This week in the SCC Small Groups we took a look at 2 Thessalonians 2. This isn’t an easy passage to understand, but here is a summary of what we talked about:
(1) What does this passage teach about God?
This chapter overall is about Jesus’ return. This is the primary truth we learn here and even if we have difficulty understanding some of what we read here, we can be confident in this truth.
In verses 1-2 the Apostle Paul warns believers not to be deceived into believing that Jesus has already come. He proceeds from there to talk about the “Man of Lawlessness” coming and opposing God by setting himself up as God. Verse 7 goes on to say that the “mystery of Lawlessness” is already at work. Verse 10 says people will believe this lawlessness because they refuse to love truth. So, in verse 11, since they reject God, he sends them delusion so they believe the falsehood they desire and they are condemned in their rejection of the truth in seeking pleasure in unrighteousness.
(2) What does it teach about me?
We should give thanks that God brought us to belief in the Gospel. And in these truths and traditions we should stand firm (verses 13-15). In verses 16-17 we see that God loves us, has given us eternal comfort, hope, grace. He does this to ground us in the “work and word” of the Gospel.
3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?
Different “End Times” perspectives interpret this in different ways. In spite of varying interpretations of this passage, I think there is an application we can agree on: don’t be deceived, love the truth. Rather than speculating on Jesus’ return, the rise of the anti-Christ and other end times circumstances, we should find hope in the coming of our Lord and in the True Gospel that proclaims his life, death, resurrection, and return. This perspective is given in verses 16-17.