2 Thessalonians 2:1-5: Remember
July 20, 2019
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
This is a passage of Scripture that has puzzled many as they have studied, and around which we do not have as much light as perhaps we might wish. There are different theological systems about who “the man of lawlessness” might be, or the equivalent term in John’s writings, “the antichrist.”
In general, though, it is clear that Paul is saying that before Christ finally returns there will be an increase of satanic opposition. And that satanic opposition is focused around a particular individual, who he calls “the man of lawlessness” indicating his being in an apogee of sinfulness and breaking of God’s law as part of a widespread “rebellion” or opposition to God. That is not to say that this antichristian spirit is not already at work in the world. Of course it is, there are many antichrists (1 John 2:18), and we do not need to try to label particular individuals as the man of lawlessness or the antichrist in the past history of the world. There have been many such individuals. But there does seem here to be teaching that this will grow and be summarized as the man of lawless is “revealed,” a man “doomed to destruction.”
So that is the teaching. Why should we consider it? Well, because it is encouraging to know that even if there is satanic opposition that we are experiencing at present, we know that Christ has the final victory. It is also encouraging to know that such opposition does not mean that we are doing anything wrong or have made a mistake. Obviously, sometimes we experience difficulties through our foolishness. But just because there is opposition to the cause of Christ does not necessarily mean that you have made a mistake. No, there is an opposition to Christ in this world, a satanic opposition, that can be expressed through particular individuals, and will culminate in this figure when he is revealed. But even then – and even now in our spiritual battles – Christ is victorious. And of course, we can take comfort from that and encouragement from that as we face the challenges of our days this very day.
It is this then that we should remember: that Christ has the victory, and that even the greatest opposition we could imagine, and which one day will come, will not derail his rule, and therefore we can take comfort and courage in his victory in our lives today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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