Eschatology is the study of the end times prophecies of the Bible. My interest in the end of the world began around 1999. Some of you may remember Y2K, which stood for Year 2000. Folks were afraid that all of technology would crash because computers weren’t programmed to read year “00”. Nothing happened. Afterwards, people felt it was safe to return to the Internet.
There have been many people who have tried to predict when the world would end or that Jesus was coming back on a certain day, and nothing happened. We had something similar in 2012. That’s when the Mayan calendar ended and because of that, some people thought the world would end. It didn’t. It did however, inspire yet another apocalyptic movie (2012) — though it wasn’t a very good one.
Some End Times Truths
After the flood, God made Noah and his family a promise…
14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”Genesis 9:14-17 NLT
Why Paul had to Write the Sequel
Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians was written a few months after the first one. As we’ll see in chapter 2, they still were convinced that the Day of the Lord had already begun. They were still suffering persecution and Paul tries to encourage them…
2 Thessalonians 1
This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy.
We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Encouragement during Persecution
3 Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. 4 We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. 5 And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. 6 In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you.
7 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 10 When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.
11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 12 Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.2 Thessalonians 1 NLT
Some Important Points
There’s payback for the persecutors — God’s payback
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.Romans 12:18-19
There is rest for the persecuted — eternal hope
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.Matthew 5:10–12 NLT
God and His angels will bring fiery judgement to those who don’t know Him — final judgement
15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.Revelation 20:15 NLT
The Thessalonians are believers — saved by grace
10 When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him…. 12 Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.2 Thessalonians 1:10, 12 NLT
Do You Believe?
That Jesus is THE SAVIOR? That He is the ONLY WAY? Do you KNOW JESUS? Does HE KNOW YOU? Jesus said…
22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’Matthew 7:22-23 NLT
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…