When my kids were little they both had constant ear infections, which led to a simple surgery to alleviate the problem. On the morning of the procedure, we met with a child life specialist, a young woman who came to explain to my preschool children what was going to happen. She used vocabulary they could understand so they would know what to expect, to let them know the doctor was in control, and they were safe. Her words helped them to know what was happening and to not be afraid.
- How do clear explanations help us better navigate our way through hard situations?
READ THE WORD: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (ESV)
2:1 Now regarding the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to be with him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be easily shaken from your composure or disturbed by any kind of spirit or message or letter allegedly from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God.
5 Surely you recall that I used to tell you these things while I was still with you. 6 And so you know what holds him back, so that he will be revealed in his own time. 7 For the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work. However, the one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way, 8 and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy by the breath of his mouth and wipe out by the manifestation of his arrival. 9 The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan’s working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders, 10 and with every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing, because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved. 11 Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. 12 And so all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 5-12.)
- To help them not be shaken or afraid, Paul told the Thessalonians to recall what events would have to happen before the day of the Lord. Glance back at verses 3 and 4 so that you know, too.
- How did Paul give the Thessalonians confidence about who was in control of these end time events (vs. 8)?
- What further clues did Paul reveal about the arrival of “the lawless one” (vss. 9-10)?(The “lawless one” is the Antichrist. See 1 John 2:18, 22.)
- Outline the progression that will occur for those who don’t believe in Jesus in the end times. What ultimately happens to those who continue to reject him (vss. 10-12)?
- Knowing the realities for those who are perishing, how then should the believer respond?
Knowing the realities for the Antichrist and his scheming, how then should our hearts respond?
RESPOND TO GOD
Don’t be confused like the Thessalonians; the day of the Lord hasn’t happened yet. But God reveals to Paul what is going to happen. He gives simple explanations, in words they understand, that tell about a rebellion and the coming of the lawless one, the Antichrist. Satan tries to counterfeit the one true Christ by the “coming” of the Antichrist. He will try every trick in the book to deceive people and, sadly, some will follow him toward evil. God has a restraining influence that won’t let this evil happen until it’s time, and then he will overthrow the Antichrist with ease at his true second coming. Take courage, friends, because God is in control.
- Thank God that he has told us what will happen in the end times so we will not be deceived or afraid.
- Sit in awe for a moment that he will destroy the lawless one simply by the breath of his mouth.