We'll be right back. And I know Christians who are just about that nervous and about that jittery. Welcome to Love Worth Finding featuring the profound truth of the gospel taught in the practical messages of Adrian Rogers. This month we've talked about how to live in hope on the edge of eternity. Though it's been anticipated for more than 2,000 years, Jesus could come again at any moment as prophesied in the book of Revelation. But as children of God, we have a settled faith. If you have your Bible, turn to 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 as Adrian Rogers reveals how to have a steadfast hope in a shaky world.
Would you take God's Word and find 2 Thessalonians, the first chapter. You know the stage is set for the drama of the ages. Only this drama is not going to be make believe.
It is real. But the problem is we have too many Christians today who are troubled, too many who are jittery, too many who are unsettled because they are living with sort of last day hysteria. Obviously, we don't know that these are the absolute last days.
The last days, in one sense of the word, began when Jesus ascended because from that time to this time, we've been living on the edge of eternity. Jesus Christ could come back at any moment, but that has been true for 2,000 years. But God's people are not to be upset. They're not to be dismayed. They're not to be jittery. They're to have a settled faith. So many Christians remind me of a man who swallowed an egg and he was afraid to move.
He was afraid it might break and afraid to sit still, afraid it might hatch. And I know Christians who are just about that nervous and about that jittery. Well, we're going to look today into the Word of God and find something that will give us a settled faith in a shaky world.
Somebody said if you can keep your head when all those roundabouts you're losing theirs, it's just a sign you don't understand the situation. But it may be another sign, it may be a sign that you have a bulldog grip on the Word of God. Now, 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 and look, if you will, in verse 7. And you who are troubled, are you troubled?
He's talking to you now. And you who are troubled, rest with us. That is, settle down.
Release that tension. Rest with us. When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired in all them that believe, because our testimony among you was believed in that day. Now, let's talk about a settled faith in a very shaky world. I want to lay three things upon your heart. And I pray God, the Holy Spirit will write them indelibly upon your heart and etch them today into your consciousness. Truth number one, as we look at this scripture, you need not be dismayed.
You need not be dismayed. Look again, if you will, in verse 7. And you who are troubled, rest with us. You say, but pastor, these are dark days. Yes, they are.
But they are gloriously dark because the darkest hour of the night is just before the dawn. You see, our hope is not in politics. Everybody's talking politics these days. Our hope is not in sociology. Our hope is not in science.
Our hope is a sure hope. And that is the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, notice the who of his coming. It says here in verse 7, look at it again, the Lord Jesus. I love that, the Lord Jesus. You know, today his lordship is veiled, ignored, and repudiated, but it's going to be revealed.
This word revealed means it's going to be unveiled. People don't understand who he is. They talk about the peasant from Galilee. They talk about the lowly Nazarene. My friend, when he comes again, he is coming as the Lord Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And he's coming to be glorified, and he's coming to be admired.
Notice again in verse 10, when he shall come to be glorified in all of his saints. Now, when he came the first time, he was spat upon. When he came the first time, he was lied on. When he came the first time, he was ignored. And then worse than being ignored, he was crucified. But when he comes again, and I can hardly wait, he's going to be crowned, and he is going to be glorified. And at that moment, there will be stark terror for those who do not know him and who have not trusted him. Notice in verse 8, he's coming in flaming fire, taking vengeance on those who know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Savior then becomes the judge. And men have cursed him behind his back. They won't curse him to his face.
I will promise you that. So who is coming? The Lord Jesus.
The Bible says in verse 7, look at it, and you who are troubled, rest with us. When the Lord Jesus. Do you see that word when?
Just underscore it. It doesn't say if. When he is coming. Now, we don't know that exact time, because that day and that hour, no one knows, but we do know there is a time that the Bible calls when. Jesus came the first time on time. He was born on time, he died on time, he rose on time, and he is coming back the second time on time. Our Lord is never ahead of time.
Our Lord is never late. As a matter of fact, the book of Malachi tells us in chapter 4 and verse 2 that Jesus is coming as the Son of righteousness. And it says this, under you that fear my name shall the Son of righteousness arise.
And the word for Son there is not S-O-N, but S-U-N. And it's an analogy. The writer of Malachi says that the second coming of Jesus is like the sunrise. It's like the sunrise. Now, let me tell you two things about the sunrise. Number one, you can't hurry it up.
Is that not true? Can you make the sun come up early in the morning? No. You can't hurry it up. Point number two, you can't stop it. His coming is like the sunrise. You can't hurry it, and you cannot stop it, but it shall come. And one of these days, the Lord Jesus is going to pull back the shades of night and pin them with a star, open the door of the morning, and flood this world with his glory.
And I can hardly wait. When he is coming, we don't know, but we know exactly that he is coming. Now, think not only of the who of his coming and the when of his coming, but the wonder of his coming. Look in verse 10, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired.
Underscore that word, admired. Now, if you have a King James version of the scripture, actually, another translation gives it, the word has the idea of wonder. Phillips translates it this way, it will be a breathtaking wonder to all that believe. Can you imagine what it would be like if we heard the trumpet sound right now?
And I mean, we're swept up. Can you imagine? Just think of it. Can you imagine admiring him, looking upon him, whose name is wonderful? No wonder we'll wonder.
Do you know what we'll wonder at? Friend, we'll wonder first of all at his redeeming love. He has taken stubborn people like we were and sometimes are. God haters transformed by his love. Those who were living in ignorance and blindness, we had our eyes open. Those who've been demonized by the power of lust and drugs and immorality have been made pure. What transforming love this is.
And look at them. When we're caught up to meet the Lord, we're gonna be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and we'll look around and we will see the saints and their glorified bodies. Is he perfect? Then we'll be perfect because we'll be like him, the Bible says. Is he exalted? We will be exalted. Is he prophet, priest, and king? We will be prophets, priests, and king. Does he reign? We will reign with him, and every vestige of sin will be removed.
No wonder we'll wonder. When we see the blood-washed saints, that throng caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and we look around and see what he has done, not only will we wonder at his transforming power, but friend, we will wonder at his saving grace. Look in verse 10.
Look at it. When he shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired in, now watch this, all them that believe. He doesn't say all those who did wonderful works. He doesn't say all of those who gave a lot of money. He doesn't say all of those who are handsome or educated.
No. We will wonder that we have been saved by his grace. We just put our faith where God put our sins upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, when we see that blood-washed throng and we say, from whence have they come and how did they get here? They believed in Jesus.
They trusted Jesus. Does that seem too simple to you? Friend, it is gloriously simple and it is simply glorious. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you'll be saved. I'm so glad I've been able to preach that gospel. I'm so glad that I can hold up this book and say to anybody, any place, any time, if you will believe in Jesus, I promise you on the authority of the Word of God, he will save you.
And if anybody, anywhere, any time ever comes to Jesus in repentance and faith and he doesn't save them, I'll close my Bible and never preach again. I can promise you that he will save you. There will be the wonder of his transforming love. There will be the wonder of his saving grace in all them that believe. And there will be the wonder of his keeping power. Look again in verse 10. He's coming to be glorified in all them that believe. Not a one of them will be lost. You see, this is going to be a homecoming.
Can you imagine a family that gathers for a homecoming and they're all there and there's a sumptuous meal on the table and there's a lot of laughter and a lot of happiness and a lot of joy? And then somebody says, well, where's Susan? Has anybody seen Susan? Who is Susan? Susan is a little child. Where is Susan?
Susan is not here. Friend, if one little child were missing, wouldn't that spoil homecoming? I'm telling you, friend, when we're caught up, he's going to be admired in all them that believe. Not a one will be lost. And that soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I will never, no never, desert to its foes.
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I'll never, no never, no never forsake. No wonder we're going to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. And not only do we see the who of his coming and the when of his coming and the wonder of his coming, but notice we see the witness of his coming. Look again, if you will, in verse 10 of this same chapter when he shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired in all them that believe. Now watch this, because our testimony in you was believed in that day. When Paul came to Thessalonica, the people to whom he's writing, they were pagans.
They were lost without hope on their way to hell. And he came and testified what Jesus Christ had done for him. You know the proof that you believe the second coming of Jesus Christ is not that you have notes in your Bible, but that you are trying to bring souls to Christ. I want to tell you something.
Come up close, I'm going to tell you something. I don't care how much money you give this church, I don't care how faithfully you attend, I don't care how beautifully you sing, how eloquently you may teach, if you're not trying to bring souls to Christ, you're not right with God. You're not right with God. You're not a Spirit-filled Christian. Jesus said, ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me. A Christian who doesn't witness is a contradiction in terms.
Paul spoke of the coming of Jesus, and he said, these folks are ready because of our witness, because of our testimony. I was cleaning my garage. I don't get to do that often.
It's almost a privilege just to be able to have enough time to do something like that. And I set aside this day in the garage and needed cleaning. And it was a nice day, and I had the garage door open. An old man came by and walked up to me, and he said, mister, you need some help? I need a job. Can I work for you? Would you pay me some? He was so old, he couldn't help me.
I knew that. Very frankly, I didn't want to be bothered with him. I said, no, I don't need any help, thank you. He said, well, I need some money. And I said, well, let me give you some money.
I reached in my billfold and gave him some money, and I got back to my work. The Holy Spirit said, you didn't tell him about Jesus. You were just trying to get rid of him. I said, well, I'm busy.
What's more important, that man or this garage? You didn't tell him about Jesus. I said, well, I'm sorry, Lord. I should have, but he's gone. The Lord said, you could catch him. And I knew I had to, and I left and went on down the street, said, pardon me just a moment.
I want to ask you a question. To cut to the chase, he bowed his head with me and prayed and gave his heart to Christ, and I hugged him. And you know when I hugged that old man, I didn't see an old man there that was down on his luck. I saw a man, a jewel in the Savior's crown. I saw a man made like the Lord Jesus Christ.
I saw a man that's going to be caught up in the rapture and transformed to the likeness of the very Son of God. Do you know one of the greatest privileges that we have is to preach the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? And so what is Paul saying in this first section? He is saying, you need not be dismayed. You who are troubled, rest. God has everything under control.
As a matter of fact, I have a motto in my study that says, Adrian, trust me, I have everything under control. Now, number two, not only should you not be dismayed, you should not be deceived. Look, if you will, now in the second Thessalonians, the second chapter, and notice how it begins. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that is the rapture, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, that is, don't be dismayed, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand, 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, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worship, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not that when I was yet with you I told you these things?
I'm going to stop reading there for a moment. But Paul is saying, not only don't be dismayed, but don't be deceived. Look again, chapter two, verse three, let no man deceive you. Now put it down big, plain, and straight, the devil is a deceiver. He is a liar, he is the father of all lies, and he had inspired a devilish deception. What had happened, a forged letter had gone out, somebody had signed Paul's name to it to deceive the church, and they were teaching that the church was already in the Great Tribulation, and they were saying that you Christians have missed the rapture, and you're in the Great Tribulation, and it was a lie.
It was a devilish lie. Paul is talking about our being gathered together unto him in verse one. The rapture is going to come first, but here was the lie, that the devil Lord is at hand, you're in the Tribulation. And so Paul is straightening them out about this and tells them now the truth. And he explains some things to them about the Antichrist that is going to come. You see there's coming an Antichrist, the man of sin. He's going to fling one final insult into the face of Heaven's King. Now notice what he says in verse three, Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and the man of sin be revealed the son of perdition.
That is the day of the Lord is not going to come until the Antichrist is here. Now he's called here the man of sin. He is going to be the epitome of evil. He is Satan's Superman.
He will counterfeit the work of God. And like any criminal, he has many aliases. I want to give you some names that he's called in the Bible.
Two of them are found right here. First of all, he's called the man of sin. The man of sin.
That speaks of his character. He is going to be the epitome of evil. He's going to be the personification of sin. You see, history began with the sin of man. It will end with a man of sin.
All of the evil of this world will be distilled into one man. He's called the man of sin. Another translation calls this the incarnation of wickedness. Another translation, the champion of wickedness.
Another translation, wickedness in human form. All of these are the same way of saying he is the man of sin. But also he's called in verse 3, the son of perdition.
Now what does that mean? Well, the word perdition means judgment. And it speaks there of the judgment that surely awaits him. The only other person in the Bible that's called the son of perdition is Judas. And Williams translates this, son of perdition, the one who is doomed to destruction. That's the reason why I said Satan sails a sinking ship. Then in Revelation chapter 13, he is called there the beast.
All of these are aliases. Why is he called the beast? Because that speaks of his ferocity, his cruel and fierce and ferocious nature.
This man may have the face of an angel, but he has the heart of a beast. And then the apostle John calls him the antichrist. You can read about that in 1 John. He's called the antichrist.
And the prefix A-N-T-I, anti, means instead of and against. He's against Christ, but he comes as a substitute for Christ. He's one who opposes Christ. He's one who will be a substitute for Christ. That is, he is the counterfeit Christ.
Now I want you to get something straight. Jesus could say, he that hath seen me hath seen my Father. The antichrist can say the same thing. He is of his father, the devil. Just as Jesus Christ was God in human flesh, the antichrist will be the devil in human flesh. And he can say, he that hath seen me hath seen my Father, but his Father is the devil. Now, you have to understand this, that Satan desires worship.
And he's getting bolder and bolder in these days. And more and more, he is inculcating to himself demonic devilish worship. He wants to receive worship and he will receive that worship through the antichrist. Coming up tomorrow, we'll hear part two of this important message. Maybe today you have questions about who Jesus is or how to begin a relationship with God through Christ. Go to our Find God's Love page at lwf.org slash radio. You'll find resources and materials there that can answer questions you may have about your faith. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message in its entirety, you can call us at 1-877-LOVEGOD.
Mention the title, How to Have a Steadfast Hope in a Shaky World. This message is also part of the insightful series, The Edge of Eternity. For that complete collection, all six powerful messages, you can call that number, 877-LOVEGOD, or order online at lwf.org slash radio, or write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. You may not know, you can also purchase our new Bible studies, much like this message in our online store.
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