2 Thessalonians 2
The day when the Lord Jesus will return
1 Our Christian friends, we must explain something now about the time when our Lord Jesus Christ will return. That is the time when he will bring us all together to be with him. 2 Please do not become easily confused about this. Do not let yourselves become afraid because of false messages about the Lord's return. Some people are telling you that the great day of the Lord's return has already happened. Some of these people say that God's Spirit has shown them a message like that. Other people might say that the message came from us. Or they might say that we wrote it in a letter.
2:2The ‘great day of the Lord's return’ includes many events. It will be a time when God will win against all his enemies. See Zephaniah 1:14-18. He will punish them. See Isaiah 13:9. This will cause trouble on the earth. See Isaiah 13:11; Amos 5:18-20. But it will be a very good time for those who love God. It is a time when God will make his people free. See Jeremiah 30:7-9; Joel 3:16. It is the time when Jesus will return and he will start to rule on the earth. 2:2When he was with them, Paul had taught the Christians at Thessalonica about Jesus' return. See verse 5. He had said more about it in his first letter to them. See 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 5:1-10. But other people were now teaching that it had already happened. So Paul is explaining that certain things must happen before Jesus returns.
3 Do not let anyone deceive you like that in any way. That day will not happen until certain other things have happened. Before that day, there will be a time when many people will turn against God. Also, the man who is completely against God will appear. God will surely destroy him in the end. 4 This man will be God's great enemy. He will say that he is greater than everything that people call their gods. He will say that he is greater than everything that people worship. As a result, he will even go into the temple. He will sit down there like a king. He will tell everyone that he himself is God.
2:3The ‘man who is completely against God’ is God's great enemy. See 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3. The book in the Bible called Daniel tells about a very bad ruler like this. See Daniel 7:24-26; 9:26-27; 11:31-39. The Bible describes a strange wild animal that may also be like a picture of this person. See Revelation 13:1-8.
5 I told you these things when I was with you. I am sure that you remember that.
6 Something makes it impossible for this man to come now. And you know what it is. But this man will appear at the proper time. 7 His power is already working secretly to turn people against God. But there is someone who makes it impossible for him to work freely. That person will continue to make it impossible, until God takes that person away. 8 Then the man who is against God will appear. But the Lord Jesus will come, and he will kill that man. Jesus will blow him away with breath from his mouth. When Jesus appears with great power, that enemy of God will be there no longer!
2:8Something (verse 6) or someone (verse 7) is making it impossible for the enemy of God to come yet. The Christians at Thessalonica knew what Paul meant. But we do not know exactly what Paul means here. He may mean the governments that rule people in this world. God chooses to let governments rule people. And good governments make good rules. Those rules help people do what is right.
9 When the enemy of God appears, he will be doing Satan's work. Satan will give him the power to do great things and miracles that are false. 10 He will do all kinds of bad things that deceive people. The people that he deceives are people that God will destroy. Those people believe false things because they have refused to accept God's true message. If they had loved that true message, God would have saved them. 11 For this reason, God causes their minds to accept something that is wrong. They believe a false message. 12 As a result, God will punish all of them. They have refused to believe what is true. Instead, they have enjoyed doing very bad things.
The believers must continue to trust God
13 We always thank God for you, our Christian friends that the Lord loves. We ought to thank God, because he has chosen to save you. God chose you to belong to him, as some of the first people that he would save. You believed God's true message. And God's Spirit makes you separate from things that are bad. 14 We told you God's good news. That is how God called you to come to him. He saved you so that you would join with our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven.
15 Because of that, our Christian friends, you must continue to trust Christ. Continue to believe the true things that we taught you. Those are the things that we told you when we were with you. We also wrote about them in our letter to you.
16 We ask our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, our Father, to help you. God has shown that he loves us very much. He has helped us to be brave and strong for all time. We continue to hope for the good things that will come. Yes, God has been very kind to us! 17 We pray that he will continue to help you and make you strong. Then you will always be able to do good things and to say good things.