Heavenly Father, we pray that words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You. We pray for Your presence in our midst. We pray for a divine encounter, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
2 Thessalonians 2: 1-17, the Day of the Lord
VV 1-2, 1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
Greek for coming is “parousia”, which means return. Greek for gathering together is “episunago”, which could mean caught up as in the rapture. The Thessalonian Christians thought they had missed the rapture because false teachers who claimed to be from Paul said that the 7-year tribulation had started. Paul clarified that this was not true.
VV 3-4, 3 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, 4 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.
Greek for falling away is “apostasia”, which means apostasy. The man of sin and son of perdition refers to the antichrist. During the 7-year tribulation. there will be a great apostasy, the appearance of the antichrist, rebuilding of the temple, and re-establishment of temple sacrifice. The antichrist will oppose God, exalts himself above God and demands to be worshiped as God in the temple.
VV 5-8, 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
Paul reminded his audience that he had taught them about the second coming of the Lord when he was with them in Thessalonica. The antichrist is locked inside the bottomless pit and will be released by the angel who sounded the 5th trumpet in Rev. 9:1-2.
Rev 9:1- 2, “Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit”.
VV 9-12, 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The lawless one is another title for the antichrist. The antichrist is empowered by satan to perform counterfeit signs and wonders to deceive the people on earth during the tribulation. God will send a strong delusion to unbelievers to believe the deception of the antichrist.
VV 13-15, 13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.
Paul thanked God for the Thessalonian Christians whom God loved and predestined for salvation through faith and sanctification of the Holy Spirit. He encouraged them to follow the traditions and teachings of Paul whether by words or in writings.
VV 16-17, 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
Paul prayed for Christ and God the Father to comfort and establish them in word and work through a doxology and benediction.
This is Paul’s teaching on eschatology. According to the pre-tribulation position, the rapture will happen first, followed by the 7-year tribulation, and the second coming of Christ. During the 7 year tribulation, there will be a great apostasy, the coming of the antichrist, rebuilding of the temple, and resuming of temple worship. In the middle of the tribulation, the antichrist will defile the temple and demanded to be worshiped as God. Christ will return to earth at the end of the tribulation to set up His millennial kingdom. We must be too dogmatic on the timing of the rapture but we must believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross and surrender our lives to Him.
Heavenly Father, all power, glory, honor, and blessing belong to you. Your name is above all name. We praise You and thank You. We pray for your mercy, grace, love, protection, and preservation through the Coronavirus pandemic. We pray for herd immunity to be achieved worldwide, in Jesus’ name, Amen.