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2 Thessalonians 2

March 29, 2008

Here’s how the study works: Read the chapter mentioned in the heading several times during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for a chapter creates the opportunity to reread it several times and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people’s insights.

by Susan Barnes
34

Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

34 thoughts on “2 Thessalonians 2”

  1. jON

    sorry to have been away for so long. now that my mother has been moved closer, and been settled in a little bit, things are starting to calm down. i have brought some cheese and crackers for munching as a peace offering.

    what a strange and powerful chapter. the apostasy… the man of lawlessness… what do these things mean?

    the church of christ has been looking for a man to come for years. a “man of lawlessness.” a man who we have termed the antichrist. yet today, when reading this chapter, i had to wonder: is it really a man? what if it is a being in the spiritual realm that will be at the head of this apostasy and lawlessness? a spirit-being “who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”

    it reminds me of jesus’ words in matthew 24:15 “…when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place…”

    i also find it strange that paul calls lawlessness a mystery, the same way that he speaks of the partial hardening of israel(rom.11:25), the gospel kept secret for long ages past(rom.16:25), god’s hidden wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood(1cor.2:7-8), that not all of us will die but all will be changed(1cor.15:51), and god’s will(eph1:9) just to name a few.

    which, once again, makes me wonder what paul meant by the term “lawlessness”. since we know that jesus came to free us from the curse of the actual law, i wonder if perhaps a key to understanding is found here: rom.13:8-10, gal.5:14. to love another in the same way you love yourself. to treat others in the same way you want to be treated.

    so perhaps to act in a manner contradictory to this, for whatever reason, is to act in a lawless manner.

    wow. there’s so much here and i don’t want this to get too long, so i’ll stop for now. thanks for having me over. πŸ™‚

  2. jON

    sorry to have been away for so long. now that my mother has been moved closer, and been settled in a little bit, things are starting to calm down. i have brought some cheese and crackers for munching as a peace offering.

    what a strange and powerful chapter. the apostasy… the man of lawlessness… what do these things mean?

    the church of christ has been looking for a man to come for years. a “man of lawlessness.” a man who we have termed the antichrist. yet today, when reading this chapter, i had to wonder: is it really a man? what if it is a being in the spiritual realm that will be at the head of this apostasy and lawlessness? a spirit-being “who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”

    it reminds me of jesus’ words in matthew 24:15 “…when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place…”

    i also find it strange that paul calls lawlessness a mystery, the same way that he speaks of the partial hardening of israel(rom.11:25), the gospel kept secret for long ages past(rom.16:25), god’s hidden wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood(1cor.2:7-8), that not all of us will die but all will be changed(1cor.15:51), and god’s will(eph1:9) just to name a few.

    which, once again, makes me wonder what paul meant by the term “lawlessness”. since we know that jesus came to free us from the curse of the actual law, i wonder if perhaps a key to understanding is found here: rom.13:8-10, gal.5:14. to love another in the same way you love yourself. to treat others in the same way you want to be treated.

    so perhaps to act in a manner contradictory to this, for whatever reason, is to act in a lawless manner.

    wow. there’s so much here and i don’t want this to get too long, so i’ll stop for now. thanks for having me over. πŸ™‚

  3. jON

    chaos? could you elaborate?

    does chaos have a good, neutral, or evil connotation in this scenario?

  4. jON

    chaos? could you elaborate?

    does chaos have a good, neutral, or evil connotation in this scenario?

  5. Good to have you back Jon. I was thinking about you when I read v.11″For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.” You seem to be attracted to verses which suggests God sends something bad!
    πŸ™‚
    Though I would agrue God merely stands aside and they are deluded by lack of truth.

    I haven’t much to say about the man of lawlessness. I know in “Churchanese” there have been lots of candidates – Hilter, The Pope etc. etc. I find the imagery here, in Revelation and Daniel rather hard to imagine. However I expect to say, when it happens, “Oh that’s what God meant.” At least I hope so.

  6. Good to have you back Jon. I was thinking about you when I read v.11″For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.” You seem to be attracted to verses which suggests God sends something bad!
    πŸ™‚
    Though I would agrue God merely stands aside and they are deluded by lack of truth.

    I haven’t much to say about the man of lawlessness. I know in “Churchanese” there have been lots of candidates – Hilter, The Pope etc. etc. I find the imagery here, in Revelation and Daniel rather hard to imagine. However I expect to say, when it happens, “Oh that’s what God meant.” At least I hope so.

  7. V.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 splendor of his coming.

    Reminds me of John 18:6 where Jesus said, “I am he” and the soldiers fell to the ground. “the breath of his mouth” is very powerful.

  8. V.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 splendor of his coming.

    Reminds me of John 18:6 where Jesus said, “I am he” and the soldiers fell to the ground. “the breath of his mouth” is very powerful.

  9. There are many types of laws. The laws of nature. Laws of behavior. Laws of man. If noone follows them, or destryos them, then things fall apart. Simple example, what if we no longer pay the light bill. People that run the business will not have the resources necessary to continue to producing electricity, then we will go without. Causing many people harn that can no longer heat homes, keep food cool and bacteria free, or get to work on time. Computers would not work, and everything runs on computers anymore. Society as we know it would begin to break down.

    I believe that God placed the laws of science in place, and that is what He uses to keep order in the universe. Destroying these laws would cause all of his works to be undone. Lawlessess in my eyes means utter obliteration.

  10. There are many types of laws. The laws of nature. Laws of behavior. Laws of man. If noone follows them, or destryos them, then things fall apart. Simple example, what if we no longer pay the light bill. People that run the business will not have the resources necessary to continue to producing electricity, then we will go without. Causing many people harn that can no longer heat homes, keep food cool and bacteria free, or get to work on time. Computers would not work, and everything runs on computers anymore. Society as we know it would begin to break down.

    I believe that God placed the laws of science in place, and that is what He uses to keep order in the universe. Destroying these laws would cause all of his works to be undone. Lawlessess in my eyes means utter obliteration.

  11. I have to wonder why …. so often I wonder why … why does this omnipotent God of ours have to bring this world through so much suffering to put all things under Christ’s feet?
    Is it because there is no other way and there are forces at work that are powerful enough to be a challenge to Him?

    And yet He blows the enemy over with His breath.

    I guess some day there will be answers to these questions.

    I wonder about the power of this lawless individual as well, Jon.

    Verse 6 tells us he is being restrained even back then and the one who restrains will be taken out of the way. Is this the salt of the earth, us? Or the Holy Spirit? Or the Father Himself who restrains him?

    Another interesting thing is that God brings delusion to those who do not love Him so they will be deluded even further and thus be thoroughly sealed for judgment.

    Reminds me of Luke 19 in a parable about stewardship to a hard master it says.

    26″I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.

    “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”

    This has always been a very curious parable to me. We know the Father has the capability of being very hard … it is all through the Old Testament … He is hard and He is soft … He loves and He hates … He kills and makes alive and does so at His will. This is the argument of the atheist and it is not because they don’t know who God is … they simply don’t like Him…. so ignoring the fact that He is there is the way they deal with Him.

    Hmmmm

    Mysterious indeed.

  12. I have to wonder why …. so often I wonder why … why does this omnipotent God of ours have to bring this world through so much suffering to put all things under Christ’s feet?
    Is it because there is no other way and there are forces at work that are powerful enough to be a challenge to Him?

    And yet He blows the enemy over with His breath.

    I guess some day there will be answers to these questions.

    I wonder about the power of this lawless individual as well, Jon.

    Verse 6 tells us he is being restrained even back then and the one who restrains will be taken out of the way. Is this the salt of the earth, us? Or the Holy Spirit? Or the Father Himself who restrains him?

    Another interesting thing is that God brings delusion to those who do not love Him so they will be deluded even further and thus be thoroughly sealed for judgment.

    Reminds me of Luke 19 in a parable about stewardship to a hard master it says.

    26″I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.

    “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”

    This has always been a very curious parable to me. We know the Father has the capability of being very hard … it is all through the Old Testament … He is hard and He is soft … He loves and He hates … He kills and makes alive and does so at His will. This is the argument of the atheist and it is not because they don’t know who God is … they simply don’t like Him…. so ignoring the fact that He is there is the way they deal with Him.

    Hmmmm

    Mysterious indeed.

  13. Well Susan, Yesterday my son brought a two page letter home from school, about all of the trouble he got in that day. So, I got him, took him in our bedroom, put him on the bed and spanked him. He had been bad for a number of days, and he was told this would happen if he didn’t straighten up. But, there was no kindness shown at the time. just punishment. Other times, when things go wrong, he gets hugs and kisses and support. It is just being a father. God just kind of does it on a grander scale.

  14. Well Susan, Yesterday my son brought a two page letter home from school, about all of the trouble he got in that day. So, I got him, took him in our bedroom, put him on the bed and spanked him. He had been bad for a number of days, and he was told this would happen if he didn’t straighten up. But, there was no kindness shown at the time. just punishment. Other times, when things go wrong, he gets hugs and kisses and support. It is just being a father. God just kind of does it on a grander scale.

  15. it is not because they don’t know who God is … they simply don’t like Him…. so ignoring the fact that He is there is the way they deal with Him

    You know Wendy I actually think it not only atheists who think like this. I suspect some Christians also have times when they ignore God simply because they don’t like him or don’t like the way He operates.

  16. it is not because they don’t know who God is … they simply don’t like Him…. so ignoring the fact that He is there is the way they deal with Him

    You know Wendy I actually think it not only atheists who think like this. I suspect some Christians also have times when they ignore God simply because they don’t like him or don’t like the way He operates.

  17. I think that the Sunday christians are much like that. Believing God only sees them in his house. Hoping that he is not paying attention to him nay other time.

  18. I think that the Sunday christians are much like that. Believing God only sees them in his house. Hoping that he is not paying attention to him nay other time.

  19. jON

    susan, you know me so well. πŸ™‚ god being the one sending the deluding influence was the rest of the “so much here” i alluded to in my first comment.

    the thought that god would intentionally delude someone. paul also spoke of this in romans chapters 1 and 9.

    i suppose the real question that has plagued me for a few years, ‘how does one know when they are being deluded?’

  20. jON

    susan, you know me so well. πŸ™‚ god being the one sending the deluding influence was the rest of the “so much here” i alluded to in my first comment.

    the thought that god would intentionally delude someone. paul also spoke of this in romans chapters 1 and 9.

    i suppose the real question that has plagued me for a few years, ‘how does one know when they are being deluded?’

  21. I think we can avoid being deluded by knowing what we believe and why we believe it.

    From time to time I will read a book or an article that I know I will probably disagree with. This gives me the opportunity to think about why I disagree and whether my reasons are valid. If I only disagree with something because I have never heard about it before or because it doesn’t suit my current theology or my past teaching it is then I think I could be in danger of being deluded.

  22. I think we can avoid being deluded by knowing what we believe and why we believe it.

    From time to time I will read a book or an article that I know I will probably disagree with. This gives me the opportunity to think about why I disagree and whether my reasons are valid. If I only disagree with something because I have never heard about it before or because it doesn’t suit my current theology or my past teaching it is then I think I could be in danger of being deluded.

  23. Wendy I liked your comment so much I’m going to use it in my next devotional thought. Thanks for sharing it.

  24. Wendy I liked your comment so much I’m going to use it in my next devotional thought. Thanks for sharing it.

  25. v.5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?

    Interesting that Paul was in Thessalonica for possibly only 3 Sundays yet he thought it important to teach these new Christians about the second coming. Whereas we often leave this for older Christians.

  26. v.5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?

    Interesting that Paul was in Thessalonica for possibly only 3 Sundays yet he thought it important to teach these new Christians about the second coming. Whereas we often leave this for older Christians.

  27. v.10 They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

    v.13 because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

    In the same breath Paul talks about human responsibility, "they refuse to love the truth" and God's initiative in providing salvation, "God chose you to be saved." While they seem contradictory to us, both are true. Somehow God choosing us doesn't deny others the responsibility of how they respond to God's truth.

  28. v.10 They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

    v.13 because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

    In the same breath Paul talks about human responsibility, "they refuse to love the truth" and God's initiative in providing salvation, "God chose you to be saved." While they seem contradictory to us, both are true. Somehow God choosing us doesn't deny others the responsibility of how they respond to God's truth.

  29. v16-17 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father… encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

    Great prayer. We all need encouragement and strength.

  30. v16-17 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father… encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

    Great prayer. We all need encouragement and strength.

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