2 Thessalonians 21 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come.
Lord Jesus--Your return is something that no one will miss. It will be clear visible with clear signs that no one can miss. Your return is the hope of the church, not something to be feared. Nor is your return something to be used to either manipulate emotions or behavior. Serving you is not about guilt or being afraid of the future. It is about grace freely given and freely received.
3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Lord Jesus--The reality is that while there may be debate and discussion about your return, we have not reached the place where the man of lawlessness is revealed. The picture is of someone who sets himself up to be worshiped and proclaims himself God. I am sure that the people to whom Paul was writing were aware of the simple fact that kings wanted to be worshiped as if they were gods. Some people in that church may have died refusing to worship someone who called himself a god. But it was local, and not what Paul is referring here. In just a few years Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed it would seem with the ending of the temple worship that the end had come. They may have felt just like we do today...how could things get to this place? This must be when you will return to take us home.
The church has continued to look for your return. Help me to still look with anticipation for your return no matter how long it is, there will come a time when I will see you face to face.
5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
Lord Jesus--The scholars really don’t know what Paul was referring to here in this passage...what holds in check the man of lawlessness? I am wondering if it isn’t the simple fact that it wasn’t and isn’t time yet. The Father is the One who will say when time will end, and until then it remains for the church to keep to its mission. Remind me Lord Jesus of the time, and of the mission as I seek to serve you today.
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
There will come a day when the battle will end with a single breath...and evil will find its end. That is what I am looking for...an end to the balance of power that has kept evil at bay. There is coming a day when your people will see an end to the evil one and his lies, twisting and pain.
Lord Jesus--In this coming day, help me to be a person that reflects that same glory which we be visible at your coming. May you be seen in me in the day that awaits me.