2 Thessalonians 2: People of Hope
In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul speaks about how there is going to be a difficult time before Jesus will return. Many people are going to be deceived by this person who puts Himself in the place of God. Rather than debate the specifics of end times prophecy right here, I want to focus on the encouragement that Paul provides the church regarding this difficult situation.
2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
Even though dark times are coming, we can be excited because we have hope. Paul was excited that, despite the fact that there would be problems coming in the future, it was still possible to praise God.
I know that it is easy to look at the world and think that is going the wrong direction. It is easy to lose hope. However, I think Paul would give the same advice to the church of today. God is still God, and we can still be thankful because God has allowed us to have this free gift of salvation. Jesus did not need to die on the cross. God could have left us in our sinful state. However, Jesus did die, and He did that to provide us with eternal life.
I think that what we all really need is a change of perspective. We focus on the negative, but we have been given the greatest hope, and if we hold to what we have been taught as Paul has advised, then we know that God wins. That is the end of the story. I would think that in our world of darkness, we as Christians should be the most optimistic people.