The “lawless one”?

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2 Thessalonians 2:1 As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God…And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming.

Interesting stuff this “lawless one”, don’t you think? In other places he is referred to as the “anti-Christ” – one who presents himself (or herself?) as a god. There have been any number of theories about the identity of this person who rises to power only to be destroyed. Adolf Hitler comes to mind, but there have been others.

There are entire studies written attempting to explain the identity of the lawless one. But in the end, we’re really just guessing. I suppose the only way to know for sure if and when this person has come – is when Jesus comes again. That will be a clear sign to everyone. But until then…

Lord Jesus, sometimes it’s hard to know precisely what the ancient scriptures mean – if they refer to events long past or events way in the future. Nevertheless, give us grace to simply be ready to meet you at any moment, and to use this current time to share your life-giving gospel with as many as possible. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.

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