Sunday, April 21, 2013

On 4-28-13, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, 8-17 or 2:1-3, 9-17 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as The Lord Will Triumph aka Hope Comes from God’s Grace

The Lord Will Triumph
 Hope Comes from God’s Grace
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, 8-17 or 2:1-3, 9-17
International Sunday School Lesson
April 28, 2013

Jed Greenough

Of course a passage such as the one selected for today’s lesson cannot be taken all by itself, you know you have to read all of 2 Thessalonians 2.
Also with regard to extra reading, I would encourage you to also read my commentary on this blog for the 3-17-13 lesson as so much of what Christ said regarding this event(s) is discussed in the scripture I talk about there.
This is such an intriguing chapter isn’t it?  All this talk of the coming of Christ, deceit, rebellion, the man of lawlessness doomed to destruction, who sets himself up as if he were God.  That someone is holding him back for now but eventually that he will be allowed to emerge only to be easily destroyed by Jesus at His return.  But during the interim this man of sin will deceive many and God will, even as Young’s Literal Translation writes, “send to them a working of delusion for their believing the lie”.
Wow!  Where do you begin?  You can see the stress that Jesus put upon understanding the power of the deceit that will be occurring so it is important in my opinion that when we read teaching on this chapter that we question it and say MAYBE what they say is right.  I don’t care what their reputation is, what their length of service or career is or their intentions.  In this case only trust what God said!
What I will say on the chapter is that I see not just an antichrist I see antichrists with an s.  I see the spirit of the antichrist.  Think of it in the sense of the sentence, “There was a spirit of joy in the room when the good news of their engagement was announced.”
I see multiple people, no, multiple doesn’t do it, I see this as showing the preponderance of people who hear what their itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3), and they like it and they promote it and this is what I believe is the rebellion named in verse 3, called the falling away in some translations and known as the Apostasy.
At just the right time, as everything always is in God’s planning, he who now holds back the man of lawlessness will be taken out of the way and then this “son of destruction” will be revealed. 
How exciting and mysterious and terrifying all at the same time!  How comforting to know that God has it all mapped out.  Does it matter that we figure out who the man doomed to destruction is?  No, because that can get you into trouble because you could be wrong.  Satan isn’t new to this game.  Always remember that.  Does it matter if there is a literal temple such as mentioned in verse 4?  No, because the same word in the original Greek language is the same as the word for the temple within us and what we see in the rebellion is the same for the plural as it is the single.  Does it matter who I think is holding this all back?  No, though I am confident I am right, it doesn’t matter for many reasons but let’s just say God is the authority behind it all.
What really matters is that people be warned and encouraged by this entire chapter.  Then nothing will fool them and they will not wander from the path because they were warned not to believe something they see or hear just because it is palatable or even miraculous because Jesus warned them it isn’t the easy way--that is Satan’s way.

For Discussion:

  1. Discuss the signs of the falling away
  2. Discuss if God has already sent or is sending the powerful delusion
  3. Discuss that in order for it to be a falling away it has to come from within the church not without
  4. Discuss how people have built up religions and cults around these issues
  5. Discuss how people have taught with certainty who is or who will be the antichrist
  6. Discuss how teaching one thing and then being proven wrong is damaging to the Kingdom.
  7. Read other versions of the Bible when considering verse 13
  8. Discuss that what was taught the Thessalonians was what we are to stand firm to today

5-5-13:     Living Hope 1 Peter 1:3-16 or 1:3-12
5-12-13:   Sure Hope aka Equipped with Hope 2 Peter 1:2-15, 20, 21 or 1:4-14
5-19-13:   Active Hope aka Hope through Stewardship 1 Peter 4:1-11
5-26-13:   Patient Hope aka Hope in the Day of the Lord 2 Peter 3:3-15a, 18 or 3:1-15a

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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