2 Thessalonians 2J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Before Christ’s coming there will be certain signs
2 1-4 Now we do implore you, by the very certainty of Christ’s coming and of our meeting him together, to keep your heads and not be thrown off balance by any prediction or message or letter purporting to come from us, and saying that the day of Christ is almost here. Don’t let anyone deceive you by any means whatsoever. That day will not come before there arises a definite rejection of God and the appearance of the lawless man. He is the product of all that leads to death, and he sets himself up in opposition to every religion. He himself takes his seat in the temple of God, to show that he really claims to be God.
5-12 I expect you remember now how I talked about this when I was with you. You will probably also remember how I used to talk about a “restraining power” which would operate until the time should come for the emergence of this man. Evil is already insidiously at work but its activities are restricted until what I have called the “restraining power” (of God) is removed. When that happens the lawless man will be plainly seen—though the truth of the Lord Jesus spells his doom, and the radiance of the coming of the Lord Jesus will be his utter destruction. The lawless man is produced by the spirit of evil and armed with all the force, wonders and signs that falsehood can devise. To those involved in this dying world he will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused to love the truth which could have saved them. God sends upon them, therefore, the full force of evil’s delusion, so that they put their faith in an utter fraud and meet the inevitable judgment of all who have refused to believe the truth and who have made evil their play-fellow.
You, thank God, belong to those who believe the truth
13-15 But we can thank God continually for you, brothers, whom the Lord loves. He has chosen you from the beginning to save you, to make you holy by the work of his Spirit and your own belief in the truth. It was his call that you followed when we preached the Gospel to you, and he has set before you the prospect of sharing the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So stand firm, and hold on! Be loyal to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or in writings.
16-17 May the Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father (who has loved us and given us unending encouragement and unfailing hope by his grace) inspire you with courage and confidence in every good thing you say or do.