By Jay Rogers
Published April 27, 2008
2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 — “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
This is supposedly a difficult chapter for postmillennialists and especially preterists who put the great tribulation in the first century.
Admittedly, 2 Thessalonians 2 seems at first glance to be difficult from a postmillennial perspective, but when compared to Revelation 20, it is very consistent with a postmillennial worldview.
I would interpret the Man of Sin as a type of apostate man here, not the antichrist, not a single person, although many interpreters have seen a single antichrist here.
If you doubt that the “Man of Sin … who sits in the Temple of God” can be figurative here, compare the language with Isaiah 14:13,14:
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Paul is alluding to Isaiah where the king of Babylon is compared to Lucifer. But the Man of Sin is neither the king of Babylon nor Lucifer, but those controlled by the original sin of man. The end times apostasy will not be contained nor epitomized in one man, but in men in general who will grow cold.
The whole context of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, depicts the end times not as a time of wars, tumults, pestilence, plagues and famine (which were first century judgments on Judea) but a time of “peace and safety” (1 Thessalonians 5:3) when men will grow cold because they are not expecting the Lord to come.
Gentry, Chilton and other preterists interpret this passage as a first century event, the man of sin being Nero Caesar or the high priest. However, the Thessalonians epistles are eschatological teachings made to correct the Thessalonians who had been taught that the Second Coming had already occurred and that there is no future resurrection.
According to Revelation 20, there is a great falling away at the end of the millennium, which is before Christ returns according to the postmillennial view. In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul writes that the Second Coming will not come unless there is a great falling away first — this is the last apostasy also spoken of in Revelation 20. The man of sin of 2 Thessalonians 2 is the apostate man — one who through ease and complacency has fallen away from the true faith — one who has exalted himself to be God. This is the original sin of Adam — to be like God, to exalt oneself above God.
Thus the “man of sin” speaks of the “original sin of man.”
The man of sin is the man — any man — deluded by Satan when he is unleashed at the end of the millennium. The antichrist is a spirit — any spirit — that denies Jesus is the Christ.
There will be an antichrist spirit that will be revealed in the hearts of many people just prior to the Second Coming. This is consistent with Revelation 20; 1 John 2; and 2 Thessalonians 2.
Satan has been bound from deceiving the nations anymore (note that he is bound now) but he will be let loose for a time to deceive the nations once again and then will come the mystery of iniquity revealed in the hearts of men (Thessalonians 2:7).
I do not see anywhere in scripture a future antichrist figure in the person of one man who is a world ruler. The Beast of Revelation is not a future antichrist. Nowhere do Paul or John in their epistles explicitly say that the “antichrist” or the “man of sin” is anything more than a spirit or a man deluded by a spirit.
That sums up my position on 2 Thessalonians 2.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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