Sunday 12 March, 2017

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

2 Brothers and sisters, we want to ask you something. It has to do with the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. It concerns the time when we will go to be with him. 2 What if you receive a message that is supposed to have come from us? What if it says that the day of the Lord has already come? If it does, we ask you not to become easily upset or alarmed. Don’t be upset whether that message is spoken or written or prophesied. 3 Don’t let anyone trick you in any way. That day will not come until people rise up against God. It will not come until the man of sin appears. He is a marked man. He is headed for ruin. 4 He will oppose everything that is called God. He will oppose everything that is worshiped. He will give himself power over everything. He will set himself up in God’s temple. He will announce that he himself is God. 5 Don’t you remember? When I was with you, I used to tell you these things. 6 Now you know what is holding back the man of sin. He is held back so that he can make his appearance at the right time. 7 The secret power of sin is already at work. But the one who now holds back that power will keep doing it until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then the man of sin will appear. The Lord Jesus will overthrow him with the breath of his mouth. The glorious brightness of Jesus’ coming will destroy the man of sin. 9 The coming of the man of sin will fit how Satan works. The man of sin will show his power through all kinds of signs and wonders. These signs and wonders will lead people astray. 10 So people who are dying will be fooled by this evil. These people are dying because they refuse to love the truth. The truth would save them. 11 So God will fool them completely. Then they will believe the lie. 12 Many will not believe the truth. They will take pleasure in evil. They will be judged.

The Thessalonians had reportedly begun to worry that the day of Jesus’ return had passed them by. In fact Paul warns them, things will get a lot worse before Jesus’ return. He proceeds to expand on the warnings given by Jesus in Matthew 24, saying that the time leading up to the day of the Lord will see many people deceived by the work of Satan. Paul’s paints a picture of a deceiver who is very persuasive, all the while setting himself up as “God.”

In verse 12 Paul reminds the Thessalonians and us that it’s a case of believing the truth, and of loving the truth – verse 10. This truth is that there is only one God who saves. Those who are deceived replace God with a lie, and it is all a trick of Satan (v9). But don’t be fooled – Jesus is returning in splendor (verse 8) with all-powerful effect.

This passage reminds me of 2 things. The first is that it is important how I live now, not with self as my focus like the lawless anarchist, but in a way that God will count me worthy of his calling (1v11).

Second, that I must keep an eternal perspective knowing that on Jesus’ return this world will end. This determines my priorities, decisions, my focus here and now. This will affect how I invest my time, money and how I treat others.

What is the antidote to the great deception? Knowing God’s love and letting it impact my life every day.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your unconditional love. For the deep, intense and sacrificial love you showed me in dying in my place when I did not deserve it at all. Protect me from the deceiver because I know and believe your truth. Thank you. Amen

Written by Claire Moore

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