2 Thessalonians 2:5-12: God rules.
Here are some important points to consider:
- Remember what you know (5): Remember what you believe. It isn’t always at the forefront of your mind is it? If the Thessalonians had simply remembered what they knew, they would not have come to believe that the Second Coming of Jesus had already taken place. You could get the impression from (5) that Paul had repeated some of these truths that were now forgotten. Remember what you know. It is important! Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts.
- There is a timing in God’s purposes (6,7): Although the spirit of lawlessness is abroad in the world, ‘’the man of lawlessness’’ will not get up to go about his work until God’s alarm clock sounds. ‘’You’ll also remember that I told you the Anarchist is being held back until just the right time. That doesn’t mean that the spirit of anarchy is not now at work. It is, secretly and underground. But the time will come when the Anarchist will no longer be held back, but will be let loose.’’ The Message.
- Jesus is greater than all evil (8): The most important thing to remember about the antichrist is that he is ‘’the man doomed to destruction’’ (3); the one ‘’the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming.’ (8). Yes, he’s going to get into the ring, and will put up a ferocious fight for a time. For a little while it will look like he’s going to wind up heavy weight champion of the world. But we’ve been allowed to read the back pages in advance of their publication! We know he’s going down!! The outcome of the bout is not in question. ‘’But don’t worry. The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away. The Master appears and – puff! – the Anarchist is out of there.’’ The Message. (Notice that, just like Jesus, the antichrist will have both a ‘’revelation’’ (8; see 3 and 6 also) and a ‘’coming’’ (9). This is the counterfeit ‘Messiah’ who will want the entire world to follow him. ‘Antichrist’ literally means ‘in place of Christ’. This man will want to substitute himself for Jesus.
- All that glitters is not gold (9,10a): Miracles are not necessarily a sign that people are genuine. You have to check out what they say; observe how they live. Test it all against the Bible. ’Beware ‘’prophets’’ who contradict what God has already said in His Word (v.15). If you stand on the Word, you will not fall for the devil’s lies.’’ Warren W. Wiersbe.
- Note the order: Verse 10 comes before verse 11! The rejection of the truth comes first! (See Romans 1:18ff.) Again, we see God underlining the choices people have already made. ‘’The Anarchist’s coming is all Satan’s work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake, evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them. And since they’re so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it – gives them what they want. Since they refuse to trust truth, they’re banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions.’’ The Message.