Summary: Lawlessness: The man and the mystery (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: chapter 2 verses 1-12:
• A university student was seen with a large "K" printed on his T- shirt.
• When someone asked him what the "K" stood for, he said, "Confused." "
• “But," the questioner replied, "you don't spell ‘confused’ with a ‘K’."
• The student answered, "You don't know how confused I am."
Explanation of the rules of cricket.
• You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.
• Each man that's in the side that's in - goes out,
• And when he's out - he comes in - and the next man goes in until he's - out.
• When they are all out,
• The side that's out comes in - and the side that’s been in goes out
• And tries to get those coming in, - out.
Sometimes you get men still in and not out:
• When a man goes out to go in,
• The men who are out try to get him out,
• And when he is out he goes in;
• And the next man in goes out and goes in.
• There are two men called umpires
• Who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.
• When both sides have been in and all the men have out,
• And both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in,
• Including those who are not out,
• That is the end of the game!
Like that explanation of cricket, tonight’s passage might appear to be a confusing passage:
• I will try and make it as simple as I can;
• But I can’t promise we won’t get tangled up along the way.
• The second coming of Jesus Christ is a major teaching of the Bible,
• The return of Jesus Christ to this world is here, there and everywhere in the Bible.
• There are over 400 Old Testament prophecies,
• And 318 prophecies in the New Testament that deal with the second coming of Jesus!
• A quarter of the Bible teaches the second coming.
• 1 in every 25 New Testament verses refer to it.
• In fact for every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ's first coming (xmas),
• There are 8 verses which look forward to His second coming!
• We know he came the first time,
• So we should be eight times more confident regarding his second coming.
Remember the purpose of Bible prophecy:
• Is not for us to make a calendar,
• But to build character.
• In other words the return of Jesus Christ should affect our daily living.
• It is a daily check up “Am I ready to meet him or will I be ashamed at his coming”.
• The apostle John put it this way in his letter (1 John chapter 3 verse 3):
• “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure”.
• A group of young people hanging around on a street corner,
• One of the group suggested they go to a certain night-club.
• One of the group called David said,
• “I think I’ll go home, my parents don’t approve of that place”.
• Sarcastically one of his mates said “Afraid your daddy will hurt you?”
• “No” replied David, “But I am afraid I might hurt him!”
The principle is simple:
• A true Christian will want to please his or her heavenly Father,
• Therefore the thought of seeing him face to face is a motivation to live right.
So the purpose of Bible prophecy is not for us to make a calendar, but to build character.
• Throughout history people have tried to guess the year, month and the day of his return,
• And again and again and again they have been proved wrong.
• The Bible does not give us a date but rather a guideline:
• “Live as though it could be today, plan as though it might be tomorrow”.
• I believe that is how each Christian should respond to this teaching;
• Living life as if Christ could come back today, but planning as though it will be a while.
(a). The Situation (verses 1-2):
The Christians at Thessalonica:
• Were behaving like small un-anchored boats in the middle of a stormy sea;
• They had become the victim of waves and winds and were being blown here and there.
• The storm of confusion was concerning the second coming of Jesus Christ,
• And believers were split and confused over the issue.
• For some it was the only theme of their conversation,
• Others had symbolically ‘lost their heads over it’;