Temple Baptist Church - 2-19-2017
2 Thessalonians 2:7
A. The Book of 2 Thessalonians prophesies the end-time and eminent return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. “Our gathering together unto him” is a direct reference to the Rapture of the Church.
B. We find many signs of the end-time in the New Testament and one of the more descriptive is found in this passage where we find the words “falling away.”
C. We are certainly amid the apostasy with things very quickly changing in the past few years.
1. Apathy has settled within the walls of the church house.
2. Sinfulness and immorality has escalated.
3. Acceptance of such atrocities as sodomy, fornication, adultery, drinking, drugs, abortion, etc. is in full swing, even among God’s people. Nothing shocks or horrifies the believer anymore.
D. Things are changing at a horrific rate, but—in these verses-- we find something that has been consistent throughout the centuries: the Mystery of Iniquity.
E. The word mystery is derived from a Greek verb meaning “to close.” This is about either or both the lips and the eyes. In common usage, a mystery is a description for something which is inconceivable, unknown or unexplainable.
F. The word iniquity is derived from a Latin word meaning “uneven.” It speaks biblically of a gross injustice or a wicked act.
G. The phrase “mystery of iniquity” gives this meaning: a wickedness that may be observed but not fully understood outside of the realm of God’s Word and illumination of the Holy Spirit. In other words, something seen and understood by God’s people but not by the world.
H. Paul states in verse 7 that the Mystery of Iniquity “doth already work.” The Mystery of Iniquity was alive and doing well in Paul’s day and long before, therefore, these verses do not so much refer to the Mystery of Iniquity working as much as it does to the Mystery of Iniquity’s culmination! It will culminate in the manifestation of the Antichrist after the Rapture of the Church.
I. I want to spend a few minutes this morning looking at what the Mystery of Iniquity does and how it deceives. Then I want to look at its manifestation spiritually in these last days.
THE MYSTERY – The natural man does not understand.
1. The Conception Of Iniquity – Satanic - Ezekiel 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. (All sin springs from one source: Satan!)
2. The Commencement Of Iniquity – Sensual - Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Job 20:5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? (If sin were not pleasurable it would not be as seductive.)
3. The Continuance Of Iniquity – Seasonal – Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
Hebrews 11:25 says, “for a season” while James 1:15 says, “And sin, when it is finished.” (The master always becomes the slave and the slave always becomes the master!)
4. The Consequences Of Iniquity – Sorrow – James 1:15-16 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. (Sin always ends in sorrow because we reap what we sow.)
THE MANIFESTATION – To make manifest means to make plain or to understand.
1. The Mystery Of Iniquity Is Manifest In “All Deceivableness of Unrighteousness.”
Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God,should shine unto them.
1 John 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. (Sin so deceives in its character and manifestation that the sinner has no concept of what is taking place. American and the world are so blinded that they think that they are doing right in their rejection of God and all that is good. Even some churches and so-called believers are blinded as such.)
THEY ARE DECEIVED BY UNRIGHTEOUSNESS
2. The Mystery Of Iniquity Is Manifest In “A Rejection Of The Truth.” Vs. 10
Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (They KNEW God and willfully rejected Him; therefore, rejecting Truth.)
Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. (To have come face to face with truth and turn away: an intentional act.)
2 Timothy 3:7-8 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (They never learn truth because they resist it. Each time God tries to speak they pull away the shoulder and stop their spiritual ears.)
2 Peter 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (They speak evil of truth and, therefore, of God Himself.)
THEY REJECT PLAIN TRUTH
3. The Mystery Of Iniquity Is Manifest In “A Pleasure In Wickedness.” Vs. 12
Romans 1:28-32 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Sinners enjoy both the fellowship and fruit of sin. Sinners are certainly “Birds of a feather!) They would have it no other way!)
THEY LOVE THEIR SIN
Conclusion: We live in perilous days. Days of wickedness like no other generation has been faced with and the culmination of that wickedness will be Antichrist, whom the world will accept and love! For a while!