Paul’s focus turns from encouragement to warnings about end times. As we saw earlier, some had begun to stop working and sat around waiting for the end times. Paul wanted to set some things straight.
I remember when I was growing up and a preacher made an astounding announcement about the return of our Lord. I don’t remember the details, but he had figured out that by that year (I believe it was 1983 or so) the trumpet would sound and we would all be with the Lord. He had figured out not the exact hour (because the Bible said no one would know that), but he knew it would be this year. Up until then, I had a lot of respect for the man and his preaching, but it seemed that things started falling apart after that. Of course, the end of that year came and went, and nothing happened.
I find Paul’s discussion about end times, and more specifically the antichrist, interesting:
3 Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed – the one who brings destruction. 4 He will exalt himself and defy every god there is and tear down every object of adoration and worship. He will position himself in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.
I believe Paul is writing this warning NOT so we’ll be all paranoid looking to identify the antichrist, but instead so we’ll be looking for things that go against what we believe – and be prepared with an answer. But, for us to look for things that go against what we believe, we must first know what we believe.
That’s why I’m so thankful for dBrag (daily Bible reading accountability groups). If you’re not familiar with dBrag, please visit www.dBrag.org. It’s a great way to encourage each other to read the Bible on a consistent basis. I’m learning so much – and I know I’m being changed in more ways than just knowing some scripture.