This is such an important chapter, and we will not do it justice in the short space we have here. However, we will try to give a brief overview and trust that you will continue to study this chapter on your own. It certainly deserves more attention, study, and meditation that we can give here.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 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.” (NASB) There were false teachers spreading false rumors (some even circulated letters claiming to be from Paul), that the ‘day of the Lord’ was present. Paul’s intention here was to calm these brethren down, assuring them that that ‘day of the Lord’ had not yet come. The day of the Lord speaks of the time when the Lord Jesus will visibly return to the earth and establish His kingdom. (Some versions of the Bible erroneously translate this as the ‘day of Christ’ in this portion, but the ‘day of the Lord’ is the proper translation. There is a huge difference in the two.)

In verses 3-4, Paul assures these Thessalonian saints (and us) that the ‘day of the Lord’ cannot occur until there is first a ‘falling away’ (apostasy) and then the man of sin (the son of perdition) is revealed. These events MUST take place before the ‘day of the Lord’ comes. It is during the time of the seven-year Tribulation period that this great apostasy will take place and the Antichrist is manifested before all. These things cannot take place until the coming of the Lord to take out His church. (Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Verses 5-8 state, “Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 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. 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.” Paul had spoken before of this matter and he now repeats the truth that there is One who is restraining this son of perdition, this Antichrist from revealing himself. The restrainer is the Holy Spirit. He will continue to restrain him until He is “taken out of the way.” When the Lord returns for His church, He will take all believers to be with Himself. The Holy Spirit, as the One who indwells each believer, will go with us to meet the Lord in the air, thus He will be “taken out of the way” as the restrainer. It is after this that the Antichrist will reveal himself.

Verses 9-12, “That is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” The Antichrist will come in the energy of Satan. He will have power and will show signs and false wonders which will deceive all those who beforehand did not “receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” All those who reject the Gospel of grace, and are still in their sin when the Lord Jesus returns for His church will be doomed. They refused the Gospel during this day of grace, and so will “believe what is false” during this Tribulation period, thus they “all may be judged.” To face the Holy God while you are yet in your sins is a frightening thought. To face that One who will act without mercy or grace towards those who had rejected His Son will be terrible. My friend, I plead with you, that if you have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, that you would receive Him today before it is eternally too late. There is no time to waste!

In the remaining part of this chapter, Paul expresses his thankfulness that these Thessalonian saints had received God’s gift of salvation. The Lord had chosen them for “salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” (Verse 13). Paul then concludes by saying “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word. (Verses 16-17). (276.6)