Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

The Antichrist
Restrained, Revealed, and Received
2 Thess 2:5-12

5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;    9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. NAS

Introduction
The best-selling Left Behind fiction series is now in the library. It attempts to describe the various evils that will, according to the authors Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, accompany the last days. It makes for fascinating reading.

Any novelist will admit, it's much easier to get people to read about vice than virtue, about unfolding evil rather than pages upon pages of good. Why is that so? Is it because we don't know about these matters and desire to know? Their is a curiosity about the antichrist.

Today I want to touch on three aspects of the life of the Antichrist. We will look at Antichrist Restrained, Revealed, and Received
 
 

1. The Antichrist Restrained. v 5-7


5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way

A.    The . . Reminder. Concerning Restraint. v 5 - 6
        5    Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?
        6    And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed

        1.    The . . Telling Reminder. v 5
        2.    The . . Titled Reminded. v 6 a
                "What restrains him now, . . . "
                    a.    This is a neuter term for the restrainer.
Vs. 2:6 "what". Here the restrainer is neuter; in verse 7 it is masculine. The neuter would not eliminate the Spirit, which is a neuter word. RYRIE

        3.    The . . Timing Reminder. v 6 b
                ". . . so that in his time. . . "

B.    The . . Reservation Concerning Restraint. v 7
        "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.

        1.    Reservation . . In the Work. v 7 a
        2.    Reservation . . In the Way. v 7 b     ". . . only he who now restrains. . . "
                a.    This is a masculine term for the restrainer.
Vs. 2:7 "he" who now restrains will do so until. Antichrist is now being held back by a restrainer. Some understand this to be God indwelling His church by the Holy Spirit, while others see human government as the restraint. According to the former view, the removal will be at the rapture of the church (1 Thess. 4:13-18) but, according to the latter, at the overthrow of human government by Antichrist. RYRIE

Illustration
A Biblical example that can illustrate the taking away of God's people from His judgment can be the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom.

Application

I personally agree with the interpretation that the restraining power is the Holy Spirit in the Church. What ever your personal interpretation one fact is sure; God is sovereign in all matters
 
 

2.    The Antichrist Revealed. v 8-10


8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved

A.    The . . Then of the Revelation, v 8 a
            "And then that lawless one will be revealed . . . "

B.    The . . Termination of the Revelation, v 8 b
        ". . . whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

Notice these verses. Revelation 19:15, 21
19:15    And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. . . . .

19:21    And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. NAS

C.    The . . Teamwork of the Revelation, v 9 a
        "that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan,

Rev 13:4-5,8 4 and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" 5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. . . . 8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

Revelation 20:2
2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, NAS

D.    The . . Talent of the Revelation, v 9 b
        ". . . with all power and signs and false wonders,

Rev 13:13 And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.

E.    The . . Tricks of the Revelation, v 10
        " and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

        1.    Tricks . . Received by the Perishing. v 10 a
        2.    Tricks . . Rejected by the Saved. v 10 a

Rev. 13:15 And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

Illustration     News Summary     Editors of ReligionToday 07-14-00
There's been a boom in false "messiahs." The number of self-appointed religious saviors has never been greater than today, when more than 1,500 people claim to be an incarnation of Jesus Christ, German missions expert Johannes Reimer told idea, a German publication.

...The Russian spiritual leader Vissarion is an example of a self-appointed messiah, Reimer said, according to idea. About 10 million Russians follow this founder of the Church of the Last Testament. ...Biblical prophecy is fulfilling itself, Reimer said. Jesus had prophesied, as recorded in Matthew 24:5, that "many will come in My name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many," he said.

Application

Even though there are 1,500 so called messiahs the Antichrist will not be revealed until God's time
table dictates.
 
 

3. The Antichrist Received. v 10 -12


10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. NAS

A.    The . . Reason of the Reception. v 10
        "and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved."

        1.    Salvation keeps a person from welcoming the Antichrist.

Jesus said " Matt 24:21-24 22  "And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short. 23 "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him. 24 "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. NAS

Illustration http://www.HeInvites.org/fullStory.php3/0418.html 7-14-00
"I came from a dsyfunctional family with a mother who didn't know how to show love and a father who denied that I was his. I went to any length to get love: stealing,lying,sex,and adultery. By the time I was eighteen I'd had unprotected sex with forty men. I thought sex would get me love so I made men my god. I did the most terrible thing when I murdered my two children by abortion and then hit rock bottom when my mother died of AIDS. I had always tried to heal my wounds myself but it was not until God saved me that I was freed from the scars that sin had left on my life. Today, I am restored, forgiven and loved by One Who will never hurt me, and I know that. Dana.

B.    The . . Relevance of the Reception. v 11
        "And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe
what is false, . . . "

Vs. 2:11-12 The deluding influence comes from God; it is both a punishment and a moral result of their rejection of the truth (vv. 10, 12). RYRIE

C.    The . . Reprimanding of the Reception. v 12
        ". . . in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness."

Illustration
Marilyn Manson makes money. Unfortunately, despite his satanic brand of business, Wall Street offers you the chance to invest in him. Who is Marilyn Manson the investment? His albums features songs such as the following from Antichrist Superstar, ". . .

the moon has now eclipsed the sun, the
angel has spread its wings, the time has
come for bitter things, the time has come
it is quite clear our antichrist is almost
here - it is done . . ."

He has become known for his anti-Christian sentiments seen in such songs as: The Reflecting God: " . . .

I went to god just to see,
and I was looking at me.
Saw heaven and hell were lies. When I'm god
everybody dies. Can you feel my power . . .?"

Manson has done an excellent job of portraying an Antichrist personality which Manson himself deems "somewhat autobiographical." A perusal of Internet searches for the words "Marilyn Manson" turns up fan sites and information sources for those interested in Satanism and Manson's self-imposed title as "Antichrist." Manson's concerts attendees (the majority of which are under 25) cheer as he bashes Christianity and exchange hand signals for the devil's trident.

Can you imagine someone choosing to invest in this man? Well, are you sure you're not invested in him yourself? If you own any of the following mutual funds, you do own Marilyn Manson because they are holding Seagram's stock: Merrill Lynch Phoenix, Vanguard Primecap, Harbor Value, Fundamental Investors Fund, New Perspective Fund, Fidelity Equity Income Fund, and dozens of others. Investing in these funds puts not only shares of Seagram in your portfolio, it lines your pocket with profits from Manson's music as well.

Application

Now I ask you "Would anybody want to receive the Antichrist?"   This is an example of those who want to flirt with him right now.
 

N E I L A N D E R S O N D A I L Y D E V O T I O N A L July 11 CHILDREN AND THE OCCULT

The school administration in a Christian high school found out that nearly every student in the school had played "Bloody Mary," a popular party game among some groups of children. A common version of the game requires a child to go into a completely darkened bathroom alone, spin around six times, face the mirror, and call upon Bloody Mary to show herself. In many cases these children saw something frightening in the mirror. There was no physical explanation for seeing anything in a totally dark room. These children had unwittingly opened themselves up to the god of this world.

Bloody Mary is only one of the more "innocent" ways our children are giving Satan a foothold in their lives. Games like the Ouija board and Dungeons and Dragons are other common means by which children are introduced to the occult. The music, movies, magazines, television programs, and substances our children are exposed to create gaping doors of opportunity for Satan to seduce them.

At one public high school in Southern California, 133 students were referred to the school psychologist during the first six weeks of classes because of their involvement with Satanism and the occult. Most children don't even realize the spiritual bondage they are submitting to when participating in these activities. What's worse, most parents don't either.

Children are dabbling in all kinds of occultic experiences: astral projection, table lifting, fortune-telling, astrology, crystals or pyramids, automatic writing, tarot cards, palm reading, spirit guides and blood pacts. In addition, the New Age Movement, permeating our society and our public education system today, is the source of many pitfalls. Much of the world's attempt to amuse and entertain our children leads them into darkness.

No matter how many dark doorways beckon to your children, Christ is the ultimate door to freedom. He is the truth and the light that dispels the lies of Satan and the darkness of the world.

Teach yourself and your children to know and choose the truth.

Lord, help me equip my children to recognize and dispel the darkness in the worldly amusements and entertainment which surround them.
 
 

The Antichrist

Restrained, Revealed, and Received

Several signs indicate Many Americans are ready to

receive the Antichrist