When the Day of the Lord comes
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 NIV
From the text, Paul once again admonished Christians in Thessalonica to not be upset or misled “by prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come” (2 Thessalonians 2:2). A prophecy in the New Testament church was a special message that came through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Then, as today, not everyone who claimed to speak under the influence of the Holy Spirit spoke truth; these “prophecies” about the Day of the Lord were false. Paul provides an assurance to believers that the Day of the Lord has not come because two events must precede it. “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). First, there would be great oppression of the people of God and many of them would fall away from Him. Paul in his letter to Timothy mentioned why there will be those that will fall away: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1–2). He continued to describe this first event: “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving...overs of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1–4). Before the Day of the Lord comes, Paul declared, the rebellion must occur. There will be a great denial, a deliberate turning away by those who profess to belong to Christ. It will be a rebellion because they claimed they have an alliance with Christ, yet they will abandon Him for they do not really belong to Him. “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us” (1 John 2:19). This rebellion will take place at any time this is why we are admonished to “Have nothing to do with them” (2 Timothy 3:5). It is particularly important that we know we belong to Christ for we made the decision to accept Him as Lord and Savior.