2Th 2:1-12; What Are You Waiting For? How Will You Feel When You Get It?
Thursday September 14, 2023
Theme: The appearance of the Lord is anticipated by the believer who loves Him, and that future meeting has a large impact on their manner of life.
So far we have seen three lessons on the second coming of Christ. There is far more to say about it, but this is what we will look upon for now. They have been …
We are to see the Person of Christ as if He is tangibly appearing before us. This is through trust and obedience to the word of God and the Holy Spirit.
He is the warrior Messiah at His second coming. He gave us His word, His Spirit, and His armor so that we could fight the good fight of faith.
When He comes again it will be a complete and final victory.
Finally, we look at our own anticipation, waiting for, watching for, and longing for His appearing, exploring the NT use of this word in 2Th 2:8.
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
“appearance” – the manifestation of Christ, shining forth in His first and second advent.
The other uses of epiphaneia (appearance), all of which refer to the appearance of Christ, are all in the pastoral epistles (1, 2 Timothy and Titus).
Pastoral Epistles (PE): Likely written after his first imprisonment (early 60’s). These letters are filled with pastoral rules and pastoral care.
In general, the PE were written with a double purpose in mind, both involving the work of the local church. One was the teaching of right doctrine and the refutation of wrong doctrine. Another was the proper administration of the churches. Right doctrine and right discipline are the
main thrusts of these letters.
Keep the commandments perfectly until His appearing.
Do not compromise the law of Christ. (1Sa 15:13)
But flee from these things [false doctrines, ungodliness, love of money], you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time — He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
Jesus, our returning Lord gave us the example as He stood before Pilate.
2 Timothy is Paul’s final letter. Likely written from his second imprisonment.
Fulfill your calling as you are in the presence of the returning Lord and His kingdom.
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word;
What are you called to do by God?
Are you fighting for its fulfillment?
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
We would think that every believer would love His appearing.
“have loved” – perfect participle = they had loved Him before He appeared and longed to see Him.
“have loved” is a perfect participle and so would refer to a love of Christ before He appears.
The question here, and the means of the crown of righteousness, is do you long to see Him because you love Him? And you will only love Him truly (not just in words) when you know Him and keep His commands. The crown of righteousness will be given to those who loved and walked in righteousness because they kept the Lord’s commands.
In his letter to Titus whom Paul left on the island of Crete, Paul instructs him on appointing elders (pastors and leaders) in the various towns. He also instructs Titus on teaching the Christians to observe good character and behavior and to reject all false doctrine.
Our anticipated hope is the fulfillment of our expectation, Tit 2:13.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
The coming appearance of Christ is the future reality for the reason of our love of purity and behavior now.
The verb “appeared” is first in the sentence and so is emphasized. The grace of God is a metonymy for Jesus Christ (a substitute of one word for another). Grace is an invisible quality, and by that grace the Lord Jesus appeared to bring salvation to all men.
“looking for” – to look forward to, to wait for. With hope – look forward to the fulfillment of our expectation.
The two other times Paul uses hope in this letter it is in reference to eternal life.
Paul does attempt to make a distinction of us being taken up or raptured and the second coming. We are to focus on His appearing and what that means in both the rapture and the second coming. He is bodily and visibly going to come again and we should be looking for it.
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.
He uses the pronoun twice: “we” / “ourselves.” He emphasizes us above the sins. In other words, the sins are terrible, but more terrible is that they were our doing.
Could you elevate yourself knowing you were vs. 3?
Kindness and love are also metonyms for Christ – they appeared (though they themselves are invisible – you can see Christ now!).
Grace, kindness, and love appeared!
And He saved us disobedient fools according to His mercy, not according to anything righteous we did. Renewed and born again by the Holy Spirit, poured out on us richly, justified, adopted, and made heirs (members of the family with inheritance). According to the hope of eternal life, the fulfillment of which we have been always waiting for (2:13).
You are careful to do good deeds because grace, kindness, and love appeared to you in Christ.
From this basis, Paul tells Titus to tell us that we are to be careful to engage in good deeds. Not to be saved, not to earn favor, but because of the grace, kindness, and love that appeared to us.
If that is not enough to make you want to give your life to Him in obedience to all things, then there is something about these words that you do not yet see.