Thessalonians – Hope
We are Olympic style high jumpers when it comes to jumping to conclusions about people, in situations that haven’t happened and with circumstantial life in general. We also assume calamity that may never happen. We worry about what others think of us to the point of working too hard to be accepted by them. We fall back to being and behaving like the world because that is the easier road to take. At times we will even consider and believe false reports of when Jesus will come back.
It happened to the early churches and it happens now. Paul says, “Get a grip!” You were chosen by God to live for God with the power of Christ in us and His Holy Spirit guiding us! So stand firm! He reminds them, “Friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come and we assemble to welcome Him.” “Don’t let anyone shake you up…”
We all need to slow down and read the following words carefully, thoughtfully, and most of all, prayerfully. Let God’s Spirit speak to our hearts and restore the joy of what is and what is to come. We are chosen because we believe. Get a grip!
2 Thessalonians 2, The Message
1-3 Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him. Don’t let anyone shake you up or get you excited over some breathless report or rumored letter from me that the day of the Master’s arrival has come and gone. Don’t fall for any line like that.
3-5 Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan. He’ll defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he’ll then set himself up in God’s Temple as “God Almighty.” Don’t you remember me going over all this in detail when I was with you? Are your memories that short?
6-8 You’ll also remember that I told you the Anarchist is being held back until just the right time. That doesn’t mean that the spirit of anarchy is not now at work. It is, secretly and underground. But the time will come when the Anarchist will no longer be held back, but will be let loose. But don’t worry. The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away. The Master appears and—puff!—the Anarchist is out of there.
9-12 The Anarchist’s coming is all Satan’s work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake, evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them. And since they’re so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it—gives them what they want. Since they refuse to trust truth, they’re banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions.
13-14 Meanwhile, we’ve got our hands full continually thanking God for you, our good friends—so loved by God! God picked you out as his from the very start. Think of it: included in God’s original plan of salvation by the bond of faith in the living truth. This is the life of the Spirit he invited you to through the Message we delivered, in which you get in on the glory of our Master, Jesus Christ.
15-17 So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.
What do we learn?
–Satan is real. Don’t forget who the real enemy is.
–Greater still is Christ in us than Satan who is in the world trying to draw people back to him. Don’t forget!
–Satan still puts up a daily fight to destroy what God has created…us. But he will not win. “The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away.”
–Only God can allow the work of Satan to rise and fall. God is in control. Always.
–The Antichrist will look like and act like Jesus, but he is not! Don’t be fooled! Look to God and listen to His Holy Spirit in us.
–God will allow what we choose to be experienced. Choose well.
–Keep a tight grip on what we have been taught about God through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
“May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.”
Live for Jesus. DON’T JUMP…to conclusions of world thinking.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We repent of worry that creeps into our lives and belittles our trust in You. I love you because you first loved me. I know you won’t let go of me. My grip on You and what You have taught is tighter still. Continue to transform me until that glorious day when You will come to claim your own. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen