Man of Lawlessness

Now in regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our [a]gathering together to meet Him, we ask you, [b]brothers and sisters,(A) not to be quickly unsettled or alarmed either by a [so-called prophetic revelation of a] spirit or a message or a letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] come. Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the [c]apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed],(B) who opposes and exalts himself [so proudly and so insolently] above [d]every so-called god or object of worship, so that he [actually enters and] takes his seat in the temple of God, publicly proclaiming that he himself is God.© Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now [from being revealed]; it is so that he will be revealed at his own [appointed] time. For the mystery of lawlessness [rebellion against divine authority and the coming reign of lawlessness] is already at work; [but it is restrained] only until he who now restrains it is taken out of the way. Then the lawless one [the Antichrist] will be revealed and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and bring him to an end by the appearance of His coming.(D) The coming of the [Antichrist, the lawless] one is through the activity of Satan, [attended] with great power [all kinds of counterfeit miracles] and [deceptive] signs and false wonders [all of them lies], 10 and by unlimited seduction to evil and with all the deception of wickedness for those who are perishing, because they did not welcome the love of the truth [of the gospel] so as to be saved [they were spiritually blind, and rejected the truth that would have saved them]. 11 Because of this God will send upon them a misleading influence, [an activity of error and deception] so they will believe the lie, 12 in order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe the truth [about their sin, and the need for salvation through Christ], but instead took pleasure in unrighteousness.

13 But we should and are [morally] obligated [as debtors] always to give thanks to God for you, believers beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through the [e]sanctifying work of the Spirit [that sets you apart for God’s purpose] and by your faith in the truth [of God’s word that leads you to spiritual maturity]. 14 It was to this end that He called you through our gospel [the good news of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection], so that you may obtain and share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, [f]brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold [tightly] to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting comfort and encouragement and the good [well-founded] hope [of salvation] by His grace, 17 comfort and encourage and strengthen your hearts [keeping them steadfast and on course] in every good work and word.


  1. 2 Thessalonians 2:1 I.e. the rapture of believers.
  2. 2 Thessalonians 2:1 Lit brethren.
  3. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Paul is referring to a specific, future event.
  4. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 Or everyone who is called God.
  5. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 There are two kinds of sanctification: first, positional sanctification means set apart for God and in some instances set apart for God’s purpose; second, practical sanctification is a progressive process and means growing in righteous living. This is dependent on a person’s reliance on the Holy Spirit.
  6. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Lit brethren.

Cross references

  1. 2 Thessalonians 2:1 : Mark 13:27; 1 Thess 2:19; 4:15-17
  2. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 : Dan 7:25; 8:25; 1 Tim 4:1
  3. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 : Ezek 28:2; Dan 11:36, 37
  4. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 : Is 11:4