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Echo Evangelique

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Thursday 8:00-9:00PM

 

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FRIDAY NIGHT
7:30pm Bible Study
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8:30am Bible Study
Sunday School
9:45am  10:30am

The Restrainer vs The Lawless One

Why Is the Tribulation delayed?

Text: 2 Thess. 2: 6-12

Key Concepts:

  • The mystery of lawlessness is already at work
  • How will the appearing of the lawless one be known?
  • As for the child of God…

 

Biblical history is a succession of happenings and events which are under the sovereign will of God. The stories of the Bible, the teaching and preaching of the Word of God, speaks of God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. In today’s text, 2 Thessalonians 2:6-12, Paul teaches three phases to the return of Christ: 1. The time of restraint, during which the power of lawlessness is held at bay. 2. The time of rebellion, during which law and order will be denied in favor of lawlessness. 3. Time of retribution, during which the Lord Jesus Christ will defeat and destroy the Antichrist and his followers. The Prophet Daniel speaks of an enemy of God who will persecute the covenant people and shape his followers through deception and distortion of God’s divine truth (Dan 11:30-45). Paul teaches that the enemy has been restrained thus far but will be “revealed in his own time” (2 Thess. 2:6).  When the restraint is removed, lawlessness will then be free to rule.

The mystery of lawlessness is already at work

The power of the Holy Spirit is what serves as restraint against the power of lawlessness. And, since the Holy Spirit works through the Church, as long as the Church still exists, the Antichrist will not be revealed. After the Rapture of the Church, the ministry of the Holy Spirit will take a different form. However, although restrained, “the secret power of lawlessness is already at work” in our reality (2 Thess.2:6, NIV).  The Greek word “mysterion” that translates to “mystery”, refers to something that was once hidden but is now revealed.  A willful attitude of rebellion against God - iniquity, a perversion of sound doctrine, wickedness, every means of illegality, a distortion of truth,  a love of anarchy and corruption are already present in our midst. This spirit of subversion exist not only in the world but in our church as well. It is evident that, in our days, secular humanism, totalitarian tendencies of the extreme left, and right wing ideologies, the concept of materialism of the consumer society, seek to put God on the back burner. Likewise does socialism, globalism, the ideologies of the social gospel, the social justice theology, doctrinal perversion that proclaim the death of God and the end of moral absolute. Social permissiveness cheapens the sanctity of life, the sanctify of God-proclaimed sexual relationship, the sanctity of marriage and family, and just about everything that God has created and instituted. If not for the presence of the Holy Spirit and teachings of the Word of God which allow a measure of spiritual freedom, a measure of true justice, a basic understanding of law and order, an understanding of moral and spiritual decency, and the activism of the evangelical Church, lawlessness would already be rampant.

 

How will the appearing of the lawless one be known?

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish” (2 Thess. 2: 9-10). Similarly to the ministry of Jesus Christ, the lawless one will seek to approve his work through powers, signs and wonders. The false prophet will imitate the work of the Apostles through counterfeit miracles. The man of sin will stand against everything that has to do with God. He will seek to elevate himself above God and demand to be worshiped as God. Only through spiritual discernment can we see through his deception. Some are deceived “because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10, NKJV). Obviously, it is the love of the truth that grants us the discernment we need to refute the lies of the lawless one. But those who hate truth will be ensnared by trickeries. Indeed, “God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (2 Thess. 2:11, NKJV). And as result of that, they will be condemned (2 Thess. 2:12).

As for the child of God… 

The community of believers is a shield, shelter and motivation that enables the child of God to live in holiness. It is important that we, the children of God, stand for the truth, and be the agents of God that we are called to be. We are accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ who is judge of all. As Christians, we serve and are accountable to each other as well. As “iron that sharpens “ (Prov. 27:17, NKJV). While we submit ourselves to God to be sanctified, we encourage others to do the same. The Word of God has moral implications and makes moral demands on our lives. If we neglect it, we will not be spared. Moreover, take heed that apostasy begins with a delight in wickedness and leads to a departure from the truth of God and open rebellion. It perverts doctrines in the mind. It makes sinfulness a deliberate choice. It causes one to hate the truth. This then leaves one vulnerable to the deception of the devil.

In conclusion…

The false prophets are already at work. This is a danger that persists all around us. We cannot afford to slumber and be naïve. False doctrines are very destructive to faith and can cause people to go astray. Let us be vigilant and hold fast to the Word of God. Our priority is not to have good days, but to have godly days. When our lives get too comfortable, we may forget who God is. We must keep our eyes on Jesus. Like the Thessalonica church, some might miss subtle shifts from the Gospel. Sound theology matters. It is the food of the Christian mind. It is the Lord who warns us: “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (Rev. 22:7, NKJV).  “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last… I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star” (Rev. 22:12-16, NKJV). And Peter tells us, “you therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:17-18). We are living in unprecedented time; but we need to be ready to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. Let it be our prayer to hunger for the nearness of the Lord. Let us do our very best to walk nearer to the Lord.

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Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: 617-323-3107
Fax: 617-323-3165
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