(I have found that I left out the scriptures that show who the "gods" are that the man of lawlessness raises himself up over in God's Temple (2Thess.2:4).
I have aded those scriptures (Psalm82:1,6; John10:34,35; Ex.7:1; 4:16,15; Matt.10:20) as well as others.
I have enabled the scriptures to be links, so that they can be read.)
I am very happy to see you here Julian
Your experience with the elders is a sad and common one. Like their overlords, they seem more interested in condemning (Acts20:29; Eze.34:5; Matt.7:15), rather than showing understanding, support, and mercy (Matt.9:13; 12:7; Mark12:33). This is to be expected of spiritual Gentiles, because the god they worship is in actually, a "god of fortresses", rather than a God of love (1John4:7,8,16; 3:10,11; John13:34; Matt.5:44). That god is about the power and authority of this world...it's positions and prominence, which is all that Gentiles understand. In speaking of this collective "man of lawlessness" (2Thess.2:3,4);
"He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers (1Cor.4:15,16); or for the desire of women (Gal.4:24,26), nor will he show regard for any other god (Psalm82:1,6; John10:34,35; Ex.7:1; 4:16,15; Matt.10:20) (Heb.2:16; 1Cor.6:3,2,19; Luke10:19); for he will magnify himself above them all (Eze.28:1-10) (2Pet.2:9,10,12,15; Rev.2:14; 13:6; 2Thess.2:4; Rev.13:8,4). But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know (Rev.13:12,14,15,8,4; 2:24,13,9; James3:15); he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures (Rev.18:11,12,14,7,8; 3:17; 1Tim.6:17; Matt.19:23; 6:19,20; 1Cor.4:8,7; Eze.7:19,20). He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god (Rev.13:11,12,14,15; 19:20; Acts20:30; Dan.11:31)(Dan.11:21,23); he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him (Rev.13:15,16,8) and will cause them to rule over the many (Rev.11:2; 13:7,8,15; Luke21:24), and will parcel out land for a price." (Rev.13:17) (Isa.23:8; Rev.18:23,24)
The hearts of Gentiles have not been circumcised by spirit (Rom.2:28,29) (http://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-is-jew-what-is-gentile-answers-to.html), so that they are able to grasp and obey the superiority of God's grace and redemption, when compared to worldly power (1John2:17,15; 1Cor.15:24). I hope you are comforted in that grace and mercy, which glory infinitely exceeds the glories of this corrupt and brutal world and the shortsightedness of it's adherent agents (Eph.4:19; 6:12; 2Cor.11:12-15; 2Tim.3:13; Rom.3:7,8). I rejoice in God's grace toward all of us here. He is the only saviour, and when He rescues, none can prevent it (Jer.31:11,12; 15:21; 50:34; Zech.9:16; Rev.12:1; Isa.44:23; 48:20; 51:11; 49:24,25,26). We are all living proof of this miracle (Luke18:26,27).
You see clearly the truth about the Abyss of darkness. We were prisoners of it. Only God through Christ sets us free from that death. We have experienced the losses which are the price of salvation. This is from Satan, who tries to stop our loyal choice, by persecutions similar to the faithful man Job. We lose many things in this world, but are confident that none of it compares with the gifts to come (1Cor.4:13; Phil.3:8; Matt.19:29; 1Cor.2:9; Rom.8:18,25,28,35,36,37; Mark8:35).
What joy we have, despite out losses!...as we await the return of our Lord and beloved Master, who brings our undeserved reward with him!
"Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done." (Rev.22:12)
"The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: "Say to Daughter Zion, 'See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him." (Isa.62:11)