Read II Thessalonians 2:1-4
I. Unshaken Believers. In our Sunday School material Paul writes to calm the spirits of his readers. He doesn’t want them to be unsettled or alarmed by what they hear regarding believers gathering with the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul writes to tell them that it will happen after the “rebellion,” as opposed to the rumor that it has already happened.
- The great gathering. Notice in vss. 1-4 of our Sunday School material that believers are to trust that there will be a gathering with the Lord. However, we believe that such is to happen after the “rebellion” that is yet to come.
First, we have a blessed hope that is not built on the merits of this world. If all that we have going for us is the stock market, the politics of Washington D.C. or the international affairs, our health, or our relationships then we would be so hopeless.
All of these things are sinking sand. But thank God, we have hope in Jesus’ return and our being gathered together with Him.
Second, God has a timetable. God saw fit to have the gathering after the rebellion (i.e., some refer to this period as the Great Tribulation). Our task is to trust and follow God’s schedule, instead of trying to modify it.
Let’s work on keeping our trust in God’s will, which includes the gathering of believers after the rebellion.
- Avoiding alarm. Notice in vss. 2-3 that we can choose to not be unsettled and alarmed. We do this by not accepting the ideas promoted by false teachers. In other words, if we control what we focus on, we will also control what disturbs and alarms us.
Let’s focus on the teachings of God’s word, instead of the many false teachings of our day. If our source of truth is the television news or the internet, we are subject to be so afraid that we cannot fall asleep. But the more of God’s word we get into our hearts and our behavior (i.e., we obey the word), the more we can sleep, in the midst of stormy weather and troubled times.
Read II Thessalonians 2:8-12
II. Deceived Believers. In our Sunday School material Paul talks about a lawless one being revealed. And he will be overthrown by the Lord Jesus. Unfortunately, many will be deceived by the lawless one and will perish. Those who delight in wickedness, instead of believing the truth, will perish.
- Trusting God more than we fear the world. Notice in vs. 8 of our Sunday School material that as powerful as the lawless one may be, his reign is limited. In like manner, no matter how bad things get in our lives and no matter how strong our enemies may appear,
God is stronger. And God is going to work things out for the good of His people. Let’s make sure we trust God’s care more than we fear what we see. God is stronger than economic recessions, cancer in our bodies, and even relational breakups.
- Avoiding being deceived. Notice in vss. 9-12 that many will be deceived. There are the issues of the lawless one’s deceiving ways and God’s sending a powerful delusion. The first needs little commentary. The second seems strange.
To make a long story short, God is going to do what He sees best to do. Instead of trying to figure God out, we should focus on those things we can control. We can control our refusal to love the truth and our delighting in wickedness.
Let’s work on avoiding being deceived like many, by focusing our efforts on loving the truths of God’s word and refusing to delight in wickedness. Prayerfully studying God’s word and obeying it with the support of other disciples will help us carryout this application.
Read II Thessalonians 2:13-17
III. Chosen Believers. In our Sunday School material Paul assures his readers that they are not in the group that will be or have been deceived. They are urged to stand firm and hold on to the teachings that they have received. He prays that God will encourage their hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.
- Called to be saved. Notice in vss. 13-14 that Paul assures his readers that they have been called by God to be saved, not deceived or doomed. There should be great comfort in knowing that you are called to be saved. In spite of the many things in our lives that may go wrong, thank God, we are saved.
God has a marvelous purpose for our lives. And when this life is over, we have another home, not built by the hands of people. Let’s take comfort in knowing that we are called by God to be saved.
- Standing firm on God’s word. Notice in vs. 15 of our Sunday School material the urging to stand firm. First, we should follow the urging to stand firm in God’s word and sound teaching. We can do this by prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of other disciples of Christ.
Second, our churches should be places that help people stand firm in God’s word, in at least two ways. We should teach them the word and ways of God. And we should provide supportive relationships for people to stand on the word. Let’s work on standing firm on God’s word and helping others do the same.
- Encouraging and being encouraged. Notice in vss. 16-17 of our Sunday School material Paul prays for the people to be encouraged and strengthened. We should do the same today. Our prayer life and our ministry efforts should reach well beyond ourselves.
We should spend quality time and energy helping others be encouraged and helping them be strong in good works and words. And then on the other hand, we need to make sure we are open to receiving encouragement and strength.
There are too many who are more comfortable with being discouraged and weak than encouraged and strong. Let’s work on being an encourager and being encouraged ourselves.
Conclusion: Let’s work on standing firm on God’s word. God has much for those who obey His will.
Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.