Summary: Before the end Satan has a good plan to be bad. His plan centers on two points. The first point is ‘lawlessness.’ The second point is ‘believing what is false.’ We need to know this plan so we do not get caught in it, trapped, and end up coming to nothing ourselves.
SATAN’S TWO-PRONGED ATTACK
INTRODUCTION… TWO-PRONGED TRAVEL PLAN (p)
It is always a good idea to have a plan. When I went on a road trip at the end of April to Colorado for a funeral, I had a plan. I decided to take my time driving and stop at different places along the way for the purpose of enjoyment, but also spiritual renewal. Kelly looked up neat places to eat and to see. I wanted to stop in Kansas and Colorado at towns where my family is from. I got to see the Cathedral of the Plains in Victoria Kansas and eat some good BBQ featured on the Food Network and see my great grandfather’s barber chair in a museum. I was able to pray and read and spend time with the Lord at a beautiful outlook over Kansas. Some of what I did was happenstance, but most of it was a plan to rest and rejuvenate in a spiritual way. A two-pronged plan of enjoyment and renewal helped me know where to go. A plan helped Kelly to know where I was. A plan helped me to be safe. It is always good idea to have a plan.
I mention having a plan because I believe a two-pronged plan is mentioned in 2nd Thessalonians 2. It is a good plan because I think it is an effective plan. It is a bad plan because it involves evil. It is a good plan about being bad. 2nd Thessalonians 2 describes the enemy of God trying to derail all that God wants to do in the world. Paul describes that Satan has a program of opposition to what God is doing through the Gospel in the world.
READ 2 THESSALONIANS 2:1-17 (ESV)
“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to Him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”
SATAN’S TWO-PRONGED ATTACK
Before the end of all things, Satan has a good plan to be bad. His plan, described in this passage, centers on two points. In the military this is called a two-prong attack. It is also called a pincer movement or double envelopment. The Zulu warriors in Africa call it the ‘buffalo horn formation.’ Your grandma called it ‘not putting all your eggs in one basket.’ The two-pronged attack forces simultaneous attacks on both sides of an enemy dividing their attention and effort and many times leading them to be surrounded.