17 August 2018

2 Thessalonians 2

When I was a small child, my big sister was my rock. If I was afraid of unknown sounds in the dark I could snuggle up to her, or if I was unsure of anything she would be the one I knew I could depend on. My fears and uncertainty felt very real to me, but my sister was always there for me and I felt so much more secure when she was around.

This section in Thessalonians deals with the coming and judgment of the anti-Christ or ‘the man of lawlessness’ as he is described here  (verse 3). Also called the ‘man of sin’, this is the most detailed description of him in the New Testament. Verse 9 sums up his character ‘the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works’. He is a liar who will deceive many with his power to perform signs and wonders. (Revelation 13:13-17 describes this similarly).

Although he has much power, this is limited. He cannot touch those who love the truth, the Lord Jesus, and are saved. It is those who reject the Saviour that are deceived by this person. Verse 11 states that God even sends this delusion as part of His judgment on those who refuse to love the truth.

This is a difficult passage but it is also reassuring for all those who trust in Jesus in an uncertain world. Moral values that were the norm a generation ago are being eroded across the world as individualism and all manner of belief systems are accepted and even encouraged. Truth is relative. Sometimes we may wonder “Is the time that is described here in Thessalonians going to come soon?”

However, whenever that time comes, we do not need to fear, if we love the truth and believe that Jesus came and died for us to be saved for eternity. What a wonderful assurance it is to know that we are forever secure because we have the truth. God has chosen us to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth (verse 13). We have security because we know that Jesus is always there for us and no one can ever change that.

Application: Give thanks and praise for the security that we have in Jesus Christ.