As we read 2 Thessalonians 2, let’s remember what prompted Paul’s second letter.
The Apostle Paul has been told the Thessalonian believers were afraid they were in the tribulation period and had missed the Second Coming of Christ (1 Thess 4:17, when all Christians will meet the Lord in the air).
Paul writes this second letter to clear up their confusion.
The early Christians were suffering persecution and false teachers were using this to say they were in the tribulation period.
Paul will correct this thinking by describing some of the major events that will happen prior to the Second Coming.
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God”. (2 Thess 2:3-4)
The capital “D” Day is the Day of Christ’s Return.
Bible Scholars have studied and debated this passage for years. Paul tells us there will be the falling away and the man of sin will be revealed.
Is this falling away of those who once followed God, or a worldwide apostasy? That’s still a subject of much debate. However, this is not “a” falling away, but Paul describes it as “the” falling away. (2 Thess 2:3) so it will be of notable significance and not easily missed.
Paul goes on to say that during this time the “man of sin” will be revealed “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thess 2:4)
Some believe this “man of sin” to not be an individual but an organization. However, it does seem to be an individual , (see Enduring Word App) because —
- Daniel described an individual person: The prince who is to come (Daniel 9:26), the king of fierce countenance (Daniel 8:23), the willful king (Daniel 11:36-45).
- Jesus described an individual person: The one who comes in his own name (John 5:43).
- We are not surprised that Paul described this man of sin as an individual person, not as a system or an office.
This man of sin will be revealed when the One who currently restrains him (the Holy Spirit) removes His restraint.
Again, Christians debate what this means —is this restraint removed when the Church is raptured? Perhaps.
These debates are why you might hear Christians state they are “Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib or Post-Trib” when it comes to the Rapture of the Church (again, see 1 Thess 4:17); and there can be some heated debates about why each belief is the correct one.
What is clear from the passage we are studying is that the man of sin will be consumed by the breath of our Lord and destroyed with the brightness of His Coming. (2Thess 2:8) (Hallelujah!)
But before this, the man of sin will deceive many who did not receive the love of the truth that they may be saved—
“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 Thess 2:9-12)
The man of sin will deceive them with power, signs and lying wonders and they will be deceived because they did not receive the truth that God is God.
Those who are their own gods, who pleasure in unrighteousness, and do not surrender to Christ, are those who will perish because they have rejected the truth.
God will give them over to their delusions and they will be condemned.
Whether you are “ Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib or Post-Trib” we can all agree that Christians are not subject to this delusion and condemnation because they have believed the truth. (HALLELUJAH!)
So let’s don’t spend time worrying so much about whether it is “ Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib or Post-Trib”- ! Instead, let’s focus on standing fast! (2 Thess 2:15) (We will talk more tomorrow about what this means tomorrow)
Thanks for hanging with me! This is hard, good, interesting stuff!