Thursday, November 07, 2013


TODAY'S SPECIAL: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

TO CHEW ON: "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10

Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonian Christians quickly gets to the subject of the return of Jesus. It was apparently something they had discussed when he was with them in person earlier (2 Thessalonians 2:5).

He reassures some who seem to be worried that this has already happened that no, it hasn't. And they will surely know when it is about to come, by the events that precede it: "the falling away comes first and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Then he goes on to tell them some things to be watching for in this prominent figure (also referred to as "Antichrist" in the letters of John). The predominant danger is deception. Paul warns them repeatedly not to fall for his deceptions — ruses that originate with Satan, the father of lies.

As those who are still awaiting Jesus' return, we do well to sit up and take notice of these deceptions:

Satan first makes his Bible debut as a deceiver (Genesis 3:13).

Adam and Eve's falling for that deception means that the tendency to believe a lie has crept into the very DNA of all humankind. We are deceived:
  • when we follow our own instincts, the "way that seems right" and find it ends in death (Proverbs 16:25).
  • when we give in to sensuous living (Proverbs 20:1) and live by our lusts and hunger for pleasures (Ephesians 4:22; Titus 3:3).
  • when we persist in living in sin (Romans 1:24-25), and let its glamorous deceitfulness harden us (Hebrews 3:13).

We can see how people already confirmed in deceit could easily fall for this henchman of Satan and his "power, signs, and lying wonders." A footnote to this section in my Bible says, "Not every 'miracle' comes from God, nor are such wonders any less miraculous because of their origin" (New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1694).

That's why we need the Holy Spirit — our inner deception meter and alarm system — to alert us to deception, sanctify us (make us holy), and lead us into truth (2 Thessalonians 2:13) as we continue to wait for the return of Jesus.

PRAYER: Dear God, please make me aware of Satan's deceptions. May I let Your Spirit teach me and confirm me in truth. Amen.

MORE: More on 2 Thessalonians 2

In the concluding paragraph of an expository sermon on this chapter of Thessalonians, John Piper says:

"We can be sure that when the man of lawlessness comes, his signs and wonders will be used to support claims that appeal to our natural desires. Therefore the only defense against this appeal will be a deeper desire for God. If Christ is our portion and our treasure, if he satisfies our longings, and if we love the glory of his gospel, then the mystery of lawlessness will not overcome us, and our love will not grow cold and we will endure to the end and be saved. May the Lord grant us all to receive the love of the truth. Amen." (Read/listen to entire sermon). 
- By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

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