According to the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) the New Testament lesson for the Sunday is 2 Thessalonians 2:1–5, 13–17. In this section of Paul’s second letter to the Jesus followers in the city of Thessalonica, he writes to encourage disciples who were experiencing confusion and opposition. Here, the confusion concerned the return of Chris. The problem of course is that the committee that came up with the series of readings decided to cut out the seven verses where Paul explains why their fears were misplaced. And these seven verses are the ones everyone asks me about with questions like:
- Who is “The Man of Lawlessness” .. The “son of destruction? … The “Restrainer”?
- What is the “Day of the Lord”? .. The “apostasy? … The “mystery of lawlessness”?
- When will this happen?
- How can I prepare?
In this week’s sermon we will explore the signs of the end of time, and how they all point to Jesus as our only comfort and hope. We will also be encouraged to cling to our Risen Lord so we can stand firm in his love and mercy until the end, no matter what is happening in the world around us!
Here are the important verses taken of the RCL Lectionary
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, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.