As the End Comes Message Series

AS THE END COMES – 2 THESSALONIANS
Part 2 – An Introduction to the Antichrist
(2 Thessalonians 2:1-8)

April 14-15, 2018
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor

2 Thessalonians 2:1-8a Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the apostasy occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed… (NIV)

1. FIRST, THERE WILL BE AN APOSTASY. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

A. 1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (NIV)

B. In the last days, there will be church members, whole churches and whole denominations who will leave the doctrines and morals of the Bible seduced by “new truths” which have their origination in hell.

C. Matthew 24:10-12 And many will turn away from Me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. (NLT)

D. Be Loving toward all people and stay hard wired into the Truth of God’s Word. Jesus did both. John 1:14 says He was full of both Grace and Truth. You can be, too.

2. SECOND, THERE WILL COME A MAN THE BIBLE IDENTIFIES AS THE ANTICHRIST. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

A. In the Book of 1 John, the Apostle John uses the word, “antichrist” in two different ways:

1. 1 John 2:18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. (NIV)

2. 1 John 4:3 …but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. (NIV)

3. There is a spirit of antichrist which is a rejection of Jesus as the Son of God.

4. Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (NIV)

5. The Apostle John also uses the word to describe a particular person, “THE antichrist” who will arise in the last days.

B. The antichrist is the antithesis of Christ.

Everything that Jesus is, the antichrist will be the opposite.

C. Daniel’s (chapters 7,8,9,11) description of the antichrist includes:

1 .A king of fierce countenance – powerful and deadly. (Daniel 8:23)

2. A leader able to solve the unsolvable world problems. (Daniel 8:23)

3. Will exalt himself above Jehovah God. (Daniel 11:36)

4. Will be successful in all he does until the Battle of Armageddon. (Daniel 11:36)

5. Will suppress and defeat followers of God for a set period of time. (Daniel 7:24-25)

6. Will be empowered directly by Satan himself. (Daniel 8:24)

7. Will be full of arrogance and pride. (Daniel 8:24-25)

8. Will come into prominence through solving the Middle East crisis and establishing a peace treaty with Israel. (Daniel 9:27)

Daniel 9:27 He (the Antichrist) will make a treaty with the people (Israel) for a period of one set of seven (seven years), but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. Then as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the end that has been decreed is poured out on this defiler.

D. initial description of the antichrist. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-5)

1. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

2. Paul calls the person the man of sin (lawlessness) and the Son of Perdition.

The word “perdition” means complete destruction.

3. Matthew 24:15 So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand. (Jesus ) (NIV)

4. 2 Thessalonians 2:5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?

3. THIRD, THE RESTRAINER WILL BE REMOVED. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8)

A. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed…

B. What is holding back the antichrist is the power of God through His Holy Spirit.

1. 1 Thessalonians 2: 7 …but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till He is taken out of the way.

2. Isaiah 46:10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. (NIV)

3. Although the power of sin is always at work, the lawless ONE will not be allowed to appear until the timing of God is perfectly accomplished.

4. When the Holy Spirit steps aside Satan will have full reign and evil will prevail like it has in no other time in human history.