We’re continuing to look at Christ’s return, explained by Paul in 2 Thessalonians. In my last post, we saw that his reason for writing this is to spur us on in our work for the Lord.
Paul goes on from there and starts to give the Thessalonian church some more information regarding the Last Days.
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
II Thessalonians 2:1-3
We need to understand what Paul is saying here. The first thing we see is that he uses three different terms for the same thing. He calls it the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, our being gathered to him, and then, later on, he calls it the day of the Lord.
It’s easy to see that Paul isn’t saying that the Lord’s coming is one time and the gathering up the saints is another. On the contrary, our being gathered to the Lord and the coming of the Lord is all the same in Paul’s mind.
He then goes on to tell the church not to let anyone deceive them in any way. He doesn’t want anybody to push them off track and out of the truth.
He shares that they haven’t missed the coming of the Lord. Certain things must happen before the return of Christ.
As an apostle, Paul knew that it wasn’t even going to be in his lifetime, because Jesus had already told this to His apostles, and Paul was in contact with them. I have no doubt that he knew Jesus’ teaching on this subject. Jesus had taught His apostles that they wouldn’t be alive on the earth at the time of His return. (Luke 17:22-25)
Without even checking into it, he could tell that the letter that was causing all of the fuss in Thessalonica was a false teaching. It was not to be taken seriously.
The question most of us want to ask is; “What kind of things will happen before Christ appears?” The answer to that question will help us to see how close we are to the end.
He says, first of all, that there’s going to be a rebellion that occurs. So we must ask ourselves; what’s the rebellion?
The Greek word there literally means a defection from the truth. We’re not in the Last Days until people turn away from the truth. Personally, I believe this has been fulfilled already. I believe the defection from the truth is what we look back on now and call the Dark Ages.
At that point, the true Church was just a little, tiny flicker of a spark. During that time in history, there was a great falling away from the truth. But, since then, God has been restoring the things that were lost.
The Lord has started restoring evangelism, teaching on healing, tongues, and faith to the Church. That’s why I believe that we have already gone through that falling away and are preparing for the final harvest.
Question: How close do you think we are to the return of Christ?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi
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