Satan's devices... God's absolute remedy... our responsibility to learn both.
2 THESSALONIANS 1, Verses 1-6
The lst Epistle corrects a serious error, that the believers who died would miss the great privilege of coming with the Lord Jesus at the time of His appearing. This second Epistle clears the second error... that the tribulation had already come and that they were passing through it. This is not so. The believers all knew that the "day of the Lord" would be ushered in by dreadful events and darkness. Isaiah chapters 2 to 4, Joel 2 and 3, Amos 5, Zephaniah 1-3. Satan was sending great difficulties and was using false teachers to tell them that "the day" had arrived.
2 Thes 1:1-4 But before pointing out these errors, he warms their hearts. If you read the opening verses of the 1st Epistle you would see "faith", "love", and "hope" mentioned. But notice in our verses "hope" is missing. They were losing the hope of the Lord's coming for the believer.
2 Thes 1:5-10 The persecutions were to encourage (not discourage) them to look up. He tells them that they shall rejoice more than ever if they endured these troubles. The Lord loves the believers and yet allows trials and sorrows to come upon them! But what a day is ahead for the unbelievers when God will rain fire and brimstone upon them!
My state makes me fall into the snare the enemy has spread for me.
2 THESSALONIANS 1, Verses 7-12
2 Thes 1:7-10 This is His appearing. The worse our trials, sorrows, disappointments here, the more we can realize that the day is coming when all will be reversed. Read Heb 12:2 for a word to each one of us.
2 Thes 1:8 Every unsaved living person shall see the Lord Jesus this way! If the Lord comes today, this event will not be long after, after 7 years, or so later.
2 Thes 1:11-12 Paul prays for them. Isn't it good to pray for each other! The entrance of the Word causes light to come into our life. Pray above all, for a tender conscience as you read His Word. Read these 2 powerful verses carefully.
No matter how intelligent you are in the things of God, you will miss the mind of God if you are out of communion.
2 THESSALONIANS 2, Verses 1-8
2 Thes 2:2 "At hand" means "is already here".
2 Thes 2:3 Many believers today are deceived by bad teaching, and not one knows he is being deceived... the deception is so clever. Only obedience to what we already know brings more spiritual intelligence. The "falling away" means a time when the great majority has given up belief in God and turned to total self-will. We are today seeing this developing everywhere, but worse is to come. Also when the full development of this (called the "apostasy" which word means "abandonment of one's religion") has come, then the Antichrist, the agent of Satan, will appear, a real man on this earth, (immediately after the Lord has caught away the believers).
2 Thes 2:4 He will sit in God's place in the temple which will have been built in Jerusalem. The Jews would like to start building it, but are so preoccupied with their enemies, they haven't the time or means today. But they will. This man will teach what Satan suggested to Eve in the Garden of Eden "ye shall be as gods" - Gn 3:5.
2 Thes 2:6 God controls all, and while the believers are still here on earth, and the Holy Spirit in each of us, God will preserve from the power of Satan (great comfort to know this).
2 Thes 2:7 The mystery of this wickedness and even worse, lawlessness, is working now. We are seeing the mysterious powers of Spiritism spreading daily. It is becoming more difficult to distinguish between the work of God and the work of Satan. And these are the signs that we are in the last days.
2 Thes 2:8 A more exact word for this man ("that wicked") is "lawless one". This is worse. Evil first is wickedness, but as it becomes worse, it sets itself up in opposition to God and this is lawlessness. When the Lord Jesus comes at the close of the tribulation He will destroy this lawless one.
If ever I find myself in doubt, or uncertain, my eye is not single. God brings me into certain circumstances of difficulty, until I detect this. Possibly I never suspected it in myself. Until that is put away, I shall never have certainty as to my path.
2 THESSALONIANS 2, Verses 9-17
2 Thes 2:9-12 Those who today do not believe the gospel (during the day of grace) and those who hear the gospel of the kingdom during the 7 years and do not accept it, are the ones here described. God will make them believe a lie, because they would not believe the truth when they heard it. What a dreadful future waits for our unsaved loved ones.
2 Thes 2:13-14 God's side and God's doings.
2 Thes 2:15 Our responsibility. The two are usually together in the Scriptures.
2 Thes 2:16-17 What comfort! - What a contrast to what we have just read... "our Father which hath loved us... comfort your hearts (God's side)... in every good word and work (our responsibility)."
Understanding is wisdom using knowledge properly.
2 THESSALONIANS 3
Having given them his messages, Paul longs that they would live like this! And we can be thankful too that we have the Word of God still to read and obey. It does us little good to do the first without doing the second.
2 Thes 3:2-6 They were in danger of listening to bad teachers (don't think of these as bad men (immoral) for probably they were very highly respected religious leaders).
2 Thes 3:3-5 They needed to be strengthened by receiving this truth.
2 Thes 3:7-12 Then there were dangers in another direction. There were some who were excited about all these great coming events, and though there was no need to work because the Lord was coming! We also are to continue on in our daily work, but waiting for Him to come at any moment. Notice the strong instructions - not wanting to work - so no food.
2 Thes 3:13 Lovely contrast - and an encouragement for us all.
2 Thes 3:18 A beautiful thought to close with.
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