“Be not soon shaken in mind” [II Thess. 2:2].
As surely as Jesus came the first time, He will come again. Paul’s message to the Thessalonians was this great and glorious fact. But even so wonderful a subject was not without difficulty, and there were those who disturbed and deceived the people in Thessalonica, causing considerable confusion.
Paul wrote to comfort the saints and pointed out that before the coming of the Lord, there would be “a falling away first” [2 Thess. 2:3]. The word he used, “apostasia” is the one from which we get apostasy. Hence Paul alerted them that before the coming of Christ, there would be a notable departure from the faith. Is that day now upon us? All around are evidence of declining Christian standards.
Many churches have turned from the spiritual, soul-saving Gospel to a social gospel that focuses on the temporal and leaves the spirit hungry and dissatisfied.
There is also a marked decline in the respect for the law of God. Paul speaks of “The mystery of iniquity,” literally “No law,” or lawlessness. Everywhere moral restraints, once seldom questioned, are being cast aside. Absolutes of right and wrong as defined by God’s Word are denied, and society is plunging into the depressing depths of nihilism.
This decline can have a marked, negative effect on the believer if he allows his eyes to stray from the Lord. Paul recognized this and sought to focus the Thessalonians’ attention on Christ and the “everlasting good hope” they had received through grace.
Rather than lie down in depression and lethargy, Paul encouraged them to comfort their hearts in the Lord and get on with the job of working for Christ. The great apostasy will come, but a believer ought to have no part of it. Rather, he is to live in separation unto Him whose coming he awaits.