Deception is a big part of our day. Antichrist spirits are here, but we are looking for Him and His Rapture. We look with hope and conviction about His taking us to Himself. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11421
11:00 AM on 2/18/2018
Check your attitude. God is good and God loves me. I have a good attitude. Shake the dust off. Samson shook the dust off his feet. Shake off the old man. The grumpy, sad, moody person. You don’t have that attitude. Are you Spirit-filled? Does God love you? Is he for you? Is he against you? That was a test! He is for me! God is good. Praise him. Lift up your hands and praise him.
When you see Christ hanging on a cross and you think about his nature and his character, does it touch your heart? When you see God on a cross and he’s humble and obedient and submissive and kind and a victim, does it touch your heart? Why when you came to Christ and he was preached to you, you realized who he is? God is love. He did not come to judge but to save. Why did it touch your heart? You decided in your heart you would believe in him and he saved you. By his blood, he washed all our sin away and justified us. He sent the H.S. into us and the H.S. is our teacher, the guarantee that we belong to him. This is what you have. The seal, the evidence that you are a part of him is that the H.S. is dwelling in you and you are part of his kingdom on the earth. We are preaching in these weeks. I think this will go weeks. We will have grace messages. Then we will also speak about end times. The Christ that is the real Christ and then the Antichrist and the coming period of the Tribulation. Also a piece about the Rapture. We preached about being shipwrecked in the last week or two.
There is a picture of a shipwreck and the verse is 1 Tim 1:18-20.
vs. 19. We use this to explain that Christians can have a shipwrecked faith. They are on the sea of life and don’t see they are in dangerous waters. They have coffee with a person and they infect or mislead them. They influence them.
Paul mentions in vs. 20 two names of people. Two people in the church and they have an influence by their teaching, advice, and lifestyle. It has resulted in believers having their faith shipwrecked.
I had a Bible college teacher in Maine and he had gone to Harvard Divinity School. His testimony was I believed a little bit and when I went to seminary I lost my faith. Then I heard the gospel and was born again. He met Dr. Stevens and began to study the Bible. I realize this is powerful or real.
I don’t want you and I to be in this fellowship and any of us would be shipwrecked in our faith. People we meet, things we read, movies you see, an argument someone makes, an experience you have. Look at the tragedy in that high school when murder and evil ripped through the lives of a community. Some could say I believed in God and look what happened to me. We can’t have a shipwrecked faith. Understand and be prepared for what life has for us.
Put the timeline called Rapture. I don’t want to leave the shipwreck idea. We could take time and park there. The bottom line is I believe that whatever God would bring into my life as difficult or hard or challenging, I want to believe that he can carry me through. That I will finish my course with joy as Paul said. I want to believe we would be able to hear a word in season that would comfort and lead us. God would order our footsteps and guide us in our lives. This period of time called the Church Age was also before, way back with Able and Cain. There was the operation of evil. There always has been. It will increase in the Tribulation period with more demons that are in a high security prison called Tartarus. It’s a Greek word once used in the O.T. where spirits are in chains. Out of the abyss in Revelation there will be demons coming out and more evil in the world than today. In Revelation we have the unfolding starting in chapter 4 through 19, the unfolding of a revelation of a period of time where there will be evil in the world like never before. We will be saved from it.
1 Thes 1:10, we will not be here. We are not appointed unto wrath. There are Christians who believe in a mid-tribulation Rapture, a partial Rapture and a post- tribulation Rapture. We believe in a pre-tribulation Rapture. We will be taken out of the world before the Tribulation. This takes some imagination and thought. Everything happens day after day and nothing extraordinary that happens in history. It’s the normal flow of activity and events. It’s largely that way. We know this. Just like the first coming of Christ was remarkable, that God would come as a man and there wouldn’t be worldwide headlines. It would be under the radar where he came according to the prophets. The prophets set it up. This one of our evidences of the reasonableness of God. If God were to show himself we would expect it to be sensible. He gave and gave this prophet and did this miracle and the culmination of an unfolding plan that you can look at. Be sure that this man is Christ. The very people that studies these things did not believe he was Christ. How could they not see this?
He would be pierced through his hands and feet, born in Bethlehem, and die on a certain day in Da 9:24-27. How could they not see this humility, this under the radar message?
God is testing the hearts of people and resisting the proud but gives grace to the humble, Ja 4:6. We are fascinated by the study and learning to live by faith in him and anticipating what will happen according to the Scripture regarding the period of time we live in. We do not know when the Rapture will happen. We have at least seven indicators of the times we live in that we are living in the last days: Israel returns, globalism, pestilences and diseases.
“The killer viruses have jumped from the animal world to humans. There have been so many new diseases cropping up lately, it’s difficult to keep up with them all. There is Ebola, West Nile virus, Lyme disease, mad cow disease, SARS, the bird flu, the swine flu. According to Newsweek 2003, the May edition, there have been over 30 new diseases since the mid-70s which have caused tens of millions of deaths. According to Associated Press 2006, humans risk being overrun by diseases from the animal world according to researchers who have document 38 illnesses that have made that jump over the past 25 years. All these new diseases come on the heels of the AIDS virus which is the most destructive plague the world has ever seen.” Further it says, regarding the flu that we are now being touched by, the H1 flu, “it is a descendent of the pandemic of 1918,” if you Google it the Spanish flu it was called, “that killed 21 million people at least.” And I read some places 50 million people. “They say that is nothing compared to what will happen when we are flying around the world, when the world’s population is traveling so much, they will be able to infect large numbers of people so that a pandemic widespread bird flu could range conservatively from 7.4 million people dying to 360 million people.”
Well, these are huge numbers. We read in Revelation there will be a time when ¼ of the world’s population will die. Cashless society. Buying things electronically, credit and debit cards. Online banking. I don’t use cash much. I even forgot what it looks like. Even when I buy something for a dollar, I use a credit card because my wife doesn’t let me have cash! What will happen when everyone is on the grid electronically? There is an inherent power that the system has. You cannot buy or sell then you will barter but it will be so limited. So I will have to be part of. This is coming. The Antichrist will have authority over the banking system so you can’t buy or sell unless you have his mark. And have his mark means you are part of the Antichrist system. To God it is a watershed decision. If I take the mark, I am not saved. If I trust God, I will be killed. All of this is troubling. Have we ever been in our history where we are today where we can imagine the world as described in Revelation? Have we ever seen the whole world deceived? We saw Germany misled by Hitler. Put that on steroids. We will have another world leader like Nimrod. Mau did it to a billion people. This will happen in the whole world. This is not a moral contest alone. It’s deeper. It’s a spiritual one. We are here holding it back. We are in the world and it’s not as evil as it will be because we are here.
2 Thes. 2. The Thessalonians were taught by Paul about Christ’s Second Coming.
We read 1 Thes. And he talked about the coming of Christ and the Rapture.
The Rapture is in chapter 4 of 1 Thes. We won’t be here. The Thessalonians were misled to believe by a false teacher or letter that they missed the Rapture and they will now be here during this period, this Tribulation period. They were afraid they would be here during that time. Paul said it hasn’t happened. Don’t be troubled by that miscommunication wherever it came from. It won’t happen until. And he explains this.
2 Thes 2:1 that’s a good word. Don’t be troubled. Don’t be soon shaken in mind. That happens to me for other reasons. Fretting.
Ps 37. Worry. A general trouble in your heart. About your family or finances or job or health. We have been left behind. That’s a movie series or a number of books written by Tim Lahaye. He speaks about the Rapture and the period after. They were concerned they had been left behind. They were troubled and shaken by it.
vs. 2. Spirit, small “s.” Not the Holy Spirit but a demonic spirit. Don’t be troubled by a spirit nor by word. Words can trouble us. A phone call or a word from a friend unintentional. Sticks and stones may break my bones – is that a Bible verse! But names will never hurt me. My life is deeper than the words that are said.
vs. 2. I’m going to write a letter and sign Paul’s name. You guys missed the Rapture. God bless you and signed Paul’s name. A fraudulent letter from someone. They didn’t write it. Paul is saying don’t be troubled by anything. I didn’t write that.
vs. 3. Brothers and sisters the period of time in a word is a time of deception. It’s not a good analysis. It’s a shallow, perusal, shallow looking at something. It’s not an in-depth understanding and discernment. You can take a block of dirt and spray paint it gold. How do I know? I have to discern. It’s a time of trickery, of miracles, word, popularity, money, influence, and power. The sin nature of man being deceived. It happened when Christ was here. It happened before Christ with prophets here. It happened with Cain and Abel. It’s being misled. Thinking about, it’s not always easy. We can be deceived.
Rom 12:2 our mind is renewed so we can know and see. Here is the greatest deception. That’s God on the cross. That’s the Savior of the world. And they say I don’t see any salvation there, any power there. We threw him away. We don’t have what it takes but we have now because we are born gain. We have the H.S.
vs. 3. The day will not come until there is a falling away of the faith. In the Church Age there is a falling away. People can’t handle what we are saying here this morning. Wherever people are going to church, reading the Bible and the H.S. is teaching them and they are saying I believe in that. I believe the HS is the one who will teach and guide me in the truth so I will not be misled. Love and joy, I can know God in my heart and trust him and believe him. There are a lot of people like us across the country and around the world, many amazing believers right on target. I said last week there are watershed issues that is an indicator of what spirit I am of. When some come to doctrine they pick and choose like they do with their clothes in the morning. Do you have some clothes that you don’t wear anymore? Not the style or size. They kind of sit in the closet. That is how some Christians are with the Bible. They don’t want to go there. They pick and wear what they want and they do it in the word and find those things but when it comes to some of these things they are staying away. You can hear it in the interviews with these megachurch leaders…”I do not speak about that.” “I don’t speak about adultery.” “I do not preach about lying or cheating or abortion and then homosexuality.” “I do not preach about those things.” Why? Why not? “We’ll lose people.” Well, we could go to the shipwreck picture and that’s the point there. Do I want my life or your life to be shipwreck on the shallow waters of sin and on my own preference on what I want to believe instead of knowing what God is saying and what he wants me to embrace? Lot was in Sodom and Gomorrah and Sodom and Gomorrah relates to what we are talking about today. Sodom and Gomorrah was an issue and there was a man of God and his name was Lot. He was in Sodom and Gomorrah, and the angels took him out and destroyed it. It doesn’t matter? Really? Maybe the thing I need is to hear from God.
1 Cor 6:9-10. Rom. 1:26-32, we are not a church that is looking for anyone to be condemned but we are looking for people to be convicted. We are not looking for people to say I am unworthy but I am unworthy but God has made me worthy by the blood of his Son. He sent the Spirit in us so we can live a different kind of life, love R and not cave or compromise but anticipate God in our personal lives and enjoy him very much. I used to smoke marijuana. That would have destroyed my whole life. It’s a terrible drug. You don’t know it. You don’t know how that thing goes when you are young. I came into a church so on fire for God and it introduced to me maybe God would make me high. Following God would give me joy. God is the answer for my addiction. I’m so happy I found a church where the people of God were serious about the truth. Once you find it, you shine in your heart and your face and people around us say what is up with you. I’m not smoking. I have God. God is for you. God cares about you. He is not far from anyone of us. Come to Christ. I’ve never met a Christian like you. What kind have you met? The other kind. This is the age of conviction and decision of living in the Spirit and don’t be deceived. This is the age we realize we can be taken out of this world at any moment. They will have their politics their way, their morality their way. They will have life their way and it will be without him because they cannot see it.
vs. 10. They will be deceived by this Antichrist. Satan will be in him and working in him. They received not the love of the truth. This is a great verse. Very profound. Being tricked. The whole world is being deceived and because they receive not the love of the truth. There is truth on the wall there. Jesus is saying the world is wrong and I am right. I am the way, the truth, and the life and you are crucifying me. I am being thrown away but I am the truth. You’d rather believe a lie. Barabbas. Send us Barabbas! What to do with Jesus? Crucify him. Does he love? The love is there. Father forgive them; they know not what they do. Love of the truth. They can’t see the love. They see power, opportunity, miracles even.
vs. 3. Apostasy in the church. Antichrist is revealed. Because the devil does not know when Christ will return, he has to have an antichrist ready. All the time he has a Cain ready to kill Abel. There are many antichrists in history. They are ready there but there is THE one. The devil doesn’t know when the church will leave. When the church leaves, he will have a greater authority to make and bring on the scene the Antichrist. In every era there was some antichrist ready to be on the scene. He was understood to be from Europe, probably highly educated, extremely gifted and more so by the demonic intelligence and power that Satan the dragon will give him. He is called the Beast. Word used by the prophets, Daniel the primary one. The world civilizations are characterized by animals and birds. We carry this over to sports. World empires: Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome were seen as animals by the prophets. The one at the end is a combination of these animal: a lion, a bear, a leopard and an eagle. We will go into that this spring. This series is kind of heavy. I don’t want it to be discouraging or depressing or produce fear. We will not be here but there is something coming. You can smell it. If you are half dead you realize there is something going on. God is saying it is here. You can live here and be at peace. God doesn’t put the diseases of Egypt upon us. He heals our bodies. He takes care of us. He gives us a mission .We realize there will be a time this will happen in an instant. Rapture.
From Latin for the Greek word HARPAZO, to seize, carry off by force, eagerly snatch out or away.
When the devil snatched the word out of hearts in Lk 8 and Mk. 5 the word is used. Christ will take us forcefully and quickly out of the world one day. Whether we are alive or not. If we are gone, if we leave the earth in death like a silk hanger chief comes out of your pocket.
Ps 90:10, Lk 16 Angels escort us to heaven. We expire and the second we are present with God. Our body is buried and breaks down and dissolves. All our members are written in a book. Our DNA is recorded in heaven.
God will raise it up and in Php. 3:20 he will make it a glorified body.
Rom 10:13 we will not be ashamed. We will be ever present with God. We walk by faith and not by sight. We will be absent from our body and very present with Christ. When buried in a cemetery, they are not there. When someone drowns in an ocean, they are not there. They are gone. They are with God. God will take the body at the time of the Rapture and it will be raised up and we that are alive will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. I show you a mystery Paul said. People didn’t know about this.
Paul used it in 2 Cor 12 when he was taken out of his body. He said whether in or out of his body he didn’t know, but he went up to the third heaven. That word HARPAZO is there. He was taken and came back and wrote about it to the Corinthians.
vs. 4. Rev 13 we read about him and the false prophet. He exalts himself and the false prophet as well. He sits in the temple of God. Somewhere here the Jews will have a temple built in Jerusalem and it will be the holy temple from the past. It was destroyed in 70 A.D. and they haven’t had a temple since. We are interested Israel is saying we want to build a temple. That’s put in their heart. There has to be a temple for the Antichrist to sit there. Making him as God. He’ll have an image of himself there which violates Jewish law. It seems it happens in mid-Tribulation that they realize this is the Antichrist. They will run for their lives. He will come down with great passion and wrath to destroy the Jewish people. As his policy is to wipe the Jews off the map. In the beginning, they recognize him as Savior for their nation because he helps solve their problems in the Middle East with war and the threat of war. He makes himself as God in the temple exalting himself as God, which he said from the beginning. I will sit on the sides of the north.
Five “I will’s” in Is. 14.
Let’s close by turning to 1 Thes. 4:14. sleep in Jesus means body in the ground but it’s not soul sleeping. I’m alive and well and present with him. My body is like it’s sleeping in the ground.
vs. 15. This is the PERUSIA. The appearing of Christ in the heavens not his feet on the Mount of Olives. Here he returns in the air and takes us to heaven. The world doesn’t see him in this coming.
vs. 15-18. What is comforting about it? Young people might say I don’t want Jesus to come back. I want to get married one day. Have a baseball game. Young people aren’t so excited but the older you get, you start looking. Ready. Let’s go. It’s comforting when you are old, when you are in trouble, when you are tired out, when you see the craziness on the TV. Are they out of their minds? I feel more and more I don’t belong here but we do. We are on a mission. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Right now it’s an age of deception and a spirit in the church of enlightenment of wisdom and love and faith. We want to be like him in these days. We are needed here. We need to be like him in our counsel. Read the gospels and learn the parables and see his movement and faith and compassion. Help these people in trouble in their life. The people lost and hurting and have a message. We are the church and we are on a mission. There is a falling away and it doesn’t have to be with us. There is a Rapture coming and this world will have their party and it will come on strong and strong. There will be salvation in the Tribulation period. It will be more severe and serious. Beheadings. 70,000 beheaded in the French Revolution. What a horrible time in their history. The beheadings is another evidence of the times. That used to be considered archaic or ancient.
Let’s do our work and God is with us in it. Let’s be aware of the times we are in.
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