Summary: Paul is warning the Thessalonians ans us that there are those that will lead us astray and also warning us about the Lawless One, Satan. There is a real danger, but our God is all-powerful and in control.
Anything that is extremely valuable will be counterfeited. Fake gems have been around for thousands of years, but as the technology for making fakes has advanced, fakes are now harder to detect with the naked eye.
Gem buyers today must be aware of three types of gems that are made to look more valuable than they are.
1. Synthetic gems are lab-grown stones that closely duplicate a natural gem’s physical and chemical properties.
2. Simulated gems are also manmade. The color of a simulated stone may be similar to that of a natural gem, but it is very different physically and chemically. Cubic zirconia is a well-known diamond simulation.
3. Enhanced gems are natural gems altered in some way to improve their look. Color can be enhanced through heat, radiation, oils and chemicals. Other methods used to imitate or enhance the value of stones are dying, waxing or smoking poor quality stones to make them look richer.
Experts advise buyers to verify a stone’s value with gem-testing labs, such as the Gemological Institute of America, before any sales are final. When paying big money for jewels, you want to be very careful about getting the genuine article. (Sermon Central)
When we read our text this morning from 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; we can see that we need to seek out Scriptural truth because there are those out there that are trying to deceive. Let’s read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12:
2 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come.
3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
Much to my chagrin this has been labeled one of the most difficult passages in the New Testament by some scholars. The problem is Paul is making sense to the people of that day, but in our context it proves to be more difficult to understand or does it when we look around at our world today.
We talked about the situation the last time 2 weeks ago. The Thessalonians had thought they had missed the day of the Lord. They had listened to what others had said and they had even been deceived by who they thought was Paul into thinking the Day of the Lord had come. Paul is assuring them it has not happened yet, but was yet to happen.
II. The Situation
Paul is saying in this passage that there would be an age of rebellion against God yet to happen. Paul talks about a lawless one that is yet to come…some translations call him the Son of Perdition, the man of sin…it is an a secret evil power… This is the incarnation of evil…Satan…This is opposite of Jesus who is the incarnation of God…of all that is good.
Paul is saying that Satan will and is having his time here on earth…he is gathering people and deceiving people to join him. Just as Jesus gathers those that will accept Him, Satan is gathering those who reject Jesus. 1 Peter 5:8 states: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.