"Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 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. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 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. Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 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. 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. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
One of my favorite memories from my Church Youth Group years (we were CA's: Christ Ambassa dors) is a drama we played out in the bowels of my small Church building.
To get a better understanding of what the Disciples must have been going through after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as they continued to live out His message in spite of persecution, our Youth Pastor announced that we would be meeting undercover for the next CA meeting. When I arrived at the Youth Group room that night, the room was darkened—no lights on and the blinds drawn. There was only one sign that directed the group to our secret meeting place. As I followed the Maranatha signs posted on the walls inconspicuously; I began to feel a real sense of danger walking (sometimes stumbling) through the subterranean and very musty basement of our Church.
After following a twisting and winding path, I finally arrived in a room behind the furnace room, lit only by a few candles. We had the most powerful worship service in that dusty room!
This dramatic reenactment left a powerful imprint on my faith. Throughout the oh-so-many years since being a CA, I am reminded whenever facing a life-battle, that there is also a very real spiritual battle taking place in the heavens. Our passage today describes the spiritual battle that will be ongoing until….until….until our LORD returns.
And yet, in this epistle, Paul cautions believers to not be “easily unsettled or alarmed” (v 2) by doomsday predictions. Paul assures believers that “[God] is holding [the Man of Lawlessness] back, so that he will be revealed at the proper time” (v 6). God’s power is simultaneously at work in our lives and in the heavens, for “[even though] the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; [God] will continue to [hold back] till he is taken out of the way” (v 7). God wins!
What battles or persecutions are you facing today? Has your faith been delegated to the basement? As you read this passage today—find the hope that is present. While we live in a world that is deeply affected by the “secret power of the Man of Lawlessness” (v 7), we do not have to live without hope. God is at work in your life AND in the heavens….until…until...until our Lord returns—so trust His power. Do not be deceived by the lies of the enemy—God wins!
This devotional was written by Diane Viere/originally published in LifeLine Devotional 5/3/10