Posted on July 12, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”- 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (NKJV)
I got to spend some time in an area of Maryland known as The Eastern Shore recently and as always there was a take away or two to remember. My wife and I were running outta sights to see and things to do when it was suggested that we see the 50th Annual Steam and Gas show, at the Tuckahoe Steam & Gas Association in Easton Maryland. It was day one of the event and the July skies were threatening storms, so most of what we went to go see were under tarps within the first hour of our arrival. But as we made our way around the mostly closed up event, we came upon a tent that sold t-shirts with Bible verses on them. It was enough to make us stop, see what they had, and ask a few questions about the event.
Well, these fine Christian ladies told us that this was their first time there and they tried to answer what they could but the conversation went towards what they were selling and that it was good to see that boldly out for all to see. Some of the sayings were clever as they presented the Gospel and they might have raised an eyebrow or two with some Christians but as one of the ladies there said, “Ya gotta use some familiar terms to hook ‘em in.” So, I decided that the best way to come into agreement with this was to share how the apostle Paul stated that he needed to become everything to everyone in order that some may be saved by the Gospel. Amens came from all those surrounding the tent.
This moment had an impactful uplifting on my wife and I as we walked away. We kinda felt like we connected with a community that we didn’t live in but was still a part of. I’m guessing this would have something to do with the indwelling of His Spirit? Maybe, but I knew one thing for sure and that was God’s Word is still out there finding the remanent and keeping it glued together. However, one thing did strike me as we made our way back to our car was, that in a world that is constantly redesigning its truth to justify the anti-Christian way its choosing to live, our authenticity in how we present the Gospel, even if we need words to do it, will let folks know there should not be any defection from truth.
“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
I don’t pretend to be a whiz when it comes to eschatology, so I won’t try to explain how the son of perdition will reveal himself, but within what Paul is telling the Thessalonians concerning him you’ll see Paul mention there will be an “apostasia” (falling away) that happens first. Some have thought this is when The Father will remove His hand from us, for me, all I see is that nothing happens until there’s a defection from truth. This would mean that many people will not want to listen to sound doctrine. They’re gonna want their ears tickled and if you are paying attention to the multiple narratives out there, you’ll find quite a selection of “spiritual” paths to take to arrive at your nirvana (whatever that means).
When Paul found out that the Thessalonians had misunderstood what he said in his first letter to them, he quickly got to work on a second. He found out their paths were heading in the wrong direction, he immediately sought to clarify what he said about what would happen before Christ’s return. Basically, false teachers creept into a thriving church and gave them what they thought was Gospel truth about Christ’s return. It musta been a doozy of a message because it caused people to flat out stop what they were doing and wait. There’s nothing in Scripture that says stop and wait but we are challenged to be ready. Readiness doesn’t occur from nothingness.
Where God’s Word does say that iron sharpens iron, we’ll sometimes find out that some “iron” turns into aluminum foils when tested. So, it isn’t a bad thing to stop and ask about a t-shirt with a verse on it and chatting with those who chose to sell them. What we should be doing is having that conversation to test the intention of those selling it (as well for our own sake) and see where an agreement is reached. We are living in a time period where apostasia runs rapid and deep. If we’re truly worried about what will Jesus finds when He returns, let’s make sure our t-shirts are in order, displaying His truth, and bringing the lost to His Gospel truth. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12