Restraining Evil – II Thessalonians 2:6-7

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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When my wife worked as a dental hygienist, everyone in the office knew she was a Christian. She had witnessed to most of them, and she worked hard to maintain a testimony for Christ. One day at break time, the conversation became sordid. Out of respect, one gal turned to my wife and said: “Cover your ears Terri, you’re not going to want to hear this.” My wife’s presence did not prevent all sinful conversations, but her presence was unmistakably a deterrent holding back what would have otherwise been far worse.

If you’ve been in a situation with unsaved people, and they say something like: “We need to watch our language because…is here,” then you are doing your job as a Christian. That means your testimony is, at least in part, being a deterrent to the Satanic influence in your arena of influence. When Paul wrote to the believers in II Thessalonians 2, these saints were concerned that they had missed the Rapture of the Body of Christ. Their present persecutions caused them to wonder if they were in the midst of the seven years of Tribulation. But Paul assured them “the day of Christ” (vs. 2), meaning the Rapture, had not yet occurred. Their persecution for their faith was a normal experience for spiritually-dark perilous times. All who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer some level of opposition. Satan’s momentum to pave the way for the coming of the Anti-Christ is growing. The job of every Christian is to live a godly life that serves as a restraining element to Satan’s onslaught of evil. This was Paul’s message when he told the saints: “…ye know what withholdeth…only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way” (2:6-7). The words “withholdeth” and “letteth” refer to the restraint of evil by the Holy Spirit as He works within believers. Like the heaps of waters in the Red Sea restrained by the power of God, when Israel passed through on dry land, believers in the Dispensation of Grace are to be God’s agents restraining the evil tide of Satan’s march toward ushering in the Anti-Christ. How? We are to win the lost, live godly testimonies, vote for those who most uphold biblical standards, and seek to influence others with biblical truth.

Christians have a job to do until Christ takes us home. As you start your day, make it your prayerful goal to be a godly restraining influence on others.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."