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2 Thessalonians 2: Anticipating His Coming--False Claims

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2

Text
1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us-whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter-asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don't let anyone deceive you in any way.... (2 Thess. 2:1-3a)

Reflecting and Thinking
I find it interesting that many in the contemporary church are unsettled by the things Paul wrote to help the Thessalonians overcome the tendency to be unsettled. The Thessalonians, reading Paul's letter in the first century, almost certainly understood what he was writing. Perhaps he was purposefully obscure--some have characterized this section as apocalyptic literature.
Even if we do not understand every detail of this chapter, we can understand the conclusion: the coming of Jesus had not yet occurred even though some were asserting such. There were several things that had to occur first--things Paul had told them about previously.
It seems there always have been and are always date-setters and those who want to ascertain exactly the time of Jesus' coming. Jesus said that the time of his coming is unknown and will come as a surprise. One can say with relative safety, "I do not know when Jesus is coming, but when someone sets a specific date, I can be almost certain that the date is wrong." Our challenge is not to ascertain the date of Jesus' coming but to live in a state of readiness for his coming.
His coming is imminent--it could occur at any time. It may occur in our lifetime or it may not. In reality, when our lifetime on earth is over, the time of his coming does not matter to us anymore. We will have escaped the temporal and entered eternity. Here on earth, we should combat false claims. We should live every day for our Lord.

What is your personal attitude toward "date-setting" and "date-setters"? Are you troubled by the possibility of Jesus' immediate return? What changes could or should you make today to be ready for his coming? Why not do what you need to do?

Prayer
Dear God, help us life faithful lives in your service. Help us know how to encourage others who are troubled by the date-setting tendency of our day. Help us stand firm in God's choosing, the gospel of the glory of Christ, and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we pray in Jesus' name, Amen.


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Last updated August 3, 2011