Summary: 9th in the series "Left Behind: 1 & 2 Thessalonians" Topic is avoiding deception in the end times.

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After 14 years of studying the Bible, William Miller became convinced that Christ would return in 1843. When Miller

announced April 3 as the day, some disciples went to mountaintops, hoping for a head start to heaven. Others were in graveyards, planning to ascend in reunion with their departed loved ones. Philadelphia society ladies clustered together outside town to avoid entering God’s kingdom amid the common herd. When April 4 dawned as usual the Millerites were disillusioned, but they took heart. Their leader had predicted a range of dates for Christ’s return. They still had until March 21, 1844. The devout continued to make ready, but again they were disappointed. A third date--October 22, 1844--was set, but it also passed. Today in the Word, December 20, 1991.

Perhaps you remember the book 88 reasons…

Many people were swayed and confused by these end time teachings, and ultimately many turned not only from faith in those predictions but also from faith in Jesus.

This is a big part of the reason that we need to have a good foundation of what the Bible teaches about the end times and a firm grasp upon our faith.

In our text today Paul writes to a church who has become confused once again about the end times and he writes to set them straight.

The question for us is “How do we avoid confusion in the midst of the last days?”

In today’s chapter I think we’ll see three important things to guard against.

1. We must not be Dismayed

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.

Apparently the church at Thessalonica, or some members of it, has become dismayed because a rumor has circulated that the “Day of the Lord” has come and gone and they’ve missed it. Paul seems to suggest that a letter or a report has falsely been sent in Paul’s name. Paul says—remain calm. That’s not true.

Mayor Richard J. Daley, defending the actions of policemen during the Democratic convention in 1968: "Get this thing straight once and for all. The policeman isn’t there to create disorder. The policeman is there to preserve disorder."

The job of the enemy of our souls is to preserve disorder in the church, over the years one of his favorite methods is causing confusion about the end times.

Granted, this can be a confusing topic. And even our text today has some room for various interpretations, but I think at least one thing is clear in these first two verses.

First, you’re not going to “Miss” the Lord’s return if you’re trusting in Jesus—you don’t have to wonder about that. Your salvation is based upon what Christ did and the fact that you are trusting in Him. The Day of the Lord isn’t going to come secretly and OOOPS you’ve missed it.

With regard to the Lords return and specifically with regard to teaching about it don’t be dismayed.

Secondly, in the last days we must take care that we..

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