If you have been following along in the 2 Thessalonians study, then you know we have spent much time on the Man of Sin (you can read the series here). This was a needed study of a difficult passage to interpret. However, sometimes stopping to deal with a special issue can interrupt the flow of the particular book you are studying. So I want to use this post to get us re-focused on Paul’s argument in 2 Thessalonians.
The purpose of 2 Thessalonians is to encourage the church to continue in their progression. Paul is pleased with how they have grown thus far, but wants them to continue. In order for them to do so Paul has to provide further teaching. Specifically, Paul teaches them concerning the Second Coming of Jesus, and how to deal with unruly members.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 is Paul’s teaching on the Second Coming. The church has been shaken by false teaching (2:2). They were endangered of being deceived (2:3). This deception will lead to their destruction (2:10-12). The lie being spread was that the “day of the Lord” had come (2:2). The Second Coming had taken place.
Paul corrects this error by stating that the day of the Lord had not yet come. The reason is because certain other events had not happened. Specifically, the apostasy had not taken place, and the man of sin had not been revealed (2:3) (read the Man of Sin link for further explanation on what that means).
The ending of the section is an urging by Paul to love truth “so as to be saved” (2:10). The truth was that they should not believe the false teachers, but rather what Paul had taught them. Paul, as an apostle, was God’s chosen vessel to reveal the truth. Thus the church should listen and love his teachings.
If the church will love the truth, then they will not be deceived by this, or any other false teaching. They will also continue to progress in their faith as Paul, and God, desire.
The lesson for us is that we need to develop a love for truth, so that we, also, will not believe deceptive lies that lead to our destruction!