GOOD CHEER!” Series: Week 4 – (2 Thessalonians 2:6-10)
Text: 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10 (NKVJ)
“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
“If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NLT)
Intro: My message last week centered on the current Apostasy in the church, apostasy meaning a falling away from the truth. The antichrist who is the lawless one is hard at work with deceiving the masses. “Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:3
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. The antichrist will disguise himself as an “ANGEL OF LIGHT” and deceive the whole lost world. Revelation 12:9 (NLT) “This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.”
Having discussed the act of apostasy by which the Antichrist will reveal himself for who he really is, Paul takes a deeper look at the man himself. He lists four aspects of Antichrist’s career: his revelation, destruction, power, and influence.
1. His Revelation: vs. 6-8a
“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed.” DEF: Restrains – “to hold back.” It is only the power of God that can hold back the purpose of Satan for his Antichrist. We must realize God does the restraining so that in his time he will be revealed. Satan, of course, does not want to operate on God’s timetable. If he could, he would have revealed Antichrist long before now. Isaiah 46:9-10 (NLT) “Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. 10 Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.”
God will not allow Antichrist to be revealed until all the redeemed, whom He chose for salvation in eternity past, are gathered into the kingdom. Evil will not overstep its divinely ordained bounds. The true Messiah was revealed “when the fullness of the time came, and God sent forth His Son”; the ultimate false messiah will likewise be revealed in God’s perfect time. Though the Antichrist may be restrained, evil will not be!
When the restraint is removed and Antichrist appears, the true character of evil will be manifested. Christians there is good news: ‘When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13
At the present time the worst that Satan can do is promote the spirit of lawlessness. Romans 1:18-25: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” COULD YOU IMAGINE THIS BEING READ ON THE PLATFORM OF A POLITICAL AGENDA?
For the third time in this passage, Paul notes that the lawless one will be revealed when the Holy Spirit’s restraint ceases. Antichrist will expose the depths of his evil nature by desecrating the temple and proclaiming himself to be God. God’s judgments, which will begin during the first half of the Tribulation, will intensify dramatically as the Day of the Lord arrives in all its judgmental fury. But Antichrist’s reign of terror will be short-lived. This is just a glimpse of his revelation.
2. His Destruction: vs. 8b
“Whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”
Just as the Antichrist will be revealed at God’s appointed time, so also is the moment of his destruction divinely ordained. At the height of his power, when he seems invincible, he will meet his end. Daniel 7:26 (NLT) “But then the court will pass judgment, and all his power will be taken away and completely destroyed.”
The most hellish and powerful ruler in human history will be effortlessly crushed; the Lord will slay (Destroy) him with the mere breath of His mouth. The term slay does not mean that the Lord will kill the Antichrist, since Revelation 19:20 says that he will still be alive when he is cast into the lake of fire. “But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.” Isaiah 11:4
The devil will be abolished, rendered ineffective. Not only will the Lord (destroy) Antichrist’s person, He will also bring to an end his empire. Christ will annihilate both the man and his enterprise by the brightness (appearance) of His coming, a reference to the visible manifestation of Christ at His second coming. So Antichrist will rule from the midpoint of the Tribulation until Christ’s return—1,260 days or forty-two months, both of which equal three and a half years. During that brief reign, so suddenly ended, he will exercise power unparalleled in human history. This moment of fame (Power) for the Antichrist will be short lived!
3. His Power: vs. 9-10a
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception.”
Antichrist’s great power will not be his own but will be in accord with the activity of Satan. Satan will have complete control over the life of the antichrist. He will be totally surrendered to Satan, and Satan will be energizing him. He will be turning as many as he possibly can away from God. Millions will be listening, watching, and following the antichrist and his government upon the earth. He will demonstrate the power and signs and wonders, to bring peace to earth, to adequately grow and distribute the food so that all may have adequate provision, to solve the problems of adequate health coverage, full employment, homelessness, energy crunches, and the other problems of this world.
What is wrong with this? Nothing. These are wonderful things and they all need to be solved. But the antichrist will not stop with this. He will claim supernatural power for himself and his state and its science. Because he has done so much for men, he will insist that religions and gods take a back seat to him and his government. He will institute the seat of imperial worship. He will do all he can to turn men away from God and lead them to worship him and his state.
The problem with these claims is the problem with all the claims of men: they go no further than the grave. Men die. No matter how much peace, food, clothing, shelter, and material possessions we are able to enjoy, it all ends. All the pleasures of this earth end, for we die. We are here only a few years—barring accident and disease—and then we are gone. Therefore, the power, signs, and wonders of the antichrist can benefit a person only for the briefest of times. But not God—not the living and true God. He is interested in saving men eternally—forever and ever. This is the mammoth difference between the lies of Satan and the truth of Jesus Christ.
4. His Influence: vs. 10
“Among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
The followers of the antichrist are those who are perishing. Even while a follower of the antichrist lives on the earth, their perishing. There on the road to being lost. They have turned away from God and is traveling in the opposite direction along the road that leads to perdition. The word "perishing" means to be lost, to be in the process of being destroyed or ruined, corrupted and put to death. When a person is on the road to perdition, they have turned away from God and is pointed in the opposite direction. Here is where the real blindness is evident! The gospel is hid from them and their perishing, because they would rather travel the road of the lost, the road of those who are perishing.
The followers of the antichrist will be those who have not welcomed the love of the truth—those who have rejected the love of the gospel. “And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.” John 3:19 (NLT)
Illustration: In the old days a photographer would go into a dark room to develop a picture, and he could not allow the light in the other room to expose the picture that was in the process of being developed in the dark room, this would destroy the final product. Those that are blinded by the truth will not see Christ in their life until we who are in the other room open the door to show them the light of Christ!
The Antichrist will have an impressive career, understand his revelation, and know of his destruction, don’t be blinded by his power, and he is an angel he will try to influence you.
In : Sermon
Tags: "be of good cheer series"
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