Good morning! Today is Thursday, June 1–halfway through 2017 in case you were counting. Sometimes when we read the Bible we find ourselves caught up in a way of seeing the world which is completely alien to us in 2017. Let's persevere and enter with Paul into what he is saying.
CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Did you grow up in an environment where ideas about the Devil or the end times were discussed or taught? Did these teachings help you become a better disciple? Did they hinder your progress?
_ What is one way the Lord is impacting the life of someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?
PRAY _ O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
DISCOVER [ 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 ] 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.
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ Check the preceding verses. What point is Paul continuing from verse 1?
_ What is the "mystery of lawlessness" in v7?
_ In v8, who is 'appearing'?
_ Elsewhere in the Bible, what is the breath of God? What does it do?
_ What does Satan do for the Lawless One? What does he do to those who are perishing?
_ In v11, is what does God do? Why?
_ Why doesn't God help those who are deceived and protect them from the Lawless One?
_ Does this strange idea of God's judgement remind you of any other parts of the Bible? Exodus 9, Romans 9, Job 38?
_ Why does Paul remind his readers of these ancient Hebrew stories of a God who is beyond comprehension? Could it be important for these new Christians to realise that they had been caught up in a story which was much older than they?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and respond to what I learned today with a simple concrete step of action/obedience? (In groups discuss this in guy/girl break-outs, below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
+ WHO are you walking with that you might pass along or encourage what you learned, with today? (e.g., your family around the dinner table, a friend, co-worker or neighbor you are walking with to discover the message Jesus)