2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 Bible Study and Commentary
Last time we studied 2 Thessalonians 1 and in that chapter Paul continued to praise the church for their faith, love and endurance even in times of persecution. The church was wondering if they had missed the rapture, and why they were suffering such persecution. Paul explained that those that did not believe the Gospel and know God, would be judged and would be punished forever.
Have you been deceived?
Are you troubled?
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
As we begin this passage please keep in mind that the church is under heavy persecution and they might be wondering if they missed the rapture. Paul is writing to straighten things out. Paul begins by begging these people that they wouldn’t be shaken in mind. The idea is that they wouldn’t be disturbed or troubled by what they heard. Apparently someone told them or wrote them that they are in the in times and the tribulation period that Paul talked about in the first letter was here.
Think about that for a moment. What if you were doing what God had asked you to do, waiting for his return for you, and then you thought you missed it. What would you do? Wouldn’t you be troubled? Would you stop working for the Lord?
Paul then goes on to say don’t be deceived by any man and explains that two things must happen in order for the tribulation period to begin.
One is a falling away. Sometimes we call this apostasy. This is a falling away of the faith. This is where people at the end of the church age will stop believing the truth and start believing lies.
The second sign is that the man of sin will be known. Sometimes this man is called the antichrist. The word antichrist means instead of Christ. In other words people will follow him in this time period. He is known as the son of perdition or destruction. It means he is destined to be destroyed. He will bring in a time of piece at the beginning of the tribulation period after the rapture. The tribulation period is 7 years. In the middle of that period he will sit in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and declare that all people worship him. He will oppose all other religions and God himself, and he will exalt himself. This time is also referred to as the abomination of desolation spoken of in Daniel chapter 9.
Paul’s is urging these people to understand that they haven’t missed the rapture, so set your mind at ease.
In verse 5 Paul is saying hey guys remember in the first letter I told you about the rapture, and how you won’t face the tribulation period or God’s wrath. Remember that this letter was written only a few months after the first. I think Paul is perplexed as to how they could have already forgotten.
I think this section is alarming. It shows how quickly others can spread lies in the church and deceive others. Paul told them exactly how things would unfold yet they believed a lie. The lesson is simple. Be careful who you listen to. Remember that these Christians comprised a model church, and yet they were easily deceived.
It is always best to confirm what you hear with what the Bible actually says. It is very easy for us to be deceived. Notice the results of being deceived. The people were shaken and disturbed. What was a productive church could easily become one that went wayward.
The second application is that the truth leads to peace of mind. The truth allows them to refocus on the things they were doing right. Loving others, works of faith, and focusing on the hope of Jesus return. God doesn’t want us to be confused. Study his word closely.