One Who Holds Evil Back

Today’s Reading: 2 Thes 2:1-17 (SOAP: verses 7-8)

 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming. 2 Thes. 2:7-8

Considering the amount of evil and “lawlessness” that is in the world today, would it surprise you to know that God is restraining evil even now? Well, that is what this passage is saying. Until the Holy Spirit, the only one who can truly hold back sin, is removed there is a restraint in force. explains it like this:

Currently, the restrainer holds back lawlessness, but he will be removed someday. When he is out of the way, lawless activities will culminate through the man of lawlessness. But who is the restrainer? Only the Holy Spirit has the power to hold back sin from becoming full blown. He does this through His convicting ministry. Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). He will do so through Jesus’ followers, but at the rapture Jesus’ followers will be removed from the earth, and the earthly influence of Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, will be greatly diminished. While the Holy Spirit will still be on the earth, His unique sin-restraining ministry through saved believers will be gone: He will no longer convict the world of sin through believers. Therefore, lawlessness will reach an unprecedented manifestation.

Paul warns the Thessalonians, as he has others, not to be easily shaken by false messages. He encourages them that the last days and the events that have been described will all happen in God’s timing and that the “lawless one” will be destroyed. We would be wise to hold on to this same encouragement from Paul. How much easier will it be to hold on the hope we have in Christ when we know that He is going to one day destroy His enemies.

Response to the Word

Father, again – help me – help us – not be shaken by false messages. And keep us faithfully living as salt and light in Jesus’ Name!

Your Turn:

  • Based on 2 Thes 2:7-8, how will the Lord destroy the lawless one mentioned in these verses?
  • What does that show you about our Lord?
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