2 Thessalonians 2: Leader of Lawlessness & Destruction

How well do you think Christian gatherings today anticipate the return of Jesus Christ?

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2 Thessalonians 2:1 As you assemble in his name, fellow believers, anticipate the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
King James
2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

Why did Paul warn the people about a message that Jesus had already returned?

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2 Thessalonians 2:2–3 Don’t be alarmed by people who say the Lord has already come. Even if they claim to have had a vision or revelation from God, or they supposedly received a letter from us, do not let them deceive you. That time will come after a great rebellion against God and the leader of lawlessness and destruction is revealed,
King James
2 Thessalonians 2:2–3 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who is the “leader of lawlessness” that Paul talks about?

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2 Thessalonians 2:3–4 do not let them deceive you. That time will come after a great rebellion against God and the leader of lawlessness and destruction is revealed, who opposes God and exalts himself above everything holy, assuming the highest place in the sanctuary, seeking worship as if he were God.
2 Timothy 3:2–8 Their love is conditional, focused on what they can get. They blame others for their mistakes and make promises with no intention of keeping them. Riding an emotional roller-coaster, they are easily angered and despise the goodness in people. Loving pleasure more than God, the prideful will betray their friends and react without thinking. They have a religious form with only a façade of righteousness, not the Holy Spirit acting with power in their lives. Do not fellowship with these people, for they are the kind who slip into homes and entice the naïve, catering to fleshly desires. These people seem always to be learning, but they never come to grips with the truth. Like Jannes and Jambres who opposed Moses, people with corrupt minds and false beliefs resist the truth.
1 John 2:18 My young friends in the faith, these are the last days. You have heard about an antichrist will come, but know the time is short, because many antichrists have already come.
1 John 4:3 Any message that denies Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born in human flesh, is not of God. This is the spirit of the antichrist you heard would come, and now it’s here.
King James
2 Thessalonians 2:3–4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2 Timothy 3:2–8 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

How will the lawless one be destroyed?

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2 Thessalonians 2:5–8 Don’t you remember when I was with you and told you these things? You know the lawless one is being held back until the appointed time. Already, this lawlessness is secretly at work, and it will remain secret until the restraint is removed. Then the lawless one will be revealed, who will be destroyed by the word of the Lord Jesus when he returns.
King James
2 Thessalonians 2:5–8 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

How are counterfeit signs and wonders performed?

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Exodus 7:11 Pharaoh sent for his wise men and magicians, and they were able to do the same thing.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 The lawless one will use satanic power to do counterfeit signs and wonders.
King James
Exodus 7:11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

What are some of the enticements for wrongdoing?

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Proverbs 1:10 My child, if those who would do wrong ask you to join their fun, stay away.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 Because they had no love for the truth that would save them, those who perish will be victims of all kinds of enticements for wrongdoing.
Hebrews 11:24–25 By faith, Moses as an adult refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, preferring affliction with the people of God above the pleasures of sin for a season.
James 1:4 Don’t be too quick to give up, but allow the situation to bring maturity, strength, and contentment.
King James
Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
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.
Hebrews 11:24–25 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Why does God allow people to believe a lie?

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Matthew 13:13–15 “I teach with stories because some people with open eyes choose to see nothing. They hear with their ears but do not want to understand. In them, the prophet Isaiah’s words are fulfilled: You hear but do not understand. You see but have no recognition. Harden the hearts of these people and close their ears and cover their eyes so they will not see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts and be forced to turn to me and be healed.
2 Thessalonians 2:11–12 God will allow them to embrace lies as if they were the truth, deceiving themselves, so they will be condemned for rejecting the truth for pleasure in wrongdoing.
King James
Matthew 13:13–15 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
2 Thessalonians 2:11–12 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

How does God have people’s salvation in mind “from the beginning”?

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Romans 8:29–30 Because God knew what we would become, he sent his Son to be the first example of what his family will be like. Seeing the desires of people’s hearts, he called all those who would listen, made them blameless in his sight, and revealed his glory in them.
Romans 10:13 Everyone who comes under the Lord’s direction and authority will be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 We must always thank God for you, my friends, the Lord’s beloved, for he had your salvation in mind from the beginning, that you believe the truth and be cleansed by the Holy Spirit.
King James
Romans 8:29–30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway 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:

How great a benefit is having a share of the “glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”?

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2 Thessalonians 2:14–15 In heeding the good news, you will share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my friends, stand firm in your faith and live according to what you’ve been taught through our preaching and our letters.
King James
2 Thessalonians 2:14–15 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

In the midst of trying times, where do we get “eternal encouragement and hope”?

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2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 May the love and grace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bring you eternal encouragement and hope, comforting your hearts and establishing good in everything you say and do.
King James
2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 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, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.