God’s Timing: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

God’s Timing: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 by Stephen

God's-timing

The Man of Lawlessness
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 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. 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. 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.
Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 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. 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. 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, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Introduction
Paul was writing to the believers in Thessalonica to clear up confusion about the 2nd coming of Christ. Some believers had stopped working as they believed the Christ would come at any moment. Today we are much closer to Christ’s return but are to be at work & not idle – To share the gospel, help those in need & build Christ’s body, His church.

Pray that we will learn the following:-
1. Christ will come in His timing that only He knows
2. The evil & wicked will be judged

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 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.

The day of the Lord can mean the end times & also the final judgment day.
Prophecy: referring to teaching or letter falsely claiming that Christ is coming. Today we still hear of claims that Christ will come on so & so day.

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.
Throughout history there has been many types of antichrists who continues their evil work. Just before Christ’s 2nd coming will come the man of lawlessness who is the antichrist who is a completely evil tool of Satan & equipped with Satan’s power. However, we should not try to label anybody as antichrist & try to predict Christ’s return.
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.

The name antichrist itself includes the Greek prefix anti which means against & instead of. Satan wants to be worshipped & obeyed instead of Christ.

Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.

Paul does not specifically identify who is retraining & holding back the lawless one. Many Christians believe it is the Holy Spirit who working through the church to accomplish God’s purpose today.

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.

Today’s world is filled with much evil, criminal acts, corruption, etc. However we have yet to see the horror of total lawlessness. Why does God allow this to happen? So men can see their own sinfulness & the bitter experience of life without the lordship of Christ where men are no better than vicious animals.
When the church is raptured, the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the world as well. The Holy Spiritwill be at work during the day of the Lord but will not be restraining the forces of evil today.

Principle 1: Believers to be wary while evil deceives secretly then openly
Believers are to not be deceived of false assertions of Christ’s coming as He has told us so, while the lawless one is at work secretly today & will openly oppose God in the future.

How do you stay truthful away from falsehoods, lies?

How will you live as a believer when opposition of God is openly & publicly happening?

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming. 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, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

No one on earth will be able to overcome the antichrist who is powered by Satan.

“Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? (Rev 13:4)

Satan’s false Messiah will use counterfeit miracles, signs & wonders to deceive & gain followers. Not all miracles are necessarily from God. Christ’s miracles were significant not only for their power but their purpose – to help, heal, show his divinity & point us to God.

Man of lawlessness power will be from Satan to destroy & lead people away from God. If any religious personality draws attention to only himself, his work is not from God.

For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Does God allow people to be deceived? We first need to examine God’s nature.
God is good & created a good world that fell because of men’s sin. God will one day recreate the world & it will be good again. God is stronger than evil, allows evil & thus has control over it. God offers a way out through Christ for all who wish to overcome evil. God uses everything both good & evil for his good purposes.

Indeed our God hates evil & will one day destroy evil completely forever. God does not entice anyone to become evil but those who commit evil may be used by God in order to hasten judgment.

Principle 2: Christ to return and evil condemned to perish

Christ will return overthrowing the lawless deceitful one & condemn all who follow the lawless one’s wickedness

What are you looking forward to in Christ’s return?

What do you do knowing that there are family & friends around you who are in danger of being condemned?

Conclusion
Christ will come in His timing to judge the evil & wicked. We must be careful of rumours of Christ coming. We must be wary of false teachers & false signs. We as His body have a responsibility to live & build for His Kingdom until He returns.