The other reading for today says that we should not cast our pearls before swine. There is a sense that in society, we are told to shut up. But in the more platonic world of ideas, of which the internet is part… the ability to argue matters. As David Collard said over at Dalrocks.
I have noticed time and again that groups that win arguments by bullying tactics in ordinary life, including the ability to gag their opponents by various social means, repeatedly lose debates online. The level playing field defeats them.
Now let’s look at today’s passage.
1As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. 3Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. 4He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. 5Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? 6And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. 9The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, 10and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, 12so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.
13But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.
16Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, 17comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.
Now, this confirms my caution about the theological certainties about the end time.Yes, we should preach revelations. But we should be careful here.
In particular we should not be looking for the Messiah. When Christ arrives, it will be as obvious. As an earthquake. Or a thermonuclear event.
But… the weather is not good in the west. We are rebelling against thw laws of God, in the church and out of the church. Our job at present is to be faithful. Here the net is helpful — because I can hear David Collard, even though he lives in Australia, and is a papist. The words of those who are serious about Christ will sustain us. If we stand together. For apart, we will surely fall.