Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonian church was prompted by a mean trick played by an unnamed opponent of Christianity. Someone had written the church a letter and told them that Jesus had already come – and they had missed it (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).
Christians today might well wonder how anyone could fall for such foolishness. After all, if Christ had already come to redeem the faithful, Paul must have missed it too, otherwise, he wouldn’t be writing them!
But remember: these were new converts to Christianity and all of this was new to them.
2 Thessalonians 2 is regarded as one of the most difficult texts of the Bible. Paul mentions a “man of lawlessness,” whom many regard as the “antichrist” (despite the fact he is not actually called the “antichrist”), and this leads us astray.
It is better to think of the “man of lawlessness” as Satan himself, who is the mastermind behind the work of of the lawless one. Jesus will destroy the “man of lawlessness” with the splendor of his coming. The result will be that Christians will no longer be deceived and Christianity will have no rivals. Since, however, these things persist, the man of lawlessness is still at work (2:7) and Christ has not come.
Christianity requires thought. The Bereans were noble because they “searched the scriptures,” daily. Paul told the Corinthians they should examine themselves to see if they were “in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). The moment we stop thinking critically, we can be led astray.