In The Twinkling of Your Eye (Part 2)
The next blink of your eye could be your departure from earth to be joined with Jesus! All believers! Think about that. The Apostle Paul had contemplated this event and wrote these words, in AD 55-56, in 1 Corinthians 15.51-52. They are true for us, too. This is the last time he would write about the ‘calling away’ or Rapture. He first wrote about this in 1 Thessalonians 4.13-5.11 and in 2 Thessalonians 2.1-17, AD 50-51. Why are there no other writings by Paul about this glorious event? When and how did he learn about Jesus’ teaching this topic to His disciples, since Mark wrote the first of the four Gospels in AD 63? (John 14.26; Romans 8.14) What impact should the ‘calling away’ have upon your daily life before it happens?
The ‘falling away’
- Apparently, someone was telling the Thessalonians that the ‘calling away’ had happened and they had been left behind. So, Paul corrected this in 2 Thessalonians 2.1-12.
- Falling away’ from what? From believing John 3.16 and 14.6 exclusively! Galatians 5.1-4 (AD 48) details Paul’s understanding, expressed in 1 Thessalonians 3.1-5. He later summarized this concern in 1 Corinthians 1.22-25 (AD 55-56) and Colossians 2.8-10 (AD 60). Solomon’s graphic description in Proverbs 26.11 was repeated in 2 Peter 2.18-22 about those who had fallen away.
- Paul would develop this ‘falling away’ more fully 10 years later in AD 61 in Hebrews 2.1 and 6.4-6. He wrote Hebrews under the duress of supposed impending death during his first Roman imprisonment. See Jesus’ earlier warnings in Luke 9.61-62 and Matthew 24.45-25.13.
- ‘Falling away’ was a continuous concern for Paul and should be for you (Proverbs 4.23, 14.12; Jeremiah 13.10) for yourself, your children and other family members, and your friends and others. Just at the Thessalonians were pressured away from Jesus, society is pressuring your loved ones to believe variations of satan’s lie to Eve in Genesis 3.1-5. Remember Jesus’ instructions to believers in Matthew 10.22 and parable about the sower in Matthew 13.18-30 (example in Acts 8.6-13; old habits are hard to break).
Revealing the ‘man of lawlessness’
- Jesus told Paul that God would restrain the appearing of satan’s agent, a man of lawlessness, until God was ready to call away believers in Jesus (John 14.1-6). See 2 Thessalonians 2.3-4, 7-8. Because we are the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 6.19, John 17.22-23), when we are called away, so is He. God banished satan from Heaven and confines him on earth to await judgment (Revelation 12.7-12; Isaiah 14.12-15). Pity those who will remain!
- Conjecture about the identity of satan’s agent range from Islam’s Twelfth Imam to the ‘last’ Pope, Francis. You can research each on the internet. The Pope’s remarks in mid-September about lessening the Catholic Church’s focus on abortion and gays have been offered in support.
- What is the ‘temple of God’ in 2 Thessalonians 2.4? It is not the temples of Jews, Hindus or Buddhists; it is not the mosques of Muslims; it is not the churches of homosexuals or atheists; it IS the Christian churches, without the presence of Christ! It also individuals that have suppressed the knowledge of ‘I AM’ (Exodus 3.14) engrained on their hearts by their Creator (Jeremiah 31.33; Romans 1.21, 2.14-15; Ezekiel 18.4; John 3.18-20). Unbelievers gather their ‘temples’ in dark (Matthew 6.22-23) places called temples, mosques, and churches. Their ‘god’ will one day stand where Christ was proclaimed and pretend to be what he is not (Isaiah 14.12-15; Daniel 9.27, 11.31; Matthew 24.15).
- The root of lawlessness is the lie of satan that ‘you are god’, like he said to Eve. Paul described lawlessness in 2 Timothy 3.1-9. God described lawlessness in Ezekiel 22.6-12, 23-29 and Isaiah 5.20-25, among other citations. Former communist David Horowitz said, in his speech The Threat We Face, that the progressives of the left today are defined by four features: they are ‘citizens of the world’ and not America; they instinctively practice dishonesty; they have contempt for the past [including the Bible and Christians] and seek an imaginary future saving the planet; and they regard politics as a religious war. The lie is why you should pity those who will remain! Isaiah 17.7-14 describes the days of God’s wrath upon them.
- Paul summarized his teaching about the man of lawlessness and his followers in 2 Thessalonians 2.9-12. He explained the ‘delusion’ in his later letter, Romans 1.18-32. Darkness deludes, like medicines mask pain, until it wears off and the wrath of God will be felt (2 Corinthians 4.3-4)! Plead with the lost you know before it is too late!
- In 2 Thessalonians 1.3-8, Paul encouraged believers to endure the tribulations from the Godless because the troublers will get their justice: God’s wrath!
- Be comforted with these words! You who endure to the calling away will be saved (Ephesians 6.13-18)! See Matthew 10.22, 24.13; Hebrews 10.35-39.
What impact should the ‘calling away’ have upon your daily life before it happens?
- Boldly proclaim the only hope for people who have not accepted the truth of (John 14.6). Consider Acts 4.1-31.
- Prioritize spiritual growth into Jesus’ knowledge of God and the exercising of faith like His (Ephesians 4.13). Choose Jeremiah 9.24 over 23.
- Rule over ‘all arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ’ (Genesis 4.7; Luke 10.19; 2 Corinthians 10.3-6; Ephesians 6.10-20; 1 John 5.4; James 4.7)!
- Confidently expect that if you close your eyes in death on earth, you will open them to see Jesus in Paradise (John 14.1-3; Luke 23.43)!
Praise God!!! Copyright (c) by Maurice L. Painter, 2013. www.sozoclass.com