Ray of Hope Shining on the Face of a Child

A daily devotion for March 23rd

The Man Who Claims to be God

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 … 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. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

When I was a young Christian, I read a popular Christian book entitled, In The Twinkling Of An Eye. It was about a family of church members, some of whom returned home one day to find the table set and everything ready for dinner, but no one was there. Upon investigation they discovered that the rest of the family and some of their friends had disappeared. Then it dawned on them that the rapture had occurred, the true church had disappeared, and they were left behind. They knew enough about the Bible to know that they were headed for a terrible time of trouble.

That is why the Thessalonians were so disturbed. They thought the rapture had occurred, they had somehow missed it, and now the Day of the Lord had arrived. Something had started them thinking that the terrible Day of the Lord had already begun and they were already going through it. In the first letter, Paul had described that day as one of sudden destruction, with no escape possible. The Thessalonians were going through a time of great persecution under Roman rule. Perhaps someone in their assembly had uttered a prophecy stating that the Day of the Lord had come, and the result was that they were quite disturbed.

Paul is saying here that the unmistakable sign that the Day of the Lord has begun in that the Man of lawlessness has been revealed, and the great worldwide apostasy that he will lead has started. The person presented here is the long expected antichrist, the false Messiah. Paul describes him as one who will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

That is exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 24, which deals with the great series of events that must occur before the time of the end. Our Lord says, So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand — then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again (Matthew 24:15-21). According to the apostle, the Day of the Lord cannot come until the Man of lawlessness is revealed.

Lord, help me to be alert and ready for your arrival. Thank you that you are in control of history and I can trust in you.

Life Application

What signs do you see in our world today that the Day of the Lord might be near?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Man who Claims to be God

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