How to Have a Steadfast Hope in a Shaky World
You Need Not Be Dismayed
The stage is set for the drama of the ages, only this drama is not going to be make-believe, it is going to be for real. But God's people are not to be upset, dismayed, or anxious. We are to have a settled faith. 2 Thessalonians 1:7 says, "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels."
But Pastor, these are dark days. Yes, they are, but they are gloriously dark. The darkest hour of the night is just before the dawn. You see, our hope is not in politics or science or sociology. Our hope is in the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When He comes again, He is coming as the King of kings and Lord of lords. When He came the first time, He was spat upon. When He came the first time He was crucified, but when He comes again, He's going to be crowned.
Now we don't know the exact time of His return. Matthew 24:36 says, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Jesus was born on time. He died on time, rose on time, and He's coming back the second time on time. Our Lord will not tarry one minute longer than is necessary. God has everything under control. As a matter of fact, I have a little sign in my study that says, "Adrian, trust Me, I have everything under control" and it is signed Jesus.
You Need Not Be Deceived
2 Thessalonians 2:3 says, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."
Paul is saying that not only does he not want us to be dismayed, but he doesn't want us to be deceived. You see, somebody signed Paul's name to a letter to deceive the church — saying that it was already in the great tribulation. Essentially the letter was saying, "You have missed the rapture and you're in the great tribulation."
What is the best way to put out the fire of falsehood? Pour on the living water of Truth. Paul explains that the day of the Lord is not going to come until the anti-Christ is here. The apostle John calls Him the anti-Christ because he will set himself up as the counterfeit Christ. Don't be deceived about the end times. When the church, which is a restraint to the power of evil, is removed, then and only then will Satan begin to make his presence known in a more public arena through the anti-Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 is a powerful truth about the end times, "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming." This speaks of the battle of Armageddon.
Remember that the second coming of Jesus Christ will be in two stages. First, He will come secretly for His church, and then secondly He will come sovereignly with His church. And there will be a period of seven years between the Great Tribulation and when our Lord comes. It is within this time period that the anti-Christ will be destroyed. It is then that 777 will take care of 666. It is then that the Lord Jesus who suffered in shame will come in glory.
Now, what kind of application can we make from these things?
First, we need to be praying.
Second, we need to be winning souls.
Third, we need to be encouraging our Christian friends and family to get in the Word of God and help them understand its truths about the end times.
Fourth, we need to keep our focus firm on the Second Coming of our Lord and not get dismayed by the "doom and gloom" tales that are being preached.
Lastly, we need to keep our hope alive that God is sovereign and has a good plan for His children.