2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
Consider the two major subjects in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. Paul writes of the antichrist; “the son of perdition.” The Lord shall consume the Wicked one with the spirit of His mouth.” The imagery is profound. The day of this moment is quickly approaching. Everything that exalts itself against God shall be torn down. There will be deception in the world with (vs 9) “signs and lying wonders.” It will be a cloudy mix, mirroring the wonders of God.
The subjects are clear: the antichrist and the saints. We see the antichrist from afar but soon he, the man of sin, will be revealed. While the first image is unsettling, the second is far more troubling to my spirit. Paul wrote of believers… (vs 3) “for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first.” Deception, sin, gossip, divisions, false doctrines, angst, and so much more are rising. The day of the Lord’s return is imminent! There will be a falling away and it will happen first.
In the most simplistic terms, people who believed themselves to be Christians will depart from the truth. There will be a dismantling through a “shakening.” Paul told us not to be shaken in mind, or be troubled by things we feel or words we read. His warning reveals that some will be shaken. They will be confused, disenchanted, and altogether separated from the Body; the church.
They will declare themselves saved, all the while living lost. They will justify themselves by their works, past, or internal feelings about God, but they will not be obedient to the written or preached Word or their God given authority. They will be consumed with political positions, offenses, and personal ambitions, while the Great Commission collects dust in their hearts.
The spirit of this age brings confusion and diversions. It speaks to the necessity of UNITY among the Body. The greatest priority is before us: Salvation for ourselves and for the lost. Everything else is immaterial. It is a waste, laid on the heap of human thinking. To be saved or lost is the only thing that matters or will matter. Not your friends or family. Not your job or money. Success or failures; offenses and afflictions; all these things will pale in the light of “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole