Devotion 447 – Tuesday of Pentecost 26

Opening Prayer

Lord, let us be found among Your saints and steadfast in all trials. Amen.

Text: Second Thessalonians 2:1-10

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Devotion

We should always be prepared for the Lord’s return, but we should wait patiently, for His hour is coming. Just as He has hidden from us the hour of our death, so also the hour of His return. There is still much that will happen, but it can happen so quickly that His return could soon be here. “The Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world.” But who knows if this hasn’t already been done? Already in the days of the Apostles it was proclaimed in the far east and west, and in our day it is proclaimed in the extreme north and south. “The apostasy” must come, but it has already begun. The powers of the deep work hard, the earth is undermined on all sides, so the collapse can come soon. All the same up until now we have clearly experienced “the beginning of the pains.” The beast rises up out of the sea (Rev 13:1): a secular government, originating from the peoples, – and a second beast rises up from the earth (Rev 13:11): an idolatrous spirit and worship, that enlivens and strengthens it (for without religion no dominion can stand). This beast out of the sea of humanity “makes war with the saints and to overcome them.” The devilish powers do miracles, and the whole world worships and follows the beast as the truth itself. Then there shall be tribulation for the believers, and “the woman,” God’s Church, shall lead a hermit life among the peoples. But blessed are all who do not receive the mark of the beast! Their names are written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb that was slain, and on their foreheads the name of the Lamb and the Father shall shine in eternal glory (Rev 14:1; 22:4)!

Then, finally, when the worldly-devilish power of the people lies in the hands of an individual leader, so that we again have the ancient worldly kingdoms striving against the people of God, almost in the form of the old Roman empire (Rev 17), then will Paul’s words in our Bible text be fulfilled. Then the Lord will come and destroy the Antichrist.

Closing Thought

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work” (2Th 2:15). To Him be glory forever. Amen.

Hymn

My soul, be joyful, glad, and free;
Let not the world’s dread sadness
Destroy you e’er, but think and see,
You can rely on Jesus,
Who has a treasure great indeed
To offer on the morrow
To comfort you in ev’ry need,
Where troubles shall not follow.

Awake, my soul, be not dismayed,
Although the way be troubled
With thorns and pain; be not afraid,
Your joy is more than doubled!
Let not your cross or earthly woe
Now fill your heart with sadness;
In heaven true joy you shall know
And streams that flow with gladness.

Kingo: Min Sjæl vær lystig Glad og Fro L 574:1.7 tr. DeGarmeaux;
tune: Durch Adams Fall (ELH 430); alternate hymn: Preserve Thy Word, O Savior ELH 533:2-3

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