What are the signs of end times? While the wicked seem to be choking all the goodness in the world, the majestic coming of Christ and victory over the most powerful evil forces is described.
Confident Hope - Theme Verse
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word. 2 Thess 2:16,17
Event timeline of the New Testament
- Signs of End Times
- The Wicked are Tricked
- You Reject God Deludes
- You Obey God Delivers
- More Grace more Glory
- Busy buddies or Busy Bodies
- Discussion – Confident Hope
Paul wrote this letter to:
- Counter a false letter by false messengers that the second coming had already occurred.
- Highlight indicators of the second coming.
- Encourage and exhort them.
Signs of End Times - Antichrist
Christ’s coming will be accompanied with:
- Those alive in Christ gathered to him
- Antichrist emerges and opposes and exalts himself over everything called God or worshiped
- Antichrist sets himself up in God’s temple
- Antichrist proclaims to be God.
Signs of End Times – Antichrist (continued)
- Be overthrown with Christ’s breath
- Be destroyed by the splendor of His coming
- Function in the same way Satan works
- Use signs and wonders that serve the lie
- Use all deceptive ways of wickedness.
The Wicked are Tricked
In addition to Satan’s lie there is God’s delusion
2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11 They refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.
The wicked are tricked - Power of Lawlessness
2 Thessalonians 2:7 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.
Satan worship outside churches or enemies within demonstrate
- Self exaltation
- Meaningless trivia
You Reject, God Deludes
Result of denying God’s truth is receiving a deceptive delusion from God (Ch 2:10-12).
- Why is God allowing deception in the midst of His elect?
- What are the various delusions that even we, as believers can get carried away with?
You Obey, God Delivers
11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Ch 1
You Obey, God Delivers
Result of following God’s truth by faith is being chosen, empowered to be productive and given grace to glorify Christ (ch 1:11,12)
More Grace, More Glory
- Our glorification is only “according to His grace” ch 1:12.
- This means different people get different levels of grace.
How can we get more grace to attain more glory? Ch 3:13
- Stand firm
- Hold fast to the teachings
- Never tire of doing good
Busy Buddy or Busybody
- Busybodies may crowd us out
- Reach out as God’s ambassadors
2 Thessalonians 3:11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
Paul expresses confident hope in their:
- Eternal future (ch 2)
- Current and continued obedience. (ch 3)
2 Thessalonians 3:4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command.
- Who are the “wicked” Paul refers to? (2:12)
- What “busybodies” have you faced disrupting your work? What does Paul advice (3:12,13)? How do you handle them?
- What are your current challenges in leveraging more of God’s grace? What steps do you need to take to overcome them?