Clearing Up Confusion
David Bahn-Reflections Podcast
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
– 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 [ESV]
Over the years, people would come to me, asking about the Rapture, the End Times, the Final Judgment, or the Resurrection. Thankfully it seems those questions are not as common as they once were. Now questions center around the exclusive claims of Christ, the relationship of science to the Bible, creation and evolution, or the questions about sexual identities, practices, and morals.
But in Paul’s day the questions were swirling around the issue of Jesus’ return and how his followers would know it. There may have been some concern about the tribulation. But that was likely a lesser issue. The people of Paul’s day were living the tribulation. They were being actively persecuted. People were martyred for their allegiance to Jesus Christ.
But the devil will cause trouble however he can. In their case it was to confuse people about Jesus’ Second Coming. Had he already returned (see v. 2)? Who was the man of lawlessness? Why is he being delayed? Why is his power so evident and unrestrained? When will we be done with him?
These questions may seem foreign to us. But if we stop to think about it, that’s what we’re all asking from time to time. How long before I’m rid of this illness? When will my husband understand me? When will my wife appreciate me? Will my children ever learn to respect me? Will I ever get to see the world as it should be? Same questions. Different words.
Satan is doing all he can to confuse, misdirect, and deceive God’s people. He is set on killing, stealing, and destroying everything good and every hope that we have for God’s good grace. The answer is quite simple. When God determines it’s time to bring things to an end The End will come. When the fullness of God’s patience and grace is fulfilled Jesus will return. We may not be most fit for heaven when we are least happy on earth. But we are not wrong in praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!” When Jesus comes all confusion will be laid to rest.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.