Summary: We shouldn't be surprised by the increase of evil in the world today; it was predicted by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thess. 2:1-12. Its growth indicates how close the Rapture of the Church is.
WHEN HELL COMES TO PLANET EARTH
2 Thess. 2:1-12
A. HUMOR: WE’LL CALL YOU
It's tough enough getting a job. Try not to commit these interview gaffes, as reported by actual hiring managers:
"The candidate arrived in a cat suit."
"The candidate sent his sister to interview in his place."
"A job applicant came in for an interview with a cockatoo on his shoulder."
"An individual applied for a customer-service job, and when asked what he might not like about the job, he said, ‘Dealing with people.’" [Reader’s Digest].
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying 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 the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10 and in every sort of evil that 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
1. Tonight we’re going to study the “Mystery of Iniquity.”
2. The title of this message is “WHEN HELL COMES TO PLANET EARTH.”
I. WHAT IS THE DAY OF THE LORD?
A. IT’S GOD’S TURN TO STEP FORWARD
1. Some at Thessalonica were saying that the day of the Lord was now present.
2. What is the Day of the Lord? It's the time when God says it's His turn to step forward and work in full power.
3. It’s the period of time from the Rapture of the Church to the destruction of the Heavens & Earth.
4. Paul was only at Thessalonica for 3 weeks, yet he taught them so much Bible prophecy!
B. THE RESTRAINER OF DAY
1. According to verse 2, the Day of the Lord can't come until a certain Person is revealed first -- the man of Sin, the incarnation of evil, the Antichrist. He will be taken over by Satan as no individual ever was before.
2. Verse 6. He hasn't come because something is holding him back. 2 Thess. 2:6, "until his time."
3. Like an actor in a play -- he can't come out until God's ordained script says he can.
II. WHAT CONDITIONS WILL PRODUCE ANTICHRIST?
A. MYSTERY OF INIQUITY
1. What kind of conditions are going to produce a man like this? The "mystery of iniquity" (KJV) will climax or ultimately be the result of iniquity.
2. "Iniquity" -- "no law," lawlessness.
"Mystery" -- knowledge which can't be possessed by natural means. It can be comprehended by Scripture-enlightened minds.
"Work" -- ENERGEO -- energy. There's nothing passive about sin. It's being driven by supernatural satanic forces
3. 1 John 4:3, “but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”
4. The spirit of Antichrist is already in the world. Secular humanism, false religions, totalitarian governments -- devoted to stamp out Christianity.
5. There are some persons in history who were so evil that they were thought to possibly be the antichrist -- like Adolf Hitler -- but next to the real Antichrist they will seem like nice little grandmothers in comparison!
B. PERILOUS TIMES
1. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come” 2 Tim. 3:1.
2. The Greek word used here was used to describe the behavior of the Gadarene demoniac (Legion) -- so the word used of our time describes it as a period of demonically-possessed activity.