Confusing Times

Confusing Times

Words of Faith 4-18-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><

 

2 Thessalonians 2

   [1] Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, [2] not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.

 

       One of the chief purposes for this follow up letter to the Thessalonians was to correct confusion about the coming of the Lord Jesus. 

       Paul had instructed the Thessalonians regarding the Day of the Lord, the period of history repeatedly mentioned in the Old Testament during which God will bring judgment and blessing on the people of the earth in a more direct, dramatic, and drastic way than ever before.  The Revelation of the New Testament seems to indicate that this period of time will begin after the Rapture of the church, and will include the Tribulation and the Millennium.

        In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul had taught them that the Day of the Lord would come as a thief in the night.  This instruction probably raised a question in his readers' minds. With the many persecutions that were upon them, it must have seemed to some of them that the Day of the Lord had already come.

       The Thessalonians apparently had received confusing instruction from other teachers to the effect that they were indeed experiencing these judgments of the Day of the Lord, that is, the Great Tribulation. But if this were so, how could Paul's previous instruction that they would be caught up and escape the wrath of God coming on the earth be true? Paul wrote to straighten out the matter.

        Paul warned his readers against believing the false teaching that was shaking them up and triggering their fears. Apparently, the theory that they were in the Day of the Lord was coming to them from several sources— prophecy, a report, or a letter. 

       These sources seemed to be authoritative. Some were saying this teaching had been revealed to them by the Lord. And some were reporting teaching they had heard from others. Apparently, the Thessalonians even received a false letter, which was allegedly from Paul that taught the same error (3:17). No wonder they were shaken up!

          The false message was that the Day of the Lord had arrived and the Thessalonians were in it. But if this were so, the believers were wondering, how could Paul speak of the Lord's return as preceding the day of the Lord?  And what about those promises that they would not see God's wrath?   Their confusion arose because they could not distinguish their present troubles from those of the day of the Lord.

         Paul warned his readers against being deceived. The Thessalonians must not be misled by any person, no matter how credible he might appear to be, or by the way, anyone might present his teaching, claiming the authority of God or godly men.  

         New Christians tend to be gullible because they are not yet grounded in the truth of God's Word. But all Christians can be misled by powerful personalities and spectacular appeals. The antidote to poisonous heresy is a precise dose of truth.  We will look at that next.

         For today, it is perhaps most important to realize that not everything we hear is truth. Just because something claims to be true does not make it true.  Just because a report sounds authoritative does not make it so.  Just because a particular personality is compelling does not mean that they speak for God. 

         There are many deceivers in our world today.  We live in a time that has been called "postmodern" and is defined by the idea that truth is whatever you want or decide that it is for you.  We live in a time when "authoritative voices" speak out to tear down the truths that have been revealed in scripture.  Watch out for the YouTube expert, the Podcast phony, or the authoritative television specials that will tell you Word of God cannot be trusted, Mary was not a virgin, Jesus got married, and Judas was a hero-- among many other defamations of scriptural truth. 

           But perhaps most dangerous are those voices that appear within the fold of Christianity telling us that the things the Bible calls sin… are not. Or that the events that we stand on are just myth, or that salvation is really a simple beliefism that does not involve true repentance.

            More than ever, we need to be in God's Word.  We need to be grounded in the truth of His person and grace defined clearly in Scripture. 

 

           Father, keep me close to You through the presence of Your Spirit and the Truth of Your Word.  In Jesus' name.