- Someone was teaching that the second coming had already happened. Paul warned that a strong delusion was about to descend upon the church, and it would cause many within the Christian church at large to believe what is false (11). It was the result of a demon, a spirit being that Paul called “the mystery of lawlessness” (7).
- It would eventually affect the church so drastically that the church would actually rebel against her bridegroom, and set up a human leader who will proclaim himself to be God (3-4). Satan will empower this “mystery of lawlessness” to manifest false signs and deceive unbelievers within the visible church (9-10).
- Paul told the Thessalonians that the deception was already starting because “the mystery of lawlessness” was “already at work.” But someone in the first century AD is restraining him from setting up his false god (6-7).
- That rebellion would eventually occur, and it will produce a false church with a human head. The strong delusion that produced this false church will not end until Christ appears and kills the lawless one and brings him to nothing (8).
Some Christians believe that we still await a personal Antichrist. Some teach that he will only appear after Christ’s appearing. The saints of the Reformation believed that they were rebelling against the rebellion started by Antichrist. They believed that Christ could return at any moment because the “strong delusion” was already here, and the “man of lawlessness” had been revealed.
LORD, come quickly. Save us from deception and delusion.