24 September 2015
by Philip Layton

Lightning

Paul talks about a future ‘lawless one’ who will oppose

Click here to read 2 Thessalonians 2

Discussion Questions

  • Do the ‘man of lawlessness’ (v 3) and the ‘lawless one’ (v 8) appear to be a literal person or a vague concept or symbol?
  • What is ‘the truth’ to which Paul is referring (v 13)?

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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'

Throughout the Christian era, people have been making predictions relating to the second coming of the Lord. During the first century, many were saying Christ had already returned – causing much confusion and anxiousness. Paul warns the Thessalonians against deception and false prophesy; against Satan’s tactics to use false prophets to stir up a crowd.

The sinister ‘lawless one’ would trick people into thinking his way was the right way:

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders (v 9).

Individuals have claimed to be the ‘messiah’ throughout history. Others have claimed to know the exact date of the Lord’s return. People can get so caught up in following a dynamic messiah-like figure, or put all their stock in a certain date – losing perspective of who Jesus is. They walk in very dangerous territory.

Paul tells the Thessalonians that two things will happen before Christ returns: believers will fall away from their faith; and the lawless one will be known by the world, claiming he is the Christ.

True; many have fallen away. We must make sure we are never counted in this group! Rather, to strive daily to bring people back into God’s saving grace through his Spirit. But who really is  the lawless one? Some have thought Caligula, Napoleon or Hitler. Paul only says he will be Satan incarnate; the consummation of all evil, with colossal egotism and arrogance – striving to exercise sovereignty over the world.

The good  news? God will  triumph! He will have the final word. So let us stand firm in our faith and never, ever, waver. God is our strength – for each and every day.

Beverly Ivany

Tags: 2 Thessalonians