Friday, September 09, 2011

Bible Study: Encouragement For The Misinformed - 2 Thessalonians - Chapter 2

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. At the time of its writing, early 2009, things are looking pretty bleak with the economy and unemployment among other things. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. Stay strong. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

2 – see Joel 1:15; 2:1-3, 11, 30-32; Acts 2:14-21; Malachi 4:5-6.

2:1-3 – We must reject false teaching. How do we recognize false teaching? We must know the truth! Test everything against the Word of God! The preaching you hear on Sunday, that speaker on the radio, everything that claims to represent what the Word of God says, check its validity against the Word!

2:1-12 – vv. 2-3 says not to be deceived into believing reports that the Day of the Lord has already come because “…that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed.” Vv. 6-8 says that the man of lawlessness is being held back so that he may be revealed at the proper time. When the restrainer is taken out of the way, the man of lawlessness will be revealed. This is completely possible since the Day of the Lord refers to judgment, not the rapture.

2:2 – These people heard prophesies and reports and received letters supposedly from Paul saying that the Day of the Lord (judgment day) had already come. Did they think that they weren’t going to heaven? The point is that these reports were false. In 3:17, Paul identifies himself as the author of this letter to assure the people that they are now hearing the truth.

See 2 Timothy 2:16-18, a warning against godless chatter that leads to the destruction of faith and belief in false teachings.

2:3-7 – The Day of the Lord (judgment day) won’t come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed. Man of lawlessness is not revealed until the one who restrains is taken out of the way. If the one who restrains is the Holy Spirit, he remains while the faithful are on the earth. For the Holy Spirit to be gone, all believers will have to be gone – rapture!!!

2:3 – see Daniel 9:27 for more information about what the man of lawlessness will do.

The rebellion – see Matthew 24:10-11 – people will turn from the faith, betray each other and hate each other. Many false prophets will appear.

2:4 – The man of lawlessness will oppose God, exalt himself over God, set himself up in God’s temple and proclaim himself to be God!

2:6 – Remind yourself. Who is holding back the man of lawlessness? What will have to happen for Him to be taken out of the way? Does this encourage you?

2:7 – What evidence do you see of the power of lawlessness at work? Remember that this power is now restrained because of the Holy Spirit. Things WILL get much worse! I wonder if we see lawlessness increase as more believers are ushered into eternity when they pass away. What do you think?

2:8 – The man of lawlessness will be revealed once the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way.

Jesus will defeat the man of lawlessness with a breath. After all, He spoke the universe into existence!

2:9 – The man of lawlessness will be revealed by his counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders. That word “counterfeit” is powerful. I will never forget what I learned while studying “Experiencing God” about the Canadian police and how they train to spot counterfeit currency. THEY DON’T STUDY THE COUNTERFEIT!!! Read that sentence again – until you really grasp it. Instead, they study the genuine article until they know it so well that they WILL NOT BE FOOLED BY ANY IMPOSTER! This is how we should know Jesus Christ – so well, so intimately, in such deep relationship that no false Christ will even get our attention!

Performing signs and miracles doesn’t make someone God. See Exodus 7:11, 22 and 8:7. This time will be like the days of Israelite slavery in Egypt when Moses came to liberate God’s people and Pharaoh’s magicians performed similar feats. These future signs will be performed by demonic power. DON’T BE FOOLED!!!!!

2:10 – The message of the cross is the truth that will save you. Jesus died for your sins. He rose on the third day, conquering death. Accept Christ as your Savior, now. See John 3:16-19.

2:11 – Those who do not actively seek God are allowing themselves to be deceived because they’re not pursuing the truth. God will permit this. He wants us to choose Him, but the choice is ours!

2:12 – Those who choose evil will be condemned. Don’t gloss over that statement. Read it again. This is your eternal future we’re talking about. If you don’t choose the truth (Jesus Christ), you choose evil by default. What have you chosen?

2:13 – Are you thankful for your brothers and sisters in Christ? Tell them so. Remember that each of us was chosen by God to be saved, serve Him and spend eternity with Him.

2:14 – This is the purpose to which God called us and promises in Romans 8:28 to work all things for good. Bringing glory to Jesus Christ is our purpose!

2:15 – We are to remain obedient to God’s Word.

2:16 – How much does God love you? Read John 3:16 and let it really soak in.

2:17 – How does the Lord encourage and strengthen you?

Each chapter of these letters to the Thessalonians teaches much about how to pray for yourself and others. How have you learned to pray today?

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