Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB
False teachings regarding the Second Coming of Jesus were causing Paul great concern. To correct these errors, he explained that this day couldn’t come unless “the man of lawlessness is revealed” (v. 3).
The word “lawlessness” reveals a central characteristic of this man, and the conditions that would exist when Jesus returned. This man would demonstrate his attitude by taking the place of God and even “displaying himself as being God “(v. 4).
The Bible clearly warns against this spirit of lawlessness. The Greek word was used 18 times in the New Testament! For example, Jesus used it to describe the coming judgment: “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness” (Matthew 13:41). He also used it to describe those who tried to fool others with appearances but who were inwardly “full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28).
Lawlessness is a characteristic of people who reject the Gospel, who don’t care about what God has said, and who refuse to consider His Word. They reject His plans, His principles, His influence, His standards, and His authority. Despising His rule, they elevate themselves to take His place in their lives.
The Bible reminds us that God always must be first. We must have “no other gods” before Him (Exodus 20:3), and His Word must provide our standard. Otherwise, we are guilty of lawlessness.
PrayerFather, I surrender my life to You. Forgive me for the sin of pride and for going my own way. Help me to serve and please You. In Jesus name. Amen.
Extended Reading2 Thessalonians 2