Summary: A heart cry for an awakening within the church.
Apostasy And The Anti-Christ
2 Thess. 2:1-17
Verse 1 reveals to us the what Paul will be dealing with in this chapter. He writes to them concerning or regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Rapture of the church.
Paul had written to them in his first letter 1 Thess. 4 concerning the dead in Christ, and the rapture of the church. In chapter 5 of the previous letter, he also revealed to them that the church would be delivered from the wrath to come. 1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
I. The Encouragement Delivered. Vs. 1-2
a. Do not be disturbed.
Do not be soon shaken in mind ! The word "shaken" describes the ship that is tossed in the middle of the stormy ocean. Do not be troubled or fearful, not by or through the mind nor through some one’s words, nor by the writing of someone. Some believe and it is possible that someone had written a letter to the church signing Paul’s name, and in this letter had impressed upon the church that they had missed the rapture and were actually living in the tribulation period. The believers were visibly shaken by this report. Paul encourages them, and lets them know that this is not the case at all.
In the society that we live in, if the believer takes his eyes off of the Lord and focuses on the things around, and if we do not keep his word, and promises in our heart, it is easy for us to be shaken in our mind. The believer has precious promises from God that are to keep our hearts and mind.
b. Do not be deceived.
Paul further encourages them to not be deceived. Why give this encouragement, and warning ? Because the last days will be days when many will be deceived ! He further gives them some reasons that they should not be deceived.
II. The Events Declared. V.3
Paul now shares with them somethings which must happen prior to the coming of the Lord, and our gathering unto him.
a. There will be a defection.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils
The words "falling away" literally mean "defection" or "departure" Prior to the coming of the Lord there will be a great defection or departure from the faith and from truth. There have throughout the history of the church been times of Apostasy, yet the days preceding the coming of Christ will be days when more, and more will fall away from the truth of the scriptures. Is it possible that we are living in this time of "falling away" now ? It is not only possible, but probable. Many churches, pastors, and believers are forsaking the word of God today for the sake of acceptance, and accomodation. We as believers must never have the mentality of "if we can’t beat’em, join’em." We must remain faithful to the word of God, faithful to speak the truth, and faithful to take a stand for decency, and morality. God will judge those who don’t !
b. There will be a departing.
1. A departing of the saints.
Paul wrote earlier to these believers concerning this departing. I Thess 4
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Paul fully expected this event to take place in his life time. Notice the words .."we which are alive.....". If Paul thought the coming of the Lord was nigh then, how much closer are we to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This imminence should move each one of us to be certain of our relationship with God. Mat 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
If the Lord should descend now, would you ascend to meet him in the clouds or would you be left behind to endure the greatest time of tribulation ever experienced on this earth ! Get right with God this morning !
2. A departing of the Spirit.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
The spirit of antichrist is at work, and has been. The one thing preventing the man of sin, the antichrist from coming on the scene and being revealed is the Spirit of God. Check out the condition of the world today, and imagine what it will be like without the restraining work of the Spirit, and without the moral impact of the church. Once the rapture of the church takes place the Spirit of God will be taken out of the way. "Taken out of the way" literally means removed from the middle. The Spirit of God is now standing in the middle holding down the Anti-Christ, but he shall move from the middle when the rapture occurs !