Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Chapter 2.  The Day of the Lord

Has the Day of the Lord Come?  2:1-4

1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Paul reminds them that the Day of the Lord, according to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24:15-24, begins with the appearance of a long predicted apostate leader, the “man of lawlessness.”  The name identifies this mocking counterpart of Jesus, often called the antichrist, as a person contrary to all expressed in the OT.  This individual’s appearance begins the Day of the Lord.  And that antichrist is unveiled when he enters God’s temple and proclaims himself to be God.

The Secret Power of Lawlessness; 2:5-12.  

5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

There is, however, a relationship between present trials and the great Tribulation of the end time.  The “secret power of lawlessness” is already at work in man’s word.  The full expression of evil is now held back by God’s Spirit.  But a time will come when the Spirit’s restraining influence is removed.  It is then that the antichrist, who is destined for destruction by Jesus at his coming, will be unveiled.  Paul wants these believers to know that God continues to be in control of his universe and is sovereign even over the secret powers that energize the tormenters of the Thessalonians.

Paul identifies the hidden source which empowers lawlessness now and whose released energy will be fully displayed when the lawless one appears.  This source is Satan, who will authenticate the antichrist by “all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.”  Then Satan’s vast energies will be focused on rallying humanity to follow his substitute Jesus.

Paul knows that there is no hope for those who fail to respond now to the gospel and so be saved.  They have no defense against Satan when God withdraws the influence of his Spirit.  Indeed this release of mankind to follow its own tendencies is like sending a great delusion, so that they will believe the lie, and so all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

Stand Firm; 2:13-15.

13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

Against the background of the terrible destiny awaiting the darkened unsaved world, Paul is moved “always to thank God for you.”  These men and women in the Christian community were snatched from destruction by God, who “chose you to be saved through he sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”

This is an important reminder for any who are presently suffering trials or persecution.  God has called us in the gospel to “share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  This hope, and an understanding of the destiny toward which the world is hurtling, encourages all believers to “stand firm and hold to the teachings” communicated to us by the prophets and apostles.

Benediction; 2:16, 17.

16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

[Lord is coming.  I feel that it will be soon.  The Day of the Lord will begin with the appearance of the man of lawlessness (antichrist).  When he enters God’s temple and proclaims himself to be God, the antichrist will be revealed.  The counterfeit Jesus will perform counterfeit miracles and signs to impress and deceive people.

Those who fail to respond now to the gospel and be saved — will have no defense against Satan when God withdraws the influence of his Spirit.  It seems like waiting until the last minute will not work.  People would have succumbed to strong delusions already and will not jump.  They will believe that the antichrist is God esp. when they see the signs and miracles he performs.

I see that the world is getting darker with its evil practices and we are indeed hurtling towards the end.  Let’s remember that it is called the Day of the Lord.]

 

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