TITLE: THE BAD GUYS WHO GOT AWAY
TITLE: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
“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;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness”
If you have ever watched an old Western, you have certainly seen a daring bank robbery pulled off by the bad guys, followed by the Sheriff and his posse hot on their trail. Often times the Western would have the gang outrunning the posse and crossing the border into another State or into Mexico. When the Sheriff and his posse came to the border, their authority ended and they would have to give up the search and return home empty handed, with the bad guys getting away.
In the realm of God’s dealings with lost sinners there is also a line which the sinner on the run from Jesus can cross, a line which Jesus will not pass over to chase them any longer. He knows when there is no longer any use to further pursue a hardened sinner.
I remember hearing the Lord tell me the morning that I was saved, that if I didn’t come that day, he would no longer bother me about it again. I cannot describe to you how the fear I felt at that moment, the fear of being abandoned by the Lord and doomed to an eternal Hell. My world was rocked and I was quickly brought to the point of where I was finally willing to open my heart to Jesus, but I have never had a doubt that if I had not came to Jesus that morning, I would have been abandoned by the Lord forever. Through the years I have heard many others give the same testimony.
We live in a nation today where I believe we see enough evidence to believe that possibly millions of people have been so determined not to be caught by the Lord, that they have finally crossed a line which the Lord will not cross, a line which a large number have crossed and in mass has been abandoned by the Lord.
These will now be the very wicked people whom Jesus prophesied would arise to prominence and power in the end days, after which they will turn their guns upon the people of God to persecute them, throw the world into chaos and usher in the brutal rule of the Anti-Christ and the Great Tribulation Period upon the earth, in which the world will experience the Wrath of God as never seen among men before.
How are the people of God to respond to such times? What are we to do in these turbulent time?
1. Realize Jesus Is Still on the Throne. [2 Thessalonians 2:1]
The Holy Spirit speaking through the Apostle Paul, beseeched the Church to stay calm, Jesus was coming again, just as He said He would. He was still on the throne.
History is unfolding just as Jesus said it would in His Word. Nothing is out of His control, He is allowing the evil to move history to His predetermined and pre-written end.
2. Renew Your Faith in the Word of God
Everything that is taking place in today’s world is exactly as the Word of God said it would be at the end of time. This should confirm your faith in Jesus and His Word. We have no sword if we have no faith in the Word of God. We are left helpless without the Sword of the Spirit. [Ephesians 6:17]
3. Rejoice That Jesus Saved You and Has Delivered You From the Wrath to Come. [1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10; 2 Thessalonians 1:13-17]
As difficult as these days may be for the child of God, they will just be for a short period, followed by a reversal of circumstances. We will find rest and joy and our foes will reap what they have sown. [2 Thessalonians 1:3-9]
4. Rededicate Your Life Totally To Jesus [Romans 12:1, 2]
This is the days of a great falling away from the faith (2Ths.2:3) and increasing persecution of God’s people. You will not be able to stay true to Jesus with a half-hearted commitment to Jesus. The only safe guard to being swept up in the falling away is a whole hearted surrendering of your life to Jesus. [Romans 12:1, 2]
5. Resolve To Win the Lost While You Still Have the Opportunity to Do So. [2 Thessalonians 3:1]
The Apostle Paul followed his instructions on the end days by asking the Church to pray for Him and specifically, that the Gospel would spread rapidly and be accepted in other places he would preach the gospel, just as they had accepted Jesus upon hearing Paul preach for the first time.
We must be resolved to get about winning souls to Jesus!
A. People Will Become Less Receptive as the Days Go By.
[2 Timothy 3:1; 13; 4:1-4]
Even in our own nation, with a history of openness to the Gospel and friendliness towards the Lord’s Church, we are now seeing a turning away from the faith and the Church, a growing hardening towards the Lord and His people.
The main reason Christians have lost our nation to the heathens among us, is because we failed to win them when they were reachable. We were busy about living the good life, ignoring our mandate to win the lost, and while we were AWOL, Satan and his crowd were busy winning those we refused to win.
B. The Coming of Jesus Is Imminent [1 Thessalonians 4:15]
In his First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians, Paul spoke of the Coming of the Lord to Rapture His Church and the order of events that would take place at that time, but it is interesting to note that Paul spoke of himself as being alive when the Rapture took place (…we who are alive…), showing that Paul expected the Return of Jesus in his own lifetime. Nothing has to happen before the Rapture takes place, it is the next event on God’s calendar and it can take place at any moment and when it does, those who have heard the Gospel and have rejected Jesus will never be able to believe again, they will be blinded to Truth and open for every deception and deceiver [2 Ths.2:9-12].
There will be a great separation on that day, one taken and another left [Matthew 24:40, 41). Do not let the blood of any of those left behind on that day, be on your hands.
One final word to you who have never repented of your sinful life of unbelief in Jesus. I understand how the Apostle Paul felt when he spoke these words in 2 Corinthians 5:11: “Knowing, therefore, the TERROR of the Lord, we pursued men…”
Paul had years earlier, meet the Lord on the Damascus Road as a lost man, that meeting was initially the most terrifying experience that Paul had ever encountered. A sinful man standing face to face with a Holy God was such a terrifying experience for Paul, that he never wanted any other person to have that experience, if he could help it.
I too implore you to flee from the wrath to come. I beseech you to consider the love the Lord has for you, love so great that He died in your place to pay for your sins. I beseech you to consider the danger your eternal soul is in every moment you remain in your sins. You may join the millions who have crossed the line of no return. You may joins the hundreds of millions who death has visited while still lost in their sins. You may join the millions who will miss the Rapture. What a terrifying thought, lost eternally, incarcerated eternally in the torments of Hell.
Today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts!