This chapter is about what will happen before Jesus comes again and gathers us to him. This is about a subject called eschatology or the study of end times. This is not a subject I’m very knowledgeable about. But according to this passage the following things will happen before Jesus comes again.
- There will be a rebellion.
- The man of lawlessness will be revealed.
- He will defy every god and tear down every place of worship; he will set up an altar for himself.
- This will be in accordance with Satan’s ways.
- It will be accompanied by signs and wonders.
- People will perish as they refuse to believe the truth.
- Those believing in the deception will revel in their sin and wickedness.
- God will turn them over to their sin and the judgment of their sin.
Then when Jesus returns he will destroy this man of lawlessness.
This sounds all a bit scary and makes us wonder when this will happen, how and whether we will be caught up in the great deception. However, there are words of reassurance to come.
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
We need to remember our security does not come from ourselves but from being chosen by God. We have been called and we have been saved, not through our works but by the work of the Holy Spirit. We are sanctified and being sanctified by these works and because of this we have confidence in the truth. We will share in the glory of our saviour, Jesus Christ.
Because of this confidence, we can stand firm. We need to hold fast to the teachings given to us: not just listening but in full obedience.
The chapter ends with a final pray that God may encourage us:
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.2 Thessalonians 2:16-17