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The Glorious Return of Christ

“The Beginning of the End # 2” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

Date:June 4, 2023
Author: Wayne J. Edwards



   The purpose-driven, seeker-sensitive, fad-driven, easy-believism, cheap-grace philosophies of church growth caused such spiritual blindness, the average Christian knows nothing about Bible prophecy. Therefore, they do not see the sure signs of our Lord’s soon return FOR His church, and seven years later WITH His church. However, Bible prophecies written 2700 years ago are falling into place with incredible speed.

  • Those who are not saved, those who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, see these events through the lens of fear, and they should.
  • Those who are saved, those who know this world has nothing to offer us compared to what Jesus has promised us, see these events through the lens of our faith, and we say, “Maranatha” – even so, Lord Jesus come.

   Even before He created the world, God set a date on His prophetic calendar for His Son to enter humanity and give His life to redeem us from sin. He also set the date for His Son to return to this earth as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and establish His kingdom on this earth, and while we cannot know the specific date, He has revealed the “season” of His return:

  • Through the seven Jewish Feasts.
  • Through the spiritual characteristics of the Seven Churches of Asia.
  • Through the decay of society, as Jesus predicted in Matthew 24, the Apostle Paul predicted in 1st and 2nd Timothy, the Apostle John predicted in his three minor epistles, and finally in the book of Revelation.

From a human perspective, we are living in uncertain times and society is falling apart. From the biblical perspective, we are living in the most certain times of our history as the end-time events are falling into place, just as God ordained them to be at this time. We will explain this further in our next sermon entitled “The Beginning of the End.”

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Old Testament Reading – Daniel 9:20-27
New Testament Reading – Matthew 24:3-22

The Glorious Return of Christ
“The Beginning of the End # 2”
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 

Wayne J, Edwards, Pastor 

   Comparing the cultural conditions of the world today with those the Bible says will indicate the end of this age, we can only conclude that a convergence of biblical prophecies is about to occur, and the next phase of God’s plan for our redemption is about to begin.

  • Biblical prophecies written 2700 years ago are falling into place with incredible speed and accuracy, disturbing those who are not saved but encouraging those who are.
  • God set this date on His prophetic calendar before the world began, and He revealed it to us in several ways.
    • Through the Seven Jewish Feasts – Leviticus 23:1-2
      • Each feast was a “type’ of God’s progress of redemption that was to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
      • The first three spring feasts, Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits, were fulfilled in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
      • The feast of Pentecost was filled when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples gathered in the Upper Room.
      • The Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled at the Rapture of the Church.
      • Yom Kippur will be fulfilled at Christ’s second coming.
      • The Feasts of Booths or Tabernacles will be fulfilled during Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. Ezekiel 27:37
  • Through the Seven Churches of Asia – Revelation 2-3
    • Each local church represented the seven stages of development of each local church and The Church.
    • Since the Church at Philadelphia was the only local church with a global view of ministry and missions, historians consider it a “picture” of the last true Church, and where the remnant of true believers are today.
    • Over the previous 100 years, we have seen the encroachment of the Laodicean church, the man-centric, man-ruled church, where Christ is outside the door.
    • After the rapture of the remnant of true believers, the church age will end, and Jesus will vomit the Laodicean church into the Tribulation.
  • Through the cultural conditions of a decaying society – Matthew 24, 1 Timothy, and 2 Timothy.
    • The goal of today’s anarchists is to remove every semblance of God and replace it with government, and every remembrance of Christ and replace Him with the Antichrist.
    • However, the Apostle Paul said the day these anarchists are dreaming of would not come until two worldwide events occur, and they are happening today.
      • The Apostasia – the deliberate turning from the true faith, and embracing the lie of false religion.
      • The removal of the Restrainer – the removal of the Holy Spirit through the rapture of Spirit-filled believers.
      • On the day of the rapture and during the days that follow, the world will be a completely different place, at least for quite a while, with not one Bible-believing Christian to be found anywhere

“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. And for this reason, God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

 The First Phase – A World Plunges into Disorder, Despair, Decadence, Delusion, and Dread.

   On the day of the rapture, multiplied millions of people will discover their loved ones have disappeared from the earth.

  • Since this event will be worldwide, the discoveries will be made throughout the day and at various places.
  • The breaking news will be, “Hundreds of millions of people have disappeared from the earth without explanation.”
  • Consider the emotional suffering that will cause those who are left behind, especially those who either mocked at the idea of a literal rapture of the Church or those who thought they were saved but now must admit they weren’t.
  • Consider the complications that will arise with the sudden disappearance of so many people – banks, grocery stores, utility companies, major industries and companies will close.
  • Federal, State, and local governments will not be able to operate, including all levels of law enforcement.
  • Consider what will happen when the government runs out of money, when goods and services can’t be delivered, when clinics and hospitals can no longer treat patients, when food pantries and homeless shelters are no longer able to help people.
  • Consider what will happen when all churches are closed, or when only a few show up for worship, when the pastors aren’t there, or what the pastor will say if he is there.
  • Consider what will happen if the President, Vice-President and many members of Congress are no longer there, or how long it will take to assemble an army to defend America, much less our vital interests in other nations around the world.
  • With the Restrainer removed, the culture will plunge into the darkness of evil, and the behavior of man will devolve into total depravity as unrestrained lawlessness will abound.
  • Man’s desire for survival will take over; doing whatever has to be done to survive.
  • While it will be possible for one to be saved during this time, and as comforting as that assurance of everlasting life will be, those who do receive Christ as their Savior will face a time of suffering such as the world has never seen before, and the majority of those who express their faith in Christ will be martyred.
  • No one knows how long this first phase will last, but as Jesus said, this will be just the beginning of sorrows.

The Second Phase – A Worldwide Dictator Demands and Deceives.

   The Scriptures confirm that many Antichrists have already come, and the history books document their satanic ways.

  • Nimrod, Antiochus Epiphanes, Titus, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and others like them.
  • But after the rapture of the Church, a man will arise, inspired by Satan, who will seek and achieve world dominion, with a goal of destroying Israel and the followers of Jesus Christ.
  • The Antichrist will be “against Christ” and will present himself as the “false Christ.”
  • At some point after the rapture, he will succeed in bringing peace to the world, including a peace treaty for the nation of Israel, the signing of which begins the 7-years of Tribulation on the earth.
  • Rather than bringing peace, he will bring nuclear war, which will bring about famine, pestilence, disease, and death to more than 2 billion people.
  • As the Apostle Paul warned Timothy, the majority of the people will follow him because they are also demonically directed.
  • In Revelation 11:3-14, John said even as dreadful as this time will be, God will also provide for the preaching of the gospel.
    • Two men with miraculous powers will prophesy in the City of Jerusalem for 1,260 days.
    • Through their witness, 144,000 Jews will be saved, and then sent out to preach the gospel.
  • The Antichrist will demand to be worshipped as God, and those who do will receive the Mark of the Beast.
  • When the Jews refuse to worship the Antichrist as God, he will unleash a worldwide genocide of Jews and Christians.
  • The souls of those who will be martyred will be immediately transported to heaven. Revelation 6:9-11
    • In Revelation 3:20-21, Jesus said those who received Him would “sit with Me on My Throne.”
    • In Revelation 6:9-11, John said the souls of those who were martyred were “before the throne of God.”
  • Jesus referred to the second half of the Tribulation as the Great Tribulation as the vials of God’s wrath are poured out upon those who refused to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
  • In Revelation 19:11-21, Jesus will return to the earth, destroy His enemies with the breath of His mouth, remove the curse from the earth, and establish His New Kingdom for 1,000 years.


Dear Friends.

If I am not on earth, and you are reading this, please know the rapture has occurred, and you have been left behind, and I am so sorry!

  • I am not missing – I am in the presence of my Lord, and I will be dwelling with Him forever!
  • While it will be difficult to survive, it is not too late for you to be saved, and I urge you to put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior.
  • Read Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23
  • Admit that you are a sinner, and you now realize you cannot save yourself.
  • Read John 3:15 and Romans 5:8
  • Believe with your whole heart that Jesus was Who He said He was, and that He did what He said He did, for the reason He said He did it, and that He did it for you.
  • Read Romans 10:1-13
  • Call upon the name of the Lord, and TRUST Him to be your Savior.
  • Read Revelation 14:9-11
  • Whatever you do, DO NOT take the Mark of the Beast, for if you do, you will be damned forever.
  • It would be better to struggle for a few years and even die of starvation than to suffer for all eternity.
  • Since you will probably be martyred for your faith in Christ, do not fear death, for it is the doorway into everlasting life.
  • Run, hide, and abandon all means of technology, for it will be used to track you down.
  • Develop a community of fellow believers for help and protection.
  • If, by God’s grace, you survive the next seven years, you will enter into the Millennial Kingdom, and the days of your life will be lengthened.