Second Thessalonians 2
[*] In the early Church, one of the main motivations and encouragements to holy living, was the conviction that the Lord would soon return.
[a] Dare I say, that to the majority of Christians today, throughout the whole of Christendom, the return of the Lord has all but become a subject of what is looked upon as the fanatical fringe of the Church!
[b] Those who have the courage to suggest that we are living in the final lukewarm Laodicean age of Revelation 3 are rejected with contempt. After all, who wants to be told, that the Lord says, (and I quote) “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Verse3:16)
[c] Our Bible reading from 2 Thessalonians 2, is saying very clearly “Look around – and when you see it all happening, the time of fulfilment is at hand!”
[d] So many Christians today blunder on blindly in the same old way, not realising they are fritting away the time to win the lost, before it’s too late. They meet together in their little exclusive clubs, and if someone dared to gatecrash the party, they would feel totally out of place and unwelcome. Evangelism has become a forgotten commission amongst God’s people! “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” IS A COMMAND OF CHRIST, NEGLECTED ALMOST TO THE POINT OF EXTINCTION IN THE PRESENT DAY!
EVANGELISTS COULD BE LOOKED UPON AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES TODAY – MAYBE THEY SHOULD STICK A PRESERVATION ORDER ON THEM!
[e] As far as our own movement is concerned, General William Booth said, “When the Salvation Army ceases to be a militant body of red hot men and women whose supreme business is the saving of souls, I hope it will vanish utterly!”
Catherine Booth said, "You want a real, living embodiment of Christianity over again, and if The Salvation Army is not going to be that, may God put it out! I would certainly be willing to pronounce the funeral oration of the Army if I did not believe it was going to be that. The world is dying for this."
[f] As we look at the number of corps being closed, and now even social centres, is it possible that these were almost prophetic utterances from our founders?
[g] But thank God not all Christians are Neros, fiddling while Rome burns.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to Ayr, by Graeme & Wendy, to take the keyboard, microphones and amplifier, and do an open-air meeting in the town centre.
It was a real tonic and encouragement, to see the people standing around listening, as the Gospel went forth in word and song. After I’d sung “It is no Secret”, a lady came to me and gave her testimony, of how she’d been saved some years before, through the singing of that very song. Our job is to sow the seed – it is the Lord Who gives the increase!
[a] In our Bible reading of the last days, we find that false documents and reports purporting to be from Paul and the Apostles, had been circulating saying that the Day of the Lord had already come. This was causing great distress and confusion.
[b] So Paul addresses it head on, and sets the record straight.
He says that there must be beforehand, a great falling away and rejection of God.
The Living Bible puts it this way, “There will be a time of great rebellion against God.”
[c] Even here in our own land – this is coming to pass with a vengeance! If you stand up for the truth of God in Scripture, you are branded as bigoted, narrow minded, old-fashioned, and even fanatical! The term ‘Christian Fundamentalist’ is banded about, and aligned with Muslim fundamentalism, and all that it means!
[d] They even want to completely cut God out of our schools, and not allow for even the possibility that He exists and made the world. They want godless evolution to be taught as fact, when it is but a very shaky, ever changing unproven theory.
[e] You may have seen my letter in the press a few weeks ago. Let me quote a little:
“We have education collapsing through lack of respect for authority; children often lacking basic morality, even to the point of rape and murder. Gangs roam our streets! The elderly are afraid to venture out for fear of being mugged! Yet society has not learnt it’s lesson, and wants to remove even the mention of God from our schools, whilst our impressionable young people, are enveloped in the tide of violence, filth and mockery, flowing continually through our television, cinema and other media.
If children are not taught basic Scriptural teaching, and the reason it must be followed, is it any wonder society is falling around our ears! All the ASBOs in the world can never match up to a basic belief that there is a God who sets down standards in the Bible, and to whom we will one day ultimately be responsible!”
A response to the letter, called me a ‘RADICAL FUNDAMENTALIST’
How refreshing! That’s the kind of thing they said about early-day Salvationists!
[f] As Christians, we have a responsibility before God to stand for His truth, and fight the evil around us. It is because Christians have kept quiet for too long, and often chosen party politics rather than standing up and being counted for God, that things have got so much out of hand.
I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines, where plans are afoot to teach gay sex education classes in Scottish primary schools. For the most part, Christians did not stand up against the abolition of Section 28. Now we are seeing the fruit of that neglect!
[g] Gerry Springer the Opera, openly blaspheming and belittling the Lord Jesus, and full of filth of every kind imaginable, was openly aired on national television.
[h] In one of my letters in the national press at the time, I called for Christians to mobilise against the tide of evil sweeping our nation. In a response to my letter, an atheist said, that the thought of Christians mobilising had sent shivers up and down his spine! I think he wanted us to be seen and not heard! WE’VE BEEN QUIET MUCH TOO LONG, THUS ALLOWING THE DEVIL TO ADVANCE!
CAN WE DOUBT FOR A MOMENT THAT SCRIPTURE IS PRESENTLY BEING FULFILLED, PROVIDING IRRIFUTABLE EVIDENCE OF THE NEAR RETURN OF THE LORD!!
THINK HOW MUCH THINGS HAVE CHANGED - EVEN IN OUR OWN LIFETIME!!! As Paul said in 2Timothy 3:13 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” What a clear picture of today!
[a] When the EU Constitution for a super state was being drawn up by the Convention entrusted with the task, it was insisted upon that any mention of God was banned.
We might think the Constitution is dead after being voted out by referendum, but there are plans to reintroduce it by the back door, by getting the politicians to accept it as elected representatives of their peoples.
I have a draft copy of the Constitution on my computer.
Many of you have heard me previously speak about the Antichrist New Age, and how they are working towards what they term as a ‘New World Order’, where Christianity is forbidden. Well in the preface of the constitution it says,
“The Convention was asked to draw up proposals on three subjects: how to bring citizens closer to the European design and European Institutions; how to organise politics and the European political area in an enlarged Union; and how to develop the Union into a stabilising factor and a model in the new world order.”
WE LITERALLY CAN SEE THE THRONE OF THE ANTICHRIST BEING SET UP BEFORE OUR VERY EYES!
[b] Much of the recent controversial British legislation has been seeded in Europe.
Our government, which many Christians voted for, has passed Religious Hatred Legislation, which effectively means you could be imprisoned for publicly quoting Scripture, or preaching it, if somebody from another religion found it offensive!
Our Christian freedom and heritage has been eroded by stealth!
[c] It speaks about it in our reading. Verses 9-10 are paraphrased like this in the Living Bible: “This man of sin will come as Satan’s tool, full of satanic power, and will trick everyone with strange demonstrations, and will do great miracles. He will completely fool those who are on their way to hell, because they have said ‘no’ to the Truth.”
I don’t think any of us can doubt that we live in a society that is blind to the truth, will, way and purpose of God. They prefer to follow headlong the devil and his angels leading them to damnation! It is a society that has said NO to the truth of God, and is already suffering the consequences!
[a] God needs His people in every denomination throughout the world, to stop playing toy soldiers, and truly enlist in His Army, take up the Sword of the Spirit – the Scriptures, put on the armour He gives us, seek the filling of the Holy Spirit, and go forth into battle against the forces of evil.
[b] You’ll remember earlier, I spoke about the lukewarm Laodicean church, which Bible teachers largely believe refers to the Church of today. Jesus gives a damning indictment to that church. It doesn’t take much insight to see it so accurately portrays the Church of today.
[c] I don’t think any of us here this morning would like to be classed in that category!
[d] May we each one have that burning desire in our hearts to be the burning shining lights Jesus desires us to be in this dark and evil world.