal to deceive us.
• He’s not satisfied with a shaken faith.
• He’s not even satisfied with an anxious faith.
• What’s he’s shooting for is a DECEIVED, and ultimately DESTROYED Christian.
John 10.10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
• Satan is not only a liar, but he is also the father of all lies.
• And one of the major attacks he sends is deception.
How do we guard against deception? Know & practice the truth.
• Know the truth about GOD. He loves you and is working in you.
• Know the truth about SIN. It destroys and brings forth death.
• Know the truth about FORGIVENESS. If we confess our sins…
• Know the truth about GRACE. God’s unmerited favor toward us.
• Know the truth about YOURSELF. We’re weak & needy people who need to cling to Jesus every day of our lives walking in the Spirit so that we might not fulfill the lusts of the flesh!
John 8.32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
• Free to be all that God wants you to be!
SO from v3-12 give us the unveiling of events leading up to the Day of the Lord, the coming of Jesus Christ.
• They were shaken and troubled so Paul reminds them of the truth that he taught them earlier – see v5
NOTE: I’m sure some of them as they heard this letter read to them said… OH YEH, NOW I REMEMBER!
• Ever feel that way while studying the Word?
• Doesn’t bring you such great comfort to be reminded of the truths of God’s word!?
• I love it when God reminds me of something I’ve forgotten!
• Look forward to reminders. Let’s flip to 2 Peter 1:12ff
• It’s not repetition for repetition’s sake.
• It’s a godly & spiritual reminder for your spiritual health’s sake!
SO… a few things will occur before the return of Jesus Christ.
#1 – A FALLING AWAY (v3).
• The original word in the Greek here is ‘APOSTASIA’
• It’s where we get our word APOSTASY from.