Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 22 Nov 2015
3 Let not anyone deceive you by any means. For that Day shall not come unless there first comes a falling away, and the man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition,
4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself forth, that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you?
6 And now you know what holds back, for him to be revealed in his own time.
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already working, only he is now holding back until it comes out of the midst.
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming,
9 whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved.
Many years ago, in a rural area of England, a woman with a child was on a train going to a little village. It was winter and very cold. The conductor told her to be ready when they get to her village, and that he will come and tell her when they’ve arrived. But another passenger told her that he knew the area and would tell her to disembark. A short while later the train stopped and the passenger in her compartment told her that they’ve arrived at her village and that she could get off. She disembarked with her child and the train left again. A while later the conductor entered her cabin to tell her that they’ve arrived at her village, but she was not there. He asked the other passenger and he told him that she got off when the train stopped earlier. The conductor was shocked and angry. The train had only stopped to fix a minor problem. There was no village there and it was in the middle of winter. She and her child would die from the cold and that is also what happened, because she didn’t wait for the conductor, but listened to someone else who professed to know. Be careful not to listen to everyone who claims to have special knowledge.
Jesus said that when the antichrist comes, many will be deceived. We don’t know when the antichrist will come, but we do know that the spirit of the antichrist is already at work in people.
Use discernment. Check what a person claims by examining whether it is in acccordance with the Bible. Some claim to have deep knowledge and discernment, but are only deceivers. The Bible often warns us not to be deceived.
Woe to those who simply swallow anything, even if it comes from a family member or even a preacher. Examine it in the light of the Bible. In the early 1100s a certain priest saw how bad things were going and wanted to make a difference. So when he was young he said that he was going to change the world. He didn’t get it right and so thought to change his nation. But he also failed. Then he decided to change his town, but they also didn’t want to repent. Then he decided to change his family, but he failed in that too. When he was old, he said, I’ve failed to change the world, our nation, our town or my family. Let me be the one that gets changed by the Lord. He became a different man. Then his wife and children got converted, and his family was changed. Then his whole village repented. Then he realised that he had failed because he had “put the cart before the horse”. If only he had called upon the Lord when he was young, maybe his nation and the world would have changed. God revealed this mystery to him. It’s no use preaching to your wife and children and those around you if you are not right with God yourself.
Note that antichrist doesn’t mean against Christ, but rather to take the place of Christ.
People are very fond of saying that they are born again, while they live sexually immoral. Such are liars. True faith means being united with Jesus. A Christian has a living, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Even in our churches homosexuality is now condoned. People call it love, but it is the spirit of the antichrist. Young girls kill their own children through abortion. This is the time of the great falling away. Preachers fall in adultery and divorce their wives, but excuse their sin by saying that David sinned too.
The Bible says that the antichrist would already have been revealed, but he is held back by the spirit-filled church of Christ. When God works in the lives of people, the antichrist cannot get his things done. When the Lord comes, He will conquer the evil one simply with the breath of His mouth.
But even if satan seems so mighty, he is nothing and the Lord will destroy him with the “breath of His mouth”. Live for the Lord Jesus so that you are ready for Him when He comes.
Those who are in the Lord will meet Him in the air and feast at the marriage feast of the Lamb. Are you ready for these things? Are you ready for the Lord’s return?
We should be soul-winners, seeking out souls for the Lord. We must wake out of our sleep, live for the Lord and win others to Him.