Summary: Three questions arise to me out of our chapter: • Who is the Man of lawlessness? • What power is holding back the rise of the antichrist? • How do I keep from being deceived by the Great Deceiver?
Summary of last week:
2 Thessalonians was written shortly after the first letter was delivered. Most likely the deliverer of the first letter noted some serious misunderstandings of The Coming of the Lord and end times beliefs which needed to be addressed. Paul writes this letter quickly upon hearing that there had been a prophetic word or revelation that the Day of the Lord had already happened. There was also an issue of some who had quit working after becoming a Christian. Paul writes this letter to help this young church to mature in their faith and to be a quiet witness with their lives for the people of Thessalonica.
Sermon 6: Boast of His Image! From chapter 1 of 2 Thessalonians
Thesis: Are you boasting about Jesus and His image – are others looking at you imitating Jesus and boasting about your faith, love and spiritual maturity? Paul did of the Thessalonians! Are there those in our community boasting about our perseverance as a Church or as believers? Do others see us standing up and boasting for the image and the message of Jesus?
1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers,
2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.
3Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?
6And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.
7For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
9The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,
10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
12and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
13But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
14He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
17encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
Sermon: Imitate Christ not the anti-christ!
In this passage of Scripture from Paul we see Paul addressing the misunderstanding that Jesus has already returned. He lays down the foundational teaching on what precedes the 2nd Coming of Jesus. He makes it clear that certain world events need to take place and the biggest of these world-wide events is the rise of the man of lawlessness the antichrist to power.
Video Clip: From You Tube “Left Behind – World at War – Trailer”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvsW46FzCd8
It’s important to understand that Paul wants the church to be doing the work of the Lord today, they need to be actively fulfilling the Great Commission not sitting around expecting to leave this world today or tomorrow. They need to be ready at any moment to be Raptured away to Heaven or be prepared to be persecuted for the Gospel which many were in that day. The church was under persecution since its inception but the key is to be ready now! They were to be busy working for the Kingdom of Heaven.
The section of the letter was not to arouse fear but to calm fears and apprehension. It was to tell the people of God to be ready for Jesus return when you see these things happening in the world.