2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 10/24/2021; BCBC/IOUC; Rev. Paul Wang
I also didn’t expect that this kind of apostasy has unexpectedly increased, and how far it has reached! Some of them are still friends of mine for many years. I can’t argue with a hundred words, even can’t do anything. I earnestly prayed to my Lord, and He gives today’s words to help us identify apostasy. Let’s look at the first point:
Impersonate God’s name to come
The best way for Satan to induce people to turn away from religion is to pretend to be the name of the Lord and come forward to deceive and destroy. First, deceive in the time of the Lord’s coming. This is what apostates say more, that is, they constantly “predict” the days when the Lord will come. Some people say it is 200 years after the Lord, some say it is 1200 years after the Lord, and some say it is 1914. After the First World War was over and the Lord had not returned, these people continued to fabricate lies, saying that the year 2000 was the millennium and was the day when the Lord returned. After another 12 years, the Lord still did not return. Remember the movie 2012, right? People all over the world are joking together, right? What is even more exaggerated is that some people who came to impose the name of the Lord said that the day of the Lord’s coming is not known, but the year and month of the Lord’s coming have been revealed to him by the Lord. Ask him again, and he said that the secret is not to be revealed! He is the only one of all mankind to know!
Second, deceive in the words of the Bible. In the last days, those who pretend to come in the name of the Lord will intensify their tampering with God’s words, secretly changing concepts, and arguing against reason. In short, it is to make a fuss on the boundary of truth, so that people with weak spiritual foundations will stumble and deviate from the truth! Judging from the incidence of church history, more areas are in Christology, Trinitarianism, and Biblicalism. For example, Christ’s two natures of God and man, He is a perfect God and a perfect man. The heresy of Arianism in the early church has started a controversy for more than two thousand years, to this day. The debate on the Trinity theory became even more lively, starting with the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, seven successive Ecumenical Councils. There is controversy, revelation, learning, and resolution. The mainstream and orthodox churches unanimously believe that the only true God we believe in is the Triune God. The Holy Father is God, the Holy Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, and they are one God. Augustine said that we can express the truth of Trinity incompletely, and even lack it. However, if we deny Trinitarianism, even salvation is lost. Some simply deny that the Bible is inerrant, right?
Finally, deceive in the position of the Holy Spirit. The trick of deception on the issue of the Holy Spirit has existed since ancient times. Today, people who came here in the name of the Lord are playing sideballs and creating chaos. Logically, they seem to make sense. They said that the Holy Spirit is greater than the Bible, Is it correct? At first glance, it seems to be right, but in fact it is full of errors and omissions! This involves biblical theory and hits the core of our faith! If we think that the Bible is only handwritten by humans, then the above heresy has a logical “foothold”. However, since the Bible is the word of God, there is no difference in time, space, or essence between the Bible and God. Don’t forget, God said that if there is light, there will be light! There are no gaps in his words, actions, minds, and essence. Jesus Christ is even the living word of God, how can we despise God’s word? What’s more, how can the third true God, the Holy Spirit, who is the Triune God, contradict Himself and contradict His own words? Let’s look at the second point:
Exalt one’s own pride
This is a very obvious sign, that is, anyone who is against God in everything must be someone who exalts himself and is proud. First of all, consider oneself better than others. Yes, they feel that they are always better than others, and their opinions are superior to others. Once I accidentally fell into a training camp of this kind of “exalt yourself”. I heard that famous speaker say: In the two thousand years of church history, only the first two hundred years are good, and the other 1800 years are wrong! Then, starting with this celebrity, set out for the church’s wrong path. I asked him during the break between classes, did the Holy Spirit not work or do anything in the 1800 years? Haven’t you read the revelation of the Holy Spirit in Acts? Does the Holy Spirit’s omnipresent guidance of the church need to be added or reduced? Historical theology puts forward a basic argument for us, that God never leaves His church! Therefore, God’s leadership in the orthodox church for more than two thousand years is God’s leadership for us today. This is a basic attitude, a humble attitude. It is worth watching and praying, lest we fall into confusion!
Second, be worshipped by others. It is often hidden, leaving no trace, but it is also clearly knowable. Of course, there must be explicit. Paul says“ 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. (2 Thessalonians 2:4)” The dominant false Christ has appeared, and they have put their idols in the temple of God, even taking the place of Christ. Hasn’t the red song and red dance today entered those self-claimed churches, but in fact they are not the true churches? Those who claim to be pastors and ministers, but vie for glory and honour, would you still call them people of God? Jesus said to look at the fruit of life, right? You know!
Finally, the essence of pride is to oppose God. Pride is not far from us! Satan is the ancestor of pride. From the beginning, he thought he could be comparable to God and fell into the abyss of opposition to God. God made Satan beautiful. It shouldn’t think too beautiful, but it wants to compare itself with God! In the face of God’s control in the history of the church, some people start anew, create new paths, and go their own way. They are either opposed to God’s leadership in the orthodox church for two thousand years, or opposed to the inerrancy of the Bible, the dual nature of Christ, the triune view, and justification by faith! The core is human pride! Let’s look at the third point:
The lie of signs and wonders
People’s hearts seem to have a tendency to pursue miracles, and they always seem to want miracles to happen to them, will they? First, Satan raises up various movements. I haven’t thought about this before. It turns out that various movements originate from Satan. The original term of movement is ενέργειά (energiah), which refers to supernatural things in the New Testament. I don’t need to explain, brothers and sisters should also be aware of various satanic movements in the world. Especially in the church, those who belong to Christ don’t have to raise up any movement, let alone direct the Holy Spirit to do crunches. Because the Holy Spirit is a God who does wonders alone, there is no need for people to exercise the Holy Spirit! As long as we believe in Jesus Christ, God promises us to receive the Holy Spirit. It is a free grace to receive, and there is no need to raise up any movement!
Second, there are signs, miracles, and false wonders. There is a spiritual common sense, don’t want my brothers and sisters to be ignorant. Even Satan will perform all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie. Remember when Moses performed miracles in Egypt, the various magicians in Egypt also performed miracles! There are more people doing miracles in India, right? The problem is that miracles do not necessarily accomplish God’s righteousness! Miracles are meaningful only in one situation, which is to show that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God! In other words, most of the miracles and false wonders in the world come from Satan!
Lastly, false beliefs arise from falsehoods. Perhaps one thing that we have not noticed is that this person’s salvation and that person’s destruction are all from God! What does that mean? It is those who perish that there will always be all kinds of deceit and rebellion. In fact, there is no lack of opportunities for the gospel around them, but they just don’t receive it! The message of truth has been around them for many years, just can’t get into their hearts! How to do it? Well, in this case, God will give them a heart that makes mistakes, just like the Pharaoh! Are you hard-hearted? Then God will simply make your heart more stubborn and rebellious! Since then, such people have no ability to believe in the gospel, but only believe in lies and follow Satan.
Well, dear brothers and sisters, the present generations are evil, and the apostasy has come out! These people are people who come in the name of the Lord, they exalt their pride, and even show the falsehood of miraculous miracles. Pray for God to help us win victory through the Lord and recognize these apostasy things!
Let us pray……
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
1 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. 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[a] 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.
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.
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.
9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie,
10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.