“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.”
~2 Thessalonians 2:3 (NIV).
REAL CLUES ARE WHAT WE’RE ALWAYS SEEKING as we try to unravel the mysteries of life. And this one surrounding the Parousia (Jesus’ Coming) is no different. We marvel at how it might come about.
Paul is clear that there are some lucid signs that indicate ‘that day’—the time preceding the “terrible” Day of the Lord in Joel 2:11. For starters, it’ll involve the patent uprising of the ‘man of sin’ who will set himself up against and above all that is God, or worshipped in God, so far as we’ll be able to see.
The antichrist we’ve commonly associated for some of the most terrifying leaders of human history. And there have been no shortage of these over the past two hundred years—but none of them was the antichrist.
Probably apart from being alert and certainly knowledgeable regarding the circumstances of the Parousia, we’re just to know that a steadfast commitment to God—and the wisdom, truth and ideals of God—is all that’s required in us, and this by faith. This is because those false believers and unbelievers will be corrupted and “sifted” by those times (Daniel 11:32). They will be deceived by the “counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9). The unsaved will perish because they “refused to love [and accept] the truth” (2 Thess. 10b).
Paul is quite clear in this part of his letter, in trying to set the church at Thessalonica straight in this area of doctrine as a way of shoring up their practical faith—the outworking of their lives.
And for us it’s no different. To simply know generally how these times might unfold engenders a sense of bearing up under increased resistance and persecution. In these days we will all be tested.
It is rather good then that we get a little taste of the testing here and now. We’re to “stand firm,” (2 Thess. 2:15) however, in our faith and hold fast to the sound teachings we’ve heard, knowing that love (eventually) wins all wars.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.