Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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Concerns for New Believers
2 Thess 2:1-3

NAS
1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, NAS

KJV
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,   2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.  3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition KJV

NIV
1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying 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 law-lessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. NIV

Introduction
Because of tribulation these new Christians were thinking the Day of the Lord had come. They seem to have a knowledge that Christians will not go through the tribulation period and they are confused.

Adding to the confusion Satan was already bringing. Let us look further at the first three (3) verses and the concerns of Paul.
 
 

1. Concerns for New Believers . . A Summons. v 1


1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him,

Introduction COMING OF CHRIST
The various scriptural statements can only be reconciled under the view that the coming of the Christ will consist of two phases-a coming for His church, the Body of Christ (1 Thess 4:13-18; 1 Cor 15:53; 2 Thess 2:1; Rev 3:10), and a coming with His church (Rev 19:11-16). His coming for His church will result in its removal from the earthly scene to heaven. (From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

A.    Summoned Regarding the Coming of the Lord. v 1 a
            "with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . "

        1.    This has reference to the actual coming of the Lord.

ATR = 2 Thess 2:1 Parousia (NT:3952) lays emphasis on the presence of the Lord with his people, (from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. )

B.    Summoned Regarding Our Gathering together. v 1 b
            ". . . and our gathering together to Him, / / / "

        1.    This has reference to the Rapture of the church.

ATR = 2 Thess 2:1 Paul is referring to the rapture, mentioned in 1 Thess 4:15-17, and the being forever with the Lord thereafter.(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the. N.T.

Illustration

Paul Taught Jesus was Coming Soon. Philippians 4:5 NAS
5 Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

Peter Taught Jesus was Coming Soon. 1 Peter 4:7
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. NAS

James Taught Jesus was Coming Soon. James 5:8
8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. NAS

John Taught Jesus was Coming Soon. 1 John 2:18
18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrist have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour. NAS

Application

Do you have a basic understanding about the return of the Lord?

Why not? Most of you are not New Christians.
 
 

2. Concerns for New Believers . . A Shaking. v 2


2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

Introduction
Paul does not want these believers to be shaken. This word is used to describe the endless movement of a ship in a storm. These new Christians were rattled. Note the first few words of verse Two (2).

        ". . . that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed. . . "

Illustration -- Humor
I read tyhis.   Jason, our youngest, has two goals in life. One is to have fun, and the other is to rest. He does both quite well. So I shouldn't have been surprised by what happened when I sent him to school one fall day.

As Jason headed off for the bus, I immediately busied myself, preparing for a full day. The knock on the door was a surprise and disruptive to my morning rhythm, which is not something I have a lot of. I flew to the door, jerked it open, only to find myself looking at Jason.

"What are you doing here?" I demanded. "I've quit school," He boldly announced. "Quit school?" I repeated in disbelief and at a decibel too high for human ears. Swallowing once, I tried to remember some motherly psychology. But all that came to my mind was 'A stitch in time saves nine" and "Starve a fever, feed a cold," or something like that. Somehow they didn't seem to apply to a six-year-old drop-out dilemma. So I questioned, "Why have you quit school?"

Without hesitation he proclaimed, "It's too long, it's too hard, and it' s too boring!"

"Jason," I instantly retorted, "you have just described life. Get on the bus!" Patsy Clairmont, "Bus Stop," God Uses Cracked Pots, Focus on the Family, 1991.

This week J. B. Cantrell said in the building committee meeting said "I am going to quit worrying. Everything is coming together just fine."

A.    Shaking from A Supposed spirit. v 2 a
        ". . . either by a spirit or a message or a letter. . . "

        1.    Evidently someone had spread the rumor that a spirit had told them the Lord had already
               returned.
 

B.    Shaking from A Supposed message. v 2 b
        ". . . either by a spirit or a message or a letter. . . "

        1.    Evidently someone had spread the rumor that a message had been received from Paul that the
                Lord had already returned.
 

C.    Shaking from A Supposed Letter. v 2 c
            ". . . either by a spirit or a message or a letter. . . "

        1.    Evidently someone had written a letter claiming to be Paul stating that the Lord had already
                returned.
        2.    If we consider our selves dead in Christ we will not be so worrisome or up tight in our
                everyday world.

Illustration
Chuck Swindoll tells about an unusual occurrence that happened to one of his close friends. His colleague had traveled across the country for a series of meetings, but his luggage did not arrive in the same place. Knowing that he needed some suits quickly and economically, he went to a local thrift shop. He was pleased to find exactly what he wanted, a couple of dark suits.

The salesman informed him that these particular suits had been cleaned and pressed, but some people didn't want them because they came from the funeral home. It wasn't a problem for this minister, so he bought a couple of suits for just $25. What a bargain. When he returned to his hotel room, he started dressing for the meeting, and he discovered there were no pockets in these suits. It then dawned on him that dead men don't need any pockets, because they can't carry a single thing with them. (Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, 1987, p. 158)

Application

Romans 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. NAS
 
 

3. Concerns for New Believers . . A Sensibility. v 3


        Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, NAS
 

A.    The Sensible About the . . Artificial. v 3 a
            ". . . Let no one in any way deceive you, . . . "

        1.    If it is Christ honoring it does not have to be deceptive.
        2.    I can not think of a Biblical position I have or could have but that I would tell you what I
               believe.
        3.    You can tell a conservative by what he says and a liberal by what he does not say.
        4.    Some say the Bible is an authoritative book and I agree; but what does that mean.
                a.    Does it's authority lead you to stand for anything?

B.    The Sensible About the . . Apostasy. v 3 b
            ". . . for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, . . . "

APOSTASY. Apostasy as the act of a professed Christian,
who knowingly and deliberately rejects revealed truth regarding the deity of Christ (1 John 4:1-3) and redemption through His atoning sacrifice (Phil 3:18; 2 Peter 2:1) is different from error, which may be the result of ignorance (Acts 19:1-6), or heresy, which may be the result of falling into the snare of Satan (2 Tim 2:25-26). Both error and heresy may accordingly be consistent with true faith. On the other hand, apostasy departs from the faith but not from the outward profession of it (New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1988.)

1 Tim 4:1-3 1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. NAS

Illustration

Jesus Seminar Speakers Condemn the 'Faerie Tales' of the Gospels by: Mark Tooley

A recent gathering of the Jesus Seminar featured Gerd Ludemann, the Lutheran theologian who has renounced the "faerie tales" of Christianity in favor of his brand of "spiritual" atheism. The scholars of the Jesus Seminar convene twice a year to debate which parts of the Gospels are "fact or fiction".

Ludemann teaches theology at the University of Gottingen in Germany. But accreditation was taken away from his course when German church leaders decided Ludemann was no longer suitable for teaching seminary students.

Ludemann renounced Christianity in 1998 when he said he no longer could pray to God or Jesus. "I no longer describe myself as a Christian," he told the public, as he called traditional Christian beliefs about Jesus a "great deception."

"I do not pray to Jesus, because he's dead," Ludemann explained to the Jesus Seminar. "He rotted away. How can we pray to Him. We cannot pray to God if he's not in Heaven." He called God a "meaningless phrase," adding, "Most of us do pretty well without God."

". . . Ludemann said he still enjoyed "fundamentalist" churches because their lively worship and singing, which he admitted have a "power." He admitted he would like to be able to pray. "All of us want to believe. Let's admit it," he said.

2 Timothy 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. NAS

C.    The Sensible Will Involve the . . Antichrist. v 3 c
            ". . . and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

        1.    Will the Antichrist be a Homosexual? Dan 11:37
                "And he will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he
                show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all. NAS

        2.    Will the spirit of Antichrist water down the gospel?

Illustration
'Chicago Declaration' released June 2; religious liberty: the 'Great Freedom'

The media reacts to evangelicals sharing the gospel.

To make matters worse, the ABC program stated there are "Christian" groups -- the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the United Presbyterian Church -- that discourage the conversion of Jews The program went on to state that many Christian denominations, including moderate Baptist affinity groups, believe one can get to heaven without believing in Jesus.

Application

Do you believe Jesus Is Coming again? Do you believe the Antichrist could be active today? Do you believe the spirit of Antichrist is active today? 1 John 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. NAS
 

        Concerns for New Believers . . A Summons.

               Concerns for New Believers . . A Shaking.

                          Concerns for New Believers . . A Sensibility.