2 Thessalonians 2. Forum Discussion

Only God knows when Jesus is going to return

Thessalonica was having problems with false prophets stating that Jesus’ return had already taken place. They were fearful that the Great Tribulation (as described in Revelation 7:14) was already upon them.

Paul lets them know that Jesus has not yet returned, and that only the Father in heaven knows when that day will be.

Paul further informs the Thessalonians that two things must take place prior to that day, and that these things have not yet occurred. The two things that Paul refers to are:

  1. The Apostasy (from the Greek word apostasies which means, “Defection.”). During the Apostasy, many who were formerly Christians will fall away and decide not to follow Jesus.
  2. The “man of lawlessness” will be revealed. There is not a clear understanding of exactly who this man of lawlessness is, although there are several theories. It is apparent that we will know him when we see him. Some scholars associate the man of lawlessness with the beasts referenced in Revelation 13. One thing that we do know for certain is that the man of lawlessness will come before Jesus’ return. This man of lawlessness will be part of Satan’s fight against Jesus. The most important thing that the Bible tells us with respect to the man of lawlessness, is that he will be defeated, and Jesus will prevail in the battle between good and evil. Revelation 12:9 says, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

Christians should quickly dismiss and refute anyone’s attempt to say they know when Jesus is coming back based on the following Bible verses:

  • “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” - Mathew 24:36.

  • “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:2.

  • “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” - 2 Peter 3:10.

  • “So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.” - Revelation 3:3.

  • “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.” - Revelation 16:15.

  • “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.” - Mathew 24:43.

One particularly thought-provoking passage in this chapter occurs in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12:

“Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;  that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,  and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.  For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.”

Paul gives us some insight into how God works in the lives of believes and non-believers to accomplish His plans. Paul says in verse 11:

“For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.”

It is a glimpse into the workings of God to know that He will send His influence on those He chooses to. In this case, God will make sure that those that have rejected Jesus will believe what is false, “In order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:12.

Paul says in verse 10 that those who perish will perish because, “They did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” Those that perish will have chosen wickedness over righteousness, evil over good, and they will suffer as a result. God does not want us to partake in the things of this world that are evil or wicked. He wants us to follow Jesus, and to possess the fruit of the Spirit. Paul wrote about these Christian virtues in Galatians 5:22-23:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is:

  • Love.
  • Joy.
  • Peace.
  • Patience.
  • Kindness.
  • Goodness.
  • Faithfulness.
  • Gentleness.
  • And self-control.”

A sad reality is that not everybody wants to live their lives by these values. There is a choice to be made between good and evil, and not everybody wants to be good. That is just the way it is. Many people will reject living by the fruit of Spirit and will instead choose to live according to the deeds of the flesh. Those people will not be saved. That is worth repeating. Those people will not be saved. The deeds of the flesh, as described in Galatians 5:19-21, are:

  • Immorality.
  • Impurity.
  • Sensuality.
  • Idolatry.
  • Sorcery.
  • Enmities (hostilities).
  • Strife.
  • Jealousy.
  • Outbursts of anger.
  • Disputes.
  • Dissensions.
  • Factions.
  • Envying.
  • Drunkenness.
  • Carousing.
  • “And things like these.”

We will conclude today’s lesson with a look at the following verse:

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.

As Paul reminded those in Thessalonica, God loves us and by His grace we can have both comfort and strength. We can have a heart that is strong and at peace. All that we need to do is follow Jesus and He will lead us home.

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow as we look at 2 Thessalonians 3 and why we are told to avoid brothers and sisters living unruly lives. May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen

Comments

Dan

We make choices...to walk in the light, to die to self, to avoid and flee sin.

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John
Dan

Amen Brother!

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