2:3the rebellion. This might refer to a falling away of many within the church (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1–9; Jude 17–19), to an apostasy of the Jewish people, or to a worldwide rebellion against God.
man of lawlessness. This is an individual embodiment of wickedness, whose arrogant blasphemies Paul lists (cf. 1 John 2:22). He will draw away by deception those already inclined against the true God (v. 10) and will ultimately commit the sacrilege of thrusting himself upon humanity as its object of worship (v. 4). He comes by the power of Satan, as Christ came by the power of God, and he works fraudulent wonders as Christ worked true ones (v. 9; cf. Acts 2:22). Paul depicts this imposter as a parody or antithesis of the true Christ. Paul himself does not use the term “antichrist” (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3), but it is a fitting designation. His fate is sealed; he will be destroyed by the coming of Christ. See “The Return of Christ” at 1 Thess. 4:16.
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