Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21 the End of the World? Why you should enjoy the day and not worry, Part 2

As I sat at the gym rowing a nice 15k, a passage came to mind from 2 Thess 2:1-11, it seemed kind of relevant. I thought I would quote it in full:

'Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,
not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.'

This verse tells us a number of things, relevant to what is going on:

  1. At the time of the writing of 2 Thessalonians around AD 50, some two decades after Christ, people were speculating on the return of Christ; specifically, that he has come already, or is about to come a la the predictions of today. The clause 'either by a spirit' suggests some were claiming prophetically to that effect i.e. claiming through the Spirit. Such claims are 2000 years old! Seems some might have been forging letters from Paul claiming so, interesting.
  2. Paul's advice is not to be freaked out about it, 'shaken in mind, alarmed.' We shouldn't be either, not that I am. Not sure why I am wasting my time writing this actually. The truth is, I am stunned at the foolishness out there; that anyone would show the slightest degree of interest.
  3. Paul states emphatically, don't be deceived in any way e.g. today! Sounds a good idea. Not that I am. You?
  4. Paul talks of a massive rebellion, the revelation of some horrendous figure who will be the converse of everything Christ was and is; full of hubris, self-exalted, and who sees himself above all religious claims. Kind of an out-of-control Roman Emperor figure. This raises an interesting question. If indeed today is the day, then who has been this figure in the last years? Who is the anti-Christ, as if we accept this passage as true, he is alive and kicking and doing his thing right now (assuming today is the day)? Has anyone see the powerful signs and wonders from this figure? I must have missed something here.
  5. It seems in v.8 Jesus will destroy this person at his appearance, with his breath – sounds like some serious Spiritual halitotis (joking). Sounds the converse of creation where God breathed on Adam, and at John's version of the Great Commission where Jesus breathed on the disciples sending them with the Spirit in John 20:21 i.e. destruction rather than life-giving breath. So then, who is this figure? Can't be Osama, he is deceased. Kind of doesn't leave many options as I see the world, Obama? John Key? Julia Gillard? Putin? Keown? Joking. As Jim Carrey might say in Ace Ventura, Reheally!

Funny how this Camping doesn't read these verses. That the problem, convenient threading together of texts to come up with 2+2=5. The truth is today is not the day of reckoning. It is 1.28pm as I write this – in 4 and a half hours all will be revealed.

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