Date: November 7, 1999

Series: The 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ

Speaker: Ron R. Ritchie

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Remembering ... in light of Christ's Second Coming
2 Thessalonians 2:5-12

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Context: The apostle Paul had written two letters to his beloved spiritual family in Thessalonica from Corinth, Greece. (52 AD) Many Jews and Gentiles within that City had suffered persecution for their new found faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Paul reminded them that not all of their new life would be lived on earth. They needed to be reminded of the joy of the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ. He was happy with their spiritual growth (1 Thess.1:1-4), and encouraged by their endurance (2 Thess. 1:5-12). He wanted them to rest in the spiritual reality that God would give them and all those who died in Christ their glorified bodies at His Son's 2nd Coming (1 Thess. 4:13-18), and he wanted them to look for the 2nd Coming of Jesus based on truth rather then fear and rumors. (2 Thess. 2:1-4) In 2 Thess. 2:5-12 Paul would speak of the events that will occur on earth after the bride has been taken to heaven to join her bridegroom: (1) The world-wide political and religious apostasy followed by (2) the appearance of the man of lawlessness who will step onto the world stage declaring himself to be God.

1. Remember the restrainer will be removed - 2 Thess. 2:5-7

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.

Who or what is the restrainer that is placed on the man of sin?

What do you think is the secret power of lawlessness (the mystery of lawlessness)?

How do you see the mystery of lawlessness "already at work"?

The Mysteries: The New Testament recorded eleven new mysteries not revealed to the Old Testament saints. (1) The mystery of the kingdom of Heaven, (Matt.13:3-50); (2) the mystery of our glorified bodies (1 Cor. 15:51-52), (3) the mystery of the Church (Eph.3:1-11); (4) the mystery of the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:28-32); (5) the mystery of "Christ in you the hope of glory" (Col. 1:26-27); (6) the mystery of Jesus as God in bodily form (Col. 2:2-9), (7) the mystery of lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:7); (8) the mystery of godliness (1 Tim. 3:16); (9) the mystery of Israel's blindness (Rom. 11:25); (10) the mystery of the Seven Stars (Rev. 1:20) and finally (11) the mystery of Babylon (Rev. 7:5)

2. Remember Satan will be set free to deceive - 2 Thess. 2:8-10

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 the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

When the lawless one is revealed to the world, where do you think the Church of Jesus will be?

When will Jesus destroy the man of lawlessness?

How will the lawless one gain his followers?

Do you think you will live during the time of the great Tribulation?

3. Remember God will Judge the Wicked - 2 Thess. 2:11-12

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.

Is it within the character of God to send a powerful delusion?

Why would God send a "powerful delusion" to a wicked people who delight in wickedness?

Do you believe you may be living on earth during the Great Tribulation?

What steps are you presently taking to help others avoid the suffering and pain of the Great Tribulation?

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