2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 Continued
Verses 9-10: This “lawless one” will do mighty acts pointing to himself as supernaturally empowered. His whole operation will be deceptive, luring the world to worship him and be damned. The career of the coming lawless one is more fully described (in Rev. 13:1-18).
2 Thessalonians 2:9 “[Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,”
“After” (meaning “in accordance with”).
“The working of Satan”: The antichrist is so energized by satanic power that he can even counterfeit the signs of an apostle (2 Cor. 12:12).
In the last lesson, we talked about this man of sin who would come in the end of the age. We also saw, that even though he had great power, he was no match for the Lord. The Lord will consume him with the Spirit of His mouth which is the Word of God. He (the evil one), will be destroyed by the Light of the Lord.
You can easily see from the verse above that he had some power, but it is overcome by the power of the Lord. Many will be deceived, because they base their belief on signs and wonders. We should base our belief on the Word of God, and then we will not be deceived.
We learned in Exodus that the evil magicians could do some of the miracles that Moses did by the power of God, but they could not do all of them. We know then that their power is limited.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
“Them that perish”: His influence is limited to deceiving the unsaved, who will believe his lies (Matt. 24:24; John 8:41-44). They perish in the deception because of Satan-imposed blindness to the truth of the saving gospel. (John 3:19-20; 2 Cor. 4:4).
(Greek apollumi), means “the lost” or “the perishing.” These are lost because they did not receive (Greek dechomai), the gospel. Contrast this with the Thessalonian believers (in 1 Thess. 2:13).
We see from this, that some will believe this deception. Just as Eve was deceived in the garden, many will be deceived by this man of sin. Antichrist just means against Christ. The Truth in the Word of God will set you free.
Try the spirits, and see whether they be of God, or not. Any spirit that does not elevate Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is the anti-christ spirit.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:”
“God shall send them strong delusion”: shows that the judgment of God will already have fallen on them (see Matt. 13:10-17 for a similar instance).
People who prefer to love sin and lies rather than gospel truth will receive severe, divine recompense, as do all sinners. God Himself will send judgment that insures their fate in the form of a “deluding influence.” So that they continue to believe what is false. They accept evil as good and a lie as the truth. Thus, does God use Satan and Antichrist as His instruments of judgment.
Since they are not interested in the Truth of God, they will fall for a lie. Temptation is always around us to sin and to believe a lie. The protection we have is the Truth of God. God sent the Truth to those who will accept Him. Those who rejected Him will be sent strong delusion as punishment.
2 Thessalonians 2:12 “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
“Damned”: As God has always judged willful rejection by giving men over to impurity and degrading passions (Rom. 1:24-28). So in the last days, God will sovereignly seal the fate of those who persist in following Satan and his counterfeit Christ. As in all ages, those who habitually reject the truth are judged by being left to the consequences of their sin.
I have said over and over, we are a free agent. We can follow God and be saved, or we can follow Satan and be doomed to hell. There are only two kinds of people really, those who believe in Jesus Christ unto salvation, and those who do not believe who are damned to hell. The flesh life will lead a person into damnation. All unrighteousness is sin.
Those who practice sin are not of God, they are of their father the devil. When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are made righteous in the sight of God. We are washed in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus), and put in right standing with God. Those who reject Jesus, remain in their unrighteousness.
Verses 13-14 “Salvation … Sanctification”: Just as there were specific elements in the character of the Antichrist (verses 10-12), so there are characteristics of the saved. In these two verses, Paul swept through the features of salvation, noting that believers are “beloved by the Lord,” chosen for salvation from eternity past (Rev. 13:8; 17:8). Set apart from sin by the Spirit, and called to eternal glory, i.e., the sharing of the very “glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul’s main point in this section was to remind the Thessalonians that there was no need to be agitated or troubled (verse 2), thinking they had missed the rapture and thus were in the Day of the Lord judgment. They were destined for glory, not judgment and would not be included with those deceived and judged in the Day.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”
“From the beginning” implies that from the start, the work of God was intended to bring them to salvation (i.e. glory, verse 14), rather than to judgment.
“Spirit and belief”: Salvation can occur only as a work of the Holy Spirit and through the means of belief.
Paul is saying that God chose them for salvation from the foundation of the earth. This looks like predestination, but I believe Paul is speaking of the fact that God foreknew that they would believe. You see, they had to believe the Truth, before they were set aside for God’s purposes (sanctified). Salvation is offered to whosoever will.
This is saying that God knew at the beginning, because He saw into the future those who would believe. Notice, in the verse above, Spirit is capitalized meaning that this was speaking of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit of God that leads us into all Truth. The Word is the Truth. The Holy Spirit teaches us the meaning of the Scriptures.
2 Thessalonians 2:14 “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“By our gospel” (see Romans 10:17): Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Paul now explains that God sent the gospel by Paul to them.
1 Corinthians 1:21 “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
Paul says, they were touched in their spirit at the bringing of the good news of the gospel by him and were saved. The glory of the cross, was for the Father and the Son, but was also for all who would believe. To believe makes us one with the Father and the Son. His inheritance is our inheritance.
1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:6 “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:”
We Christians, should greatly rejoice, knowing the wondrous provision He has made for us. While we are in this life, we will have temptations. They come to make us strong in the Lord. Every time we overcome a temptation, we grow a little bit. Job faced many temptations and never faltered at all.
When we are going through difficult times, we should read about Job and how he lasted through it all. Hold firm to the faith and great will be your rewards in heaven.
1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
Mark 13:13 “And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
2 Thessalonians 2:15 “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
“Stand fast … hold”: This direct exhortation called for appropriate response to the great truths Paul had just written. In place of agitation should come strength and a firm stand. In place of false teaching should come faithful adherence to the truth.
“Traditions … taught” refers to more than customs. In view here, is the totality of the apostolic doctrine as it was given to them.
Paul is encouraging them to stand fast in their faith. Paul had taught them the Truth in his sermons, and is also teaching them the Truth in the letters he writes to them. He explains to them that this teaching will be the only thing they should accept. They should not listen to every wind of doctrine that comes along.
Stay with their first love, and do not wander and they will remain steadfast in the Lord. Many people today are constantly looking for some new doctrine. That is a very dangerous thing to do. Stay with the pure Word of God. The daily study of the Bible is the best recommendation I can make for staying with the Truth.
Make sure the Bible you read is not watered down to tickle the ears of those who do not want to conform to God.
“Verses 16-17: “Now our”: This is one of many benedictions Paul has given in his letters. In it, he invoked God’s power based on His love and grace, as the true source of encouragement and strength (1:11-12; 3:5-16).
2 Thessalonians 2:16 “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given [us] everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,”
Our consolation and hope lies in Jesus Christ our Lord. Consolation in the verse above means comfort. By grace are you saved, it is a gift. The hope of the resurrection is what comforts all of us. We are not like the world who have no hope. We are looking for that city whose maker is God.
The greatest love known to man is that the Father would give His Son for a world of lost sinners. This message is not just from Paul, but from the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.
2 Thessalonians 2:17 “Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”
Paul is saying, God will help us to the end. Stay with the Truth in the Word, and work to show thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. We work, not from obligation, but in Love and praise of our Father who first loved us. Be established, do not be wishy-washy.
2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 Continued
- Why will so many be deceived by this man of sin?
- When will the man of sin appear?
- Who is more powerful than the man of sin?
- What will the Lord consume him with?
- The evil one will be destroyed by the ______ of the _______.
- What did we learn in Exodus about the evil magicians?
- Eve was ________ in the garden of Eden.
- Try the spirits, and see whether they be of ____, or not.
- Any spirit that does not elevate Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is of the _____________.
- The ______ in the Word of God will set you free.
- Who sends them strong delusion?
- What happens to those who do not believe the Truth?
- Who chooses whether we go to heaven or hell?
- All unrighteousness is ___.
- When are we made righteous in the sight of God?
- When had God chosen them unto salvation?
- What does “sanctified” mean?
- The ______ ________ leads us into all Truth.
- It pleased God by the foolishness of ________ to save them who believe.
- Who was the glory of the cross for?
- While we are in this life, we will have ______________.
- Why do we have temptations or trials?
- Who faced many temptations and held strong?
- What two ways had Paul taught them?
- How should you choose a Bible to read?
- Where does the Christian’s consolation and hope lie?
- What is the greatest love known to man?
- We work not for obligation, but in ______ and ________ of our Father.