The Man of Lawlessness (v1-12)
I like the quote from Warren Wiersbe: “The purpose of Bible prophecy is not for us to make a calendar, but ot build character.”
v1: [the coming of our Lord..]. referring to the Lord Jesus’s second coming.
v1: [..our being gathers to Him]. Referring to the rapture of Christians
v2: False teachers and self proclaimed prophets were teaching the Lord of the Lord was already here. Some even wrote forged letter pretending to be written by Paul.
v3: [the day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed..]. Rebellion is greek is apostasia (G646), where the english word apostasy derived from. Before The Day of The Lord, there will be great apostasy, where many will not believe in the truth of God, and false teachings will be dominant in the church. The man of lawlessness is referring to antichrist. The name antichrist is only used by John in his 1st and 2nd letter. He is referred by Daniel as the “abomination that cause desolation” (Den 9:27). The Lord Jesus referred to the “abomination that causes desolation” as well (Matt 24:15).
v4: [… sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.]. Many believer Paul was referring to physical temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt, with the help of antichrist, and he will set himself up in the temple to be God. This phase could potentially be interpreted as the spirit temple of God, the Church of Christ. If we take the later position, antichrist could be someone who is extremely powerful in the church.
v5: […I used to tell you these things]. In the short three weeks stay in Thessalonica (Acts 17), Paul taught them the Day of the Lord.
v6-7: […what is holding him back….the one who now holds it back..]. Paul was referring to the Holy Spirit, who works in the church of Christ in spiritual warfare with Satan.
v7: […till He is taken out of the way.] When the church rapture, the Holy Spirit not hold back the antichrist anymore.
v7: [..the secret power of lawlessness is already at work]. The power of antichrist is already at work even in Paul’s time. It is a secret, until in the Day of The Lord, the antichrist will show his true identity, he will be revealed (v8).
v8: [..Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth]. The antichrist and satan is very powerful, but in comparison to our risen Lord Jesus, their power is nothing. Lord Jesus will take them out with His breath.
v9: […all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders]. The Lord Jesus Himself said: “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect” (Matth 24:24). So dear brothers and sisters, do not use signs, wonders and miracles by itself to judge a person is from God. We may look at the person characters, and the words the he preached. Miracles itself is not a prove of someone is anointed by God, he could be false prophet used by Satan.
Stand Firm (v13-17)
v14: We are called to shared the glory of Jesus Christ! How glory is our calling, we ought to live a life worthy of this calling.
v15: […stand firm…hold to the teachings..]. Many Christians heard about the truth of God, but how many are standing firm and holding on to the teachings?
v16-17: […eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.] Such comforting encouragement to know that our Lord loved us, and by His grace gave us all these blessings, so that we can stand firm.