Letters to the Thessalonians

This devotional is written by Phil Hoyle.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

2 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. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Reflective

Recently, a video from 2014 resurfaced online. In it, a woman explains to someone just off screen how, when you know the 'hidden symbols', the branding for Monster energy drinks actually reveals that the company is a tool of Satan. Check it out here -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=bntfUA6TmLs

Whilst funny, it is an uncomfortable watch. Growing up in church in the 80's, discussion about the 'end times' was very common. Whether it was because the year 2000 was growing closer, or because the threat of the Cold War actually made us fear the world really could end pretty soon, the church grew obsessed with things like the beast, the antichrist, and the like.
This passage is one of those that people puzzled over. Paul is predicting that before Jesus returns, 'the man of lawlessness' will appear and try to set themselves up as a god for everyone to worship.

As Paul doesn’t say exactly when or where it will happen, or who ‘the man of lawlessness’ will be, it allows for a lot of speculation. However, I’m here to say that I think that’s a waste of time!
Instead, sandwiched in between Paul’s intriguing description, is the really important verse, which should be our focus:

Verse 8 - "And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming."

What I take from this passage is this - whoever this 'man of lawlessness' turns out to be - Jesus will so easily overcome him that all it will take is his breath and his bling. He won’t even have to lift a finger.

Rather than getting lost in speculation about evil, let's keep our perspective and focus on Jesus.

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