The Man of Sin in Second Thessalonians

Comment:  The daily reading below is an excerpt from Dr. Lee's multi-volume work  "Onward, Christian Soldiers!" — which examines every Bible text of eschatological significance from Genesis through Revelation.   That is why the footnotes in this excerpt run from notes 3907 to 3949. 



Second Thessalonians 1 & 2                               

"Don't soon be shaken in mind…as if the Day of Christ is present!   Let nobody by any means deceive you!   For it shall in no way come — except first the falling away; and the man of sin [or lawlessness] be unveiled, the son of   perdition….  The lawless one shall be unveiled, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His Mouth….  May    our Lord Jesus Christ Himself…keep on strengthening your hearts…in every good word and work!"3907  

     Even after Paul's First Epistle to the Thessalonians was received and read by those Christians, their problems were not allayed completely.   For their persecutions and tribulations continued.3908   Indeed, over the next decades and centuries, such tribulations would sometimes recur. 

     At times, the Thessalonian Christians no doubt feared that any additional persecution would be unbearable.   Consequently, some of them understandably yet erroneously began to believe and to hope that the specific persecution they were then enduring, would be the last — and that the Lord Jesus would come at any moment in Final Judgment of the wicked and thus spare those tested  Christians from any further and worse tribulation.3909 

     For this reason, Paul found it necessary to write to the Thessalonian Christians a Second Epistle — shortly after sending them the First Epistle.  Hopefully, the first had convinced them that there would be no rapture of the saints from out of this wicked World — and no History which would thereafter continue among the wicked on an all-evil Earth.    

     But now in his Second Epistle, he thought it imperative to explain to the Thessalonian Christians very clearly — that they should not even expect a soon return of Christ at all.   Instead, they should now rather work hard and long to advance His Kingdom right here on Earth — even in spite of numerous then-increasing persecutions. 

     In this Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, written in about A.D. 51 soon after the First Epistle, Paul does at least three things.   First, amid the persecution and tribulation of the Christian Church in Thessalonica — he stresses the certainty of the ultimate and far-future Final Coming of the Lord.   Second, he explained the nature of the increasing opposition to the Gospel — which the Christian Church would ultimately overcome before Christ would come in

Final Judgment.   And third, he indicated how the Church would victoriously overcome that opposition — even amid tribulation. 

     The first point concerns the certainty of the farfuture Final Coming of the Lord.   Paul complimented the Thessalonian Christians that their "faith keeps on growing exceedingly" and that their charity "toward each other keeps on abounding" — even in the midst of "all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure."3909   But the Apostle also hastened to explain that these Thessalonian Christians' Godgiven patience should and would make all their afflictions endurable and worthwhile — because it was certain that Jesus will one day come back to this Earth.   

     He would vindicate His cause both in repeated temporal judgments during History — and in Final Judgment at the very end of History.   He would do so, especially "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven together with His mighty Angels"3910 — finally, at the end of History.   For "it is a righteous thing with God to pay back tribulation to them who keep on troubling you; and [to pay back] to you who are troubled, rest" from trouble. 

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