Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (Some Teachings Are Better Left Behind)

“Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.”

There are unending examples of elaborate interpretations of the way the world will end. It is a favorite pastime of armchair theologians and cult founders. It is a largely profitless endeavor. Unless the profit you seek to make is monetary. Many a “Biblical” scholar (or lately fiction author) has made a pretty penny teaching about the way they think the end times will unfold.

The best way to approach the Biblical teaching about the Day of the Lord is to simply read the Bible. God has revealed what He wants to about those times and we need not more than that.

Here it could and maybe should be said: “do not become too comfortable by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that you have a get out of tribulation free card as a Christian.” The Bible repeatedly teaches that tribulation, i.e. really hard times, will be used to test the churches. Any teaching that says Christians will be gathered before the very difficult end years goes against a plain reading of this chapter:

“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.”

Sorry to go so doctrinal here, but sometimes the text does that. It seems that to teach people anything other than what is stated in the Bible could cause problems down the road. It might be better to teach Christians that following Christ has it hard times too, and they might be called upon to prove their faith through serious persecution.

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