Summary: The Disturbing Message. The Deceptive Man. the Deluded Masses. The antichrist, the timeframe, and why we believe these are the last days. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Son of Perdition
Who is this man of sin? The antichrist!
Will people who reject the gospel have opportunity to be saved when they are left behind at the rapture to enter the tribulation? No. You shouldn’t count on that. If you won’t get saved now when everything is working for you then you won’t in that day when everything will be working against you. But some will be saved during the tribulation who never heard before. More on that later...
1. The Disturbing Message.
v. 1-2 The practice of sending forged letters in the name of Paul was common in those days. This forged letter shook them up, saying that either Christ had come and they had missed Him, or He would not come until later, but they had to go thru the tribulation before seeing Him. They were worried and troubled. Anxiety became their mindset, thinking they were in the tribulation.
There’s another disturbing message going around today, that we are in the tribulation right now. They don’t believe in the pre-trib rapture, they think believers will be taken out at the midpoint or at the end of the tribulation, and that the signs of the times say we are in that 7 year period right now. They’ve been saying that throughout my lifetime! And they were saying it in our text.
But the Bible says we are not going into the tribulation as Christians.
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
6 more times this passage says the same thing, “what the Spirit saith unto the churches” -- God is talking to the church, and the very next verse says,
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
It’s the rapture trumpet! And you don’t find the church anymore in Revelation, other than in heaven at the end!
Now, this is interesting.
If any man have an ear, let him hear.
Where is the church? Where is the Spirit? Both are in heaven!
This is why I’m not looking for tribulation...but for evacuation! Not looking for antichrist but Jesus Christ!
Truth settles and relaxes us. It does not disturb and shake up.
Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled."(Jn 14:1)
Paul said, "Wherefore comfort ye one another with these words."(1Th 4:18)
2 Th. 2:17 "Comfort your hearts"
2 Tim 4:8 "Love His appearing."
The Disturbing Message...
2. The Deceptive Man.
v. 3-4 2 certain events will take place before the tribulation of wrath. One is this ‘falling away.’ The apostasy. It’s a departure from the truth of the Word of God. Even the church at large will depart from the truth. And that is happening. It used to be that when you heard the label Christian placed on someone you knew exactly what that meant...but not so anymore. “Saved” used to be a clear term...but not so anymore. Baptist doesn’t mean what it used to...just like Presbyterian and Methodist have vastly changed over the years. It’s the falling away...the apostasy!
This apostasy prepares the world to have this mindset, or intellectual atmosphere to be duped into receiving this man of sin, the antichrist. He will be the epitome of sin, the devil incarnate. [v. 8—‘that Wicked’]
He will be a peacemaker in a world desperate for answers. He will be a world ruler. He will be charismatic and have a magnanimous following. The reigns of power will be turned over to him.
Until the rapture, there’s 2 programs running at the same time in this world. There’s the devil’s sin program and God’s salvation program. But on that day the latter program will cease to run in its current format, and the former will run in full force.
3. The Deluded Masses.
v. 9-10 ‘powers, signs, and wonders’. Sound familiar?
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
God also bearing them [the apostles] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?