2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

The Man of Lawlessness

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[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.

2 Thessalonians 2:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
ESV
1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,
NLT
1 Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him.
MSG
1 Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don't go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him.
CSB
1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him: we ask you, brothers,

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 THESSALONIANS 2

In this chapter the apostle guards against a notion, as if the second coming of Christ was at hand; declares that, previous to it, there must be a great apostasy, and a revelation of antichrist; comforts the saints against fears of being included in this defection; exhorts them to stand fast in the faith, and closes this chapter with petitions for them. He entreats them in a most tender and solemn manner not to imagine that the day of Christ was at hand, and that they would not be disturbed and moved at it; and points unto the several ways, and cautions against them, they might be imposed upon and deceived by men with respect to it, 2Th 2:1,2 and assigns his reasons why it could not be yet, because before this time there was to be a general apostasy, and antichrist must appear; whom from his character, he calls the man of sin, and from his end, the son of perdition; and describes him as an opposer of God, an exalter of himself above all that is called God, as sitting in the temple of God and declaring himself to be God, 2Th 2:3,4 of which things he had told them before, 2Th 2:5 nor were they ignorant of what at present hindered the revelation of the man of sin, who was then in being, and was working and growing up apace; only there was something (the Roman empire) which hindered, and would continue to do so, until the fixed time of his revelation was up, 2Th 2:6,7 when be should be manifest; though he should not always continue, being to be consumed and destroyed by the breath of Christ's mouth, and the splendour of his coming, 2Th 2:8 and the appearance of antichrist in the world, being a matter of considerable importance, it is described by being after the working of Satan, and as attended with lying and false miracles, and with all deceitful and unrighteous doctrines and practices; which reprobate men would be left to give into, as a punishment of their not receiving cordially the truth of the Gospel; upon which account God would give them to such judicial blindness, as to give credit to a lie, which would bring on their final damnation, they not believing the truth, but taking pleasure in unrighteousness, 2Th 2:9-12, but lest this account of things should be discouraging to the saints at Thessalonica, the apostle styles them brethren; asserts them to be the beloved of the Lord; gives an instance of it, for which he gives thanks, namely, their election of God; the date of which was from everlasting; the means sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth; the end salvation by Jesus Christ; and the evidence of which was their effectual calling by the Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of Christ, 2Th 2:13,14 and then he exhorts them to stand fast in the doctrines that had been taught them, either in an epistolary way, or by the ministry of the word, 2Th 2:15 and concludes the chapter with petitions for them made to God the Father, and to Christ who had loved and comforted them, and given them good hope of everlasting things; that they might be comforted more and more, and be established in every good doctrine and practice, 2Th 2:16,17.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 In-Context

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.
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.

Cross References 8

  • 1. S 1 Thessalonians 2:19
  • 2. Mark 13:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
  • 3. ver 15; 2 Thessalonians 3:17
  • 4. S 1 Corinthians 1:8
  • 5. 2 Timothy 2:18
  • 6. S Mark 13:5; Ephesians 5:6-8
  • 7. Matthew 24:10-12
  • 8. ver 8; Daniel 7:25; Daniel 8:25; Daniel 11:36; Revelation 13:5,6

Footnotes 1

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.