A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
Study 5: WARNING AGAINST LATTER-DAY DECEPTION
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5
Error breeds fear and false doctrine produces false security. So when error or false doctrine arises among Christians, we should be careful to teach the truth and set things right. False prophets and teachers of error do great mischief and serve the Adversary of our souls. In preaching and promoting error, they intend to deceive, discourage, destroy and damn mens souls. The Antichrist will be a great Deceiver, and today, antichrists deceive multitudes and drive them to perdition.
The Thessalonian believers had been well-taught concerning the certainty of Christs Second Coming. The Second Coming of Christ is certain and undisputable. This is the faith and joy of all Christians in all ages of the Church. The Thessalonians and all other Christians were waiting expectantly for Christs Coming and our gathering together unto Him. False teachers were going around and teaching false revelation about the time of His coming. Some of the believers in Thessalonica were disturbed, confused, troubled and discouraged. The Apostle, Paul, wrote to the believers to correct the misleading errors, reveal the facts of events surrounding Christs Second Coming, and re-establish Christians in the truth. Instead of allowing disputes and debates to distract Christians and destroy the Church, Christs ministers should promptly and properly teach the Truth, knowing that the Truth sets us free and keeps us focused.
THE PERTINENT DISCLOSURE ABOUT THE FUTURE
2 Thessalonians 2:1,2; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 7-11; Luke 21:9,19;1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Matthew 24:6-14,31; 2 Peter 3:3-8.
The main purpose of the Apostle in this chapter was to correct the erroneous, alarming teaching of false prophets pertaining to the Second Coming of Christ. Some of the false prophets claimed a new revelation by spirit while others wrote letter as from us, deceitfully using Pauls name as the writer. The Apostle pleaded with the Thessalonian Church to stop listening to teachings, doctrines, dreams or revelations that lead astray. Now we beseech you, brethren. It was a passionate plea of a concerned parent that his children would not be troubled or terrified by false alarm. The appeal came because of false terrifying revelations in regard to the great event of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him.
Rumours had been circulating that Paul himself had said that the day of the Lord had arrived. Rumours are always dangerous and deceptive. One version intimated that Paul had received information by spirit, that is, by a special revelation. Another version claimed that it was by word, that is, the Apostle had publicly taught that the tribulation had already begun. And still another version of rumours, making rounds, quoted those who said they saw letter as from us; forged letter, purportedly from Paul! The rumours made the believers afraid that what they believed before was no more true. They were afraid that the day of Gods wrath had begun.
THE PREDICTED DEPARTURE FROM THE FAITH
2 Thessalonians 2:3; Isaiah 30:8-13; John 3:19-21; 1 Timothy 4:1,2; 2 Timothy 3:1-7; 4:3-5; 2 Peter 2:1-3.
Let no man deceive you by any means. Be not deceived by a false message, written or spoken, claiming to originate from an angel, an apostle or a church leader or a prophet. Even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. Many false prophets are gone into the world. For many deceivers are entered into the world (1John 2:18; 4:1; 2 John7). It is of great importance for each Christian to watch so that he is not deceived and for the whole Church to be on our guard.
For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first. There is going to be a falling away from the faith before the day of Christs Coming. This prophecy runs through the New Testament from the beginning to the end. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold (Matthew 24:11,12). Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1). This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. Men shall be ... having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:1,2,5). For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3,4). This prophecy of great and general departure from the faith is being fulfilled today. As more and more people profess religion and church-going, we see less and less people possess righteousness and real Christianity.
THE PERVERSE DECEIVER IN HIS FALSEHOOD
2 Thessalonians 2:3-5;Daniel 7:25; 8:9-11,25;11:36;Matthew 24:24,25; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-6; Jude 17-25.
The great departure from the faith, a widespread, wholesale abandonment of true Christianity, a worldwide rejection of the Christian faith by the visible church will precede the coming of the man of sin, the son of perdition. This son of perdition will be the very embodiment of sin and lawlessness, rebellion and blasphemy, wickedness and apostasy. As to his destiny, he is the son of perdition; he is doomed to eternal damnation with all who are deceived by him.
The Scriptures contain many descriptions of this great world leader who will arise during the period of the great apostasy of the Church. He is referred to as the king of fierce countenance (Daniel 8:23-25), the prince that shall come (Daniel 9:26), the wilful king (Daniel 11:36), the man of sin the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3), the Antichrist (1 John 2:18), the Beast (Revelation 13:1-17), the False Prophet (Revelation 19:20; 20:10). He will violently oppose every form of true worship and will enthrone himself in the temple of God, claiming to be God and demanding worship. As the Antichrist, he will be opposed to Christ and persecute all who want to remain faithful to Christ. Those who refuse to worship him will be severely tortured and many will be martyred. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21:36).
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