Summary: The End Times are closer then some people may think. The text for these message is a guide to helping people prepared themselves for when it comes.
How to be Ready for the End Times
2 Thess. 2:1-17
As we continue our study of the letters to the church of Thessalonians by Paul, we have seen that the people have been already told about the rapture and tribulation to come. Yet some of the people were confused and started to believe that they were already in the tribulation, like some people today in society.
Paul in this second chapter of two letters addresses this and tries to strengthen the believers and prepare them for what is to come. Tonight I would like to spend some time looking at “How to be Ready for the End Times.”
I. Remember What you Know (vv. 1-5)
As we come closer and closer to the end times more and more false teachers will start to appear, so we must be careful and ready. Paul in this letter breaks his message up into two sections and in this first section he tells us that we need to remember what we already know. And the way that we can do that is by following the two exhortations that he gives us.
a. Do Not be Deceived (v. 3)
• Deception easily leads to anxiety and feat and that was certainly the case in Thessalonians.
• Unfortunately, deception in the church today is commonplace
o The church faces this constant threat of deception because “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light…His servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” (2 Cor. 11:14-15)
o The way that we avoid this deception is by following Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:14 “no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”
• We must be alert and strengthened by the Word of God.
o So when deception does comes, we will see it for what it truly is; Satan’s lies.
• We must also be careful in that we …
b. Do Not be Forgetful (vv. 3-5)
• This point is closely tied to the first one, sine forgetting the truth of God’s Word leaves a believer vulnerable to deception.
• The key to not forgetting is found in verse 5: “Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things.”
• It is apparent that Paul had already covered this topic, but they either were not paying attention or they had simply forgotten it.
• That is why I highly encourage each and everyone of you to bring your Bibles with you, to follow along in Sunday School and during the preaching time.
• I also want to encourage you to take notes, so when your mind does start to misplace what you have learned, you have something to go back to with your Bible to refresh yourself and what God has spoken to you.
• We don’t put that note section in the bulletin, because we couldn’t think of something else to put there. Put it to good use.
II. Be Strong and Courageous (vv. 6-17)
A hallmark of false doctrine is its attack on the Person and work of Jesus Christ. There is coming a satanic false religion that will dominate the world like no other in history. And at its center of worship will be the Antichrist. Paul calls him the man of lawlessness.
In this second half of chapter 2; Paul gives us four more specific exhortations to avid fear about the end times.
a. Do Not be Ignorant (vv. 6-10)
• The great thing about ignorance is that it is not permanent.
• Paul in verse 6-10 gives us four aspects of the Antichrist’s career, that we may not be ignorant.
This would be a good time to start taking notes, if you haven’t already.
1. His Revelation (vv. 6-8)
• A majority of people today believe that the preaching of the gospel is what keeps the Antichrist in check.
i. Others believe as long as Israel is a nation the Antichrist will be held back.
ii. Yet others believe that the influence of the church as salt and light keeps the Antichrist at bay.
iii. All of that is false though, because it is all based off of human actions.
• God does the restraining, “so that in his time he will be revealed.”
i. God will not allow the Antichrist to “be revealed” until God is ready.
ii. Don’t be mistaken though, just because he is restrained, his evil is not.
iii. In fact, “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work” the text tells us.
2. His Destruction (v. 8b)
• Just as the Antichrist will be revealed at God’s appointed time, so will the moment of his destruction.
o At the height of his power when he seems to be invincible, he will meet his end.