Today’s Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 2
Thessalonians is a book of letters Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, modern-day Greece. 2 Thessalonian 2:1-12 is confusing and a little scary. It talks about the end times and Christ’s second coming. It talks about deception and lawlessness. The part that is most unsettling to me is:
9 This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit powers and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that will save them. 11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.
Pause and take a deep breath. I want to panic a little. How will I not be deceived? The man Satan sends will use deception. He will perform miracles and those who believe him will be on their way to destruction. What is even scarier is that God will cause them to be greatly deceived and they will believe the lies.
It’s time for another deep breath. What will prevent us from being deceived? Believing the truth: Jesus is the Son of God. He was sinless, he died on the cross for our sins, and God raised him from the dead. He gave us the priceless gift of salvation. When we believe this with our whole hearts, we will be saved. We prevent ourselves from being deceived by reading the Bible, memorizing verses, praying, resting in his presence, and spending time with other Jesus followers. I believe if we do these things, God will not let us be deceived. We will know the truth, and the truth will set us free.
I trust that God will do everything in his power to convince the deceived to believe. God does not want anyone to perish. Unfortunately, there are some people who will never believe. Instead they choose to focus on themselves and do great evil. They have refused to accept God’s free gift of salvation. Eventually, God will allow them to suffer the consequences of their choices.
Paul doesn’t end his letter on such a sad note. He reminds the believers how much God loves them and how he will give them comfort, hope, and strength. I believe these words are addressed to all of us believers:
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and wonderful hope, 17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
God does not want us to live in panic and worry about the end times. He wants us to be prepared and not to be deceived. He will fill us with his grace, comfort, and hope.
Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If not, why? Are you attending services, reading your Bible, praying, and spending time in fellowship with other believers? Why is it so important to do these things?
Go to GrowthTrack. Join a Life Group. Become a member of the Dream Team. Pray. Read your Bible. Attend services. Have fellowship with other believers.
Jesus, I praise you that you love me so much you sent your son, Jesus, to save me. If that was the only thing you ever did for me, it would be more than enough. You want so much more for me. You, the almighty God of the universe, want to be in relationship with me. You want me to know the truth! You want everyone to be saved. You love me so much you fill me with your grace, comfort, and hope. You help me face all the challenges of this world. I don’t need to worry about the end times. I need to prepare for them by having a close relationship with you. You already have saved me. You already have won. I praise you, my wonderful Savior. Amen.
This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.
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