BSF Acts: Week 16, Day 4: 2 Thessalonians 2:13–17

Summary:

After a brief training on the “Man of Lawlessness,” Paul picks back up on his message from chapter 1.  Paul is overflowing with thanksgiving to God for these believers.  His longing for communion with them translates into praise to God for the report he has received on how they are growing in the glory of the Lord.  He glorifies and thanks God for them and encourages them to stay the path.

Questions:

9. a. God the Father chooses us.  God the Holy Spirit sanctifies us by becoming present in us.  My responsibility is to believe, have faith and, as a result, begin living an eternal life right now.

b. I cannot fail.  God does all the real work.  He chooses the person, he calls me to them, he gives me the words to speak, he opens their ears and their hearts.  They accept the gift.  I’m just the delivery man.

10. There are two key parts to vs 14, the first is the word share, also written as obtain in some translations.  This means it is personal, it is mine.  It is something given to me and I possess it as my own.  It isn’t loaned, it isn’t an unobtainable state to be sought, it is shared and I take it and not only does it become part of me, but I become a part in it.  The second part of the verse is specifically about what we are sharing, the object, “the glory of our Lord Jesus.”  One of the meanings in Strong’s dictionary for the Greek word Doxa, the word presented here for glory, is: “the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven.”

11. I think there are several:  We are chosen, we are sanctified (transformed into something holy), we share (possess the glory of Christ), we are loved by God and all this is given through grace (not earned, not conditional on anything we can provide).

Conclusion:

I heard the most interesting compliment about one of the women’s group BSF teaching leaders in our town.  The person talking about her said, “she prays more than any person I know.”  What an amazing compliment and example.  We see it here in Paul’s letter as well.  This isn’t just a letter, it is a written document of praise to God.  Look at 2:13.  Paul says, “we ought always to thank God for you.”  He doesn’t say we ought regularly, daily, when we pray, while at church, during quiet time or anything of the sort.  He says we ought always to thank God for you.  I believe that one of the reasons Paul became such a voice to the church is because he was constantly in communication with God.

BSF Acts: Week 16, Day 3: 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12 with Revelation 13:6–13

Summary: 

2 Thessalonians 2:1–12

Paul describes the bold act of the “man of lawlessness” that will precede the return of Christ.   That he will exalt himself and place himself in God’s temple, claiming to be God.  And, he reinforces to them that work has already begin.  Paul does this to reassure the Thessalonians against false teaching and to not lose sight of Christ’s triumph.

Revelation 13:6–13

The time that the beast is given authority over the earth.  A time when there is no more agnostics, everyone takes a side – either God or the beast.  Then the second beast, the dragon comes out of the earth and performs great and miraculous signs.  All preceding the Day of the Lord.

Questions:

6. That day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction

7. He is a deceiver.  His authority is only that allowed to him, not anything he has of his own power.

8. a. Their refusal to love the truth and be saved.  A delusion, they believe the lie and delight in wickedness, bringing condemnation

b. Entering the gate of righteousness is a choice that is revealed to us to choose.  Other choices are abundant, there are thousands of other things we can serve and fall into depravity, but only one gate (Jesus) leads to God

c. A favorite hymn:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Conclusions:

The revelation of the gospel is not just for our curiosity or enjoyment, like an action movie, but it is there so that we are not deceived as we stand with Christ at the narrow gate, bringing the called into the house of God.  Paul’s emphasis is well noted, though. It is important to understand the events that will occur, but the important place to focus your eyes is not on the activities but on the outcome – Christ rules forever.