Faithlife Sermons

Man of Lawlessness

Christ coming for the church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:38
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

Don’t be shaken or disturbed

Have you ever been confused by something that you heard? Have you wondered, what does that mean, what does it mean to me? Paul continues his address of the them of 1&2 Thessalonians, the return of Christ.
There was a misconception about the return of the Lord.
Had He come back?
If not when He comes back what will happen?
Paul in the passage today describes two things that were to transpire before the return of the Lord for His church.
There must be a falling away (2The2:3)
Man of lawlessness, man of sin is revealed (2The2:3)
2 Thessalonians 2:1–3 NASB95
1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
We have previously discussed the “falling away” and how that was foretold before by the Apostles (1Tim4:1-3; 2Pt2:1-2) I want to take a minute and look again, briefly at a couple of things on this for this teaching goes on from there.
Apostasy had to happen (1Tim4:1-3; 2Pt2:1-2)
1 Timothy 4:1 NASB95
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
1 Timothy 4:2–3 NASB95
2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
They were looking for, expecting the return of the Lord, the day of the Lord to be eminent and many stopped working, stopping marrying because the Lord was coming back. They were binding on people things that were not to be bound.
In 2pt2:1-2 it speaks of false prophets, false teachers who are preaching, teaching heretical things, destructive things. Many will follow.
(Man of Lawlessness picture)
There is apostasy, falling away historically in church already (1Jn2:18-19)
In this passage it was common knowledge people looking for the antichrist, but John goes on to say there were many antichrists who had gone out from them (from the church); which means there were antichrists in the church. Similar to what we see in letter to the church of Pergamum (Rev2:12-17) the throne of satan was in in the church. Or even to the church of Tyatira speaking of what was happening in the church.
So, antichrist, is nothing new, nothing that was not already being revealed to the church in the first century, so keep these things in mind as we look at our passage today.
Be faithful, be diligent so not to fall away (Heb2:1-3)
Be on the alert, pay attention so not to drift away for judgment, punishment is coming
There is much we can learn about the man of sin, the man of lawlessness. We can know:
His description (his character) -2The2:3-10
His deception (results of his deception) -2The2:11-12
While there is much we may still not fully understand there are things to learn from history, as well as we can learn so to be prepared today. For Jesus is coming back for His church and we need to be ready, not deceived!

His Description

The man of lawlessness, man of sin, does not walk around with a sign on saying man of sin but you can clearly see him from the description.
2 Thessalonians 2:3–4 NASB95
3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
2 Thessalonians 2:5–6 NASB95
5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.
2 Thessalonians 2:7–8 NASB95
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
2 Thessalonians 2:9–10 NASB95
9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
There is a clear description of him, and much we can learn from the scripture.
Perverse character (2The2:3-4; Jude4, 10-13)
Perverse character described as Son of perdition, Son of Destruction, One who is doomed and destined to hell.
He opposes and exalts himself, not just above others, but above every so called god, and displays himself as being God.
That means putting himself above Jesus.
He sits in the temple, is this in the church? Could be when you look at Rev2, or even at Jude.
Jude 4 NASB95
4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
(expand on this briefly)
Jude 10–11 NASB95
10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
Jude 12–13 NASB95
12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.
Scary stuff huh? from within even.
Present restraint (2The2:5-8; Mt16:16-19)
(Restrain lawlessness Picture)
Now, we get to a point where there lots of different views, my desire is to present information and you can do with it as you chose.
It is known, Paul is saying currently restrained so to the church at Thessolonica the son of perdition was being restrained. We do not know the form of restraint or more, just that it was a present tense thing that was known. Paul is reminding them that he told that this when he was with them.
Though there was restraint, there was still the mystery of lawlessness that was at work.
Do we see lawlessness at work today? We don’t have to look very far do we?
The Lord would reveal the lawless one when He appears at His coming.
Is the restraint the church? was it his young church that abounded in Work of faith, labor of love and steadfastness of hope? Is it the church today that simply believes and proclaims God’s Word and acts under the authority of Jesus Christ? Makes me think of:
(Keys to the kingdom picture)
below not on the screen and leave it that way.
Matthew 16:16–17 NASB95
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 16:18–19 NASB95
18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
Keys to the kingdom, is it the faith, the belief who Jesus is that the gates of hades will not overpower?
Professed relation to Satan (2The2:9-10)
WE have journey to other scripture so maybe focus back on our passage this morning again.
2 Thessalonians 2:9–10 NASB95
9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
His coming would be in accordance to the activity of Satan. Wait, wait, wait, is the work of Satan being done right now?
His coming will be with all power, signs, lying wonders; hold on again, are there not false signs that were going on then, what about now?
And with wicked deception is keeping people from the truth in love so that they could be saved.
I know there is more we don’t know than we know, and more questions than answers.
(More questions than answers picture)
Some other thoughts, suggestions, things to consider.
Is the man of lawlessness a man, a particular person who is to be revealed?
Is this the Antichrist the prophet of Satan as inferred in 1Jn2:18
There are many who hold this view who are pre-millenialists and even some amillenialists.
Another view is that this is a a series of individuals
Perhaps a successive line of men with same general characteristics and beliefs? Some believe this to be the papacy.
Now, this is not too far of a leap on these is it? The scripture is clear as mud here and any of the above could be the man of lawlessness, son of perdition.
We are the described character
A deceiver
Brings destruction
Exalts over even Jesus (expand this can even be self exaltation of self worth and self works)
A mystery that is at work, but will be revealed on the day of the Lord.
Has power to do false signs, wonders and miracles (expand on this in general; be careful not to name people)
Anyway about us having more questions than answers, the answers we do have are pretty descriptive.


Deception, there are many deceivers out there, and one of the character traits we already mentioned is deception. May we look at those who will be deceived and protection against being deceived.
2 Thessalonians 2:10–11 NASB95
10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
2 Thessalonians 2:12 NASB95
12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
Those who are perishing will be the ones deceived (2The2:10; 1Cor1:18)
Those perishing are the fools who will not accept the message of the cross as stated in 1Cor1:18.
Those who do not have a love for God or for the truth (2The2:10; 2Tim3:1-5)
2 Timothy 3:1–2 NASB95
1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2 Timothy 3:3–4 NASB95
3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2 Timothy 3:5 NASB95
5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
Those who pleasure is in unrighteousness (2The2:10; Php3:18-19)
Philippians 3:18–19 NASB95
18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.
People who are pleasure seekers more than truth seekers are prime candidates to being deceived.
To those who will be able to resist (2The2:10, 12)
Those who have a love for the truth
Those who believe the truth
Take preventative measures, read, sturdy your bible so you know the truth
How we treat God’s Word will determine whether we will be susceptible to deception by the man of sin, the man of lawlessness or not.
To those who love the truth, love God and follow HIs ways, in other words are faithful until the end, we have the promise of the destruction of the man of sin too.


While God’s desire is that all men come to repentance some will not including the son of perdition, man of sin.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 NASB95
8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
The promise is the destruction
Similar to what we see to those who do not obey the gospel (2The1:7-9)
2 Thessalonians 1:7–8 NASB95
7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 1:9 NASB95
9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
Timing of his defeat (2The2:8)
When the coming of the Lord happens!
The Lord will destroy the man of sin with the brightness of His coming
Similar to what will happen with Satan at His coming (Rev20:10)
Revelation 20:10 NASB95
10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
There could be much more discussion, debate, discerning of this passage today. It made perfect sense to the church there, to us we can look at it historically and prophetically. We can see the characteristics of the man of lawlessness, if it be a man, a people, if it be literal or spiritual we still can know the warning and the promise.
(invitation slide- be ready for his return picture)
Be ready for his return
Have strong love for God and for His truth
Let your faith be strong and belief be in action
Be sure you have obeyed the gospel message
Don’t be deceived for He is coming back, we need not only be looking for it, but expecting it, are you ready? God wants you to be ready at His coming!
(invitation slide 2 - ready at His coming picture) song, (exit slides)
Related Media
Related Sermons