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II Thessalonians (2)

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Introduction: Have you ever been alarmed? Maybe you have an alarm that wakes you up in the mornings? Perhaps you noticed this morning that at the end of your group study there was a bell that rang to alarm you that time was almost finished? Alarms are signals to make us aware and inform or motivate us to action. For example some of you heard a tornado alarm this week. Interesting, Emily and I didn't hear our phones go off, until it was time for the tornado to be right over our heads. after the fact I walked out on the porch and hear the tornado siren going off. The alarms were going off in order to tell us to seek shelter and avoid danger. The alarms were a signal so that we would be prepared. The reason the alarm was going off is because those who keep track of the weather had good evidence that the conditions for tornadoes was very likely, and there had even been eye witness evidence of some funnel clouds forming. However, we were unaware of the alarm and so were susceptible to the danger. In much the same way, as those who follow Christ we often unaware of the great alarms. As was the case with the Thessalonian church, we too are wrongly alarmed, or get very anxious about things that have no truthful evidence to support their alarms.
Transition: Today, from II Thessalonians 2:1-12 we are going to discover truth to help us not be deceived, specifically concerning the future return of Jesus. READ TEXT

Big Point

God has a sovereign plan for the coming of Christ. Don’t be deceived.
Transition: How does this passage make this point? First of all notice the the introduction phrase in verse 1. “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul is focusing attention on a particular aspect of the gospel, which is the events surrounding the consummation of all things. Often times this area of study is called eschatology. This isn't the first time that Paul has brought this up to the Thessalonian church. He hinted at the coming of Jesus in chapter 1:7 & 10. (read) He also had written in his first letter to the Thessalonian church about coming day of eh Lord in 4:13-5:11. In summery he was encouraging them about a question they had concerning those believers who had died before Jesus returned. Now, only a few months later he is writing the church again to address a false teaching that the day of Jesus had already occured.
verses 2:2-3a reveals his intention for bring up the subject of the coming of the Lord. (read)
Point: He is encouraging them to not be deceived.
Question: One of the most noticeable evidences that we are giving over to falsehood is a troubled mind and anxious heart. Believing falsehood will produce a quickly shaken mind and an alarmed emotion.

How can we discern deception?

Recognize the manner and modes of deception.
A. manner: Satanic. Notice verse 9-10. The agenda of Satan has always been to deceive in order to cause death and destruction. We see the first rebellion when he lead 1/3 of the angelic host against the throne of God and as a result was thrown down from Heaven. We also see this in the disobedience of humanity. Chapter three of Genesis records the account of Satan deceiving Adam and Eve into doubting God’s word and disobeying God which lead to death and destruction. I John 5:19 tells us that the whole earth lies under the sway or influence of the evil one. We would do well to recognize the manner of deception is the activity of Satan himself. As Christians we do have citizenship to another kingdom, but we currently remain in a kingdom where Satan has temporary influence. One way he causes us great distress, anxiety, and troubled minds is to deceive us to think that we have somehow missed the coming of our lord Jesus Christ. How does he do this?
B. modes: Notice also the modes of deception in II Thessalonians 2:2. (Read) A false spirit, a false word, or a false letter. and in vs 9 tells us he is also capable of powerful false signs and wonders.
Where do we see these kinds of deceptions today concerning the coming of Christ? Offer two possibilities.
1. The deception of distraction. Even a quick study of eschatology will produce various claims concerning the details of Christ’s return. Examples: Multitude of differing opinions about this passage. The multitude of opinion about the chronological order of His coming. The multitude of false teachers who have prophesied a date of His coming. Often they prove to divide the church and distract her from fulfilling the work of Christ. There is much room to be deceived, and confused. However, God does not author confusion. We should be clear, we should study the Scriptures, but we should also be humble enough to realize that we must not miss the forest for the tress. Illustration. Searching for objects in a picture.
2. The deception of dormancy. What I mean is that much like the church of Laodicia so to our enemy has sang us to sleep with a lullaby that perhaps Jesus will not return at all. We have laid our head son the pillow of unapeasable appetites for temporary pleasures. We have fallen asleep and grown cold toward the work of Christ and have awakened ourselves to be filled with the temporary trapping of misplaced affections. Our lives are not filled with the work of faith but our bank accounts are filled with works of flesh.
Another way that the deception of dormancy works is that it causes us to believe the falsehood that the rest and relief that Christ promises is all for right here and right now. So we are quickly shaken in mind and certainly anxious in heart. Being mislead to believe that I must be missing out on Jesus’ relief because I don't have as much blessing as I aught to have. Or, we freak out with worry when we encounter various trials because we think somehow Jesus has already come in a way that all of our future hope is something available to us right now. And certainly that would include preventing me from ever suffering affliction in this life. We must beware of the deception of dormancy that would make us unfruitful and lazy toward the work of Christ, but busy and anxiously active toward the things of this world. (Read stanza from “Jesus is coming soon” )
Transition: How does Paul exhort and equip the Thessalonian church concerning the deception that Jesus had already returned?
In verses 3-12 he appeals to the sovereign plan of God and particular details that will prelude the coming of Christ. His point: Jesus has not yet returned because these other signals, or warning alarms have not yet occured.

What are the warning signs?

that Paul mentions in this passage?
The rebellion vs 3b
The removal of a restrainer. vs. 6-8
The Revealing of the man of lawlessness. 3c-4 & 7-10
Transition: Verse 8 Notice contrast of activity of satan with the activity of Jesus.

Am I walking worthy while “still” waiting for Jesus?

How? Don’t be deceived by falsehood, (don't be immobilized by falsehood) remember the truth concerning the coming of Jesus. Vs 5
God has a sovereign appointed day in which Jesus will return. He has a pre-set order leading up to that day. Our role is watchful and alert, to be working out our faith, to live worthy of His calling. Jesus has not yet returned, but he is coming soon. Are we ready? Matthew 24:42-44
Matthew 24:42–44 ESV
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Closing song
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