2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

Man of Lawlessness

1 Now we request you, 1brethren, with regard to the 2coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our 3gathering together to Him,
2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a 4spirit or a 5message or a 6letter as if from us, to the effect that 7the day of the Lord 8has come.
3 9Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless * the 10apostasy comes first, and the 11man of lawlessness is revealed, the 12son of destruction,
4 who opposes and exalts himself above 13every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, 14displaying himself as being God.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 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 2:1-4 In-Context

1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?
6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.
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 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

Cross References 14

  • 1. 2 Thessalonians 1:3
  • 2. 1 Thessalonians 2:19
  • 3. Mark 13:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
  • 4. 1 Corinthians 14:32; 1 John 4:1
  • 5. 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15
  • 6. 2 Thessalonians 3:17
  • 7. 1 Corinthians 1:8
  • 8. 1 Corinthians 7:26
  • 9. Ephesians 5:6
  • 10. 1 Timothy 4:1
  • 11. Daniel 7:25; Daniel 8:25; Daniel 11:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 13:5f
  • 12. John 17:12
  • 13. 1 Corinthians 8:5
  • 14. Isaiah 14:14; Ezekiel 28:2

Footnotes 5

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.