Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
I occasionally get a comment that all this end times stuff in the Bible actually has already taken place. Most times it involves Daniel and the common idea is that what Daniel wrote about was fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes. Of course this leaves unanswered why Jesus tells the disciples that the end is yet to come. The argument here is that Jesus tells the disciples that “this generation will not pass” until the prophesy is fulfilled. What needs to be clarified is what generation Jesus was talking about. Was it the generation of the disciples or some future generation? Since what Jesus tells the disciples as recorded in Luke and Matthew have not yet happened it seems to me that Jesus was speaking about the generation alive when these events start.
Paul adds to what Jesus taught by telling the Thessalonians that the second coming would not take place until the man of lawlessness is revealed. This is something that has yet to happen. Since Paul wrote this letter there have certainly been numerous candidates for this title. But anyone we think might fit this role in the time since Paul did not one very important thing; they have not taken a seat in the temple of God.
Some might argue that this has to have happened before 70AD since that is when the Romans destroyed the temple after the siege of Jerusalem. If the temple no longer exists how can someone sit there?
What they miss is that the destruction of the temple in 70AD was not the first time the temple had been destroyed. The Babylonian destroyed the temple in 586BC and it was not completely restored until Herod the Great in about 20BC. So it is not beyond reason that the temple will be rebuilt in the future. In fact it must be rebuilt in order for prophesy to be fulfilled.
Can this happen. Well stranger things have happened. Who would have thought that Israel would one day become a nation again? Yet 1,877 years after the Roman destruction of the city and the dispersion of the Jews, Israel was once became a nation on November 29, 1947. Men may try to thwart God’s plan but He will not be denied.
Have a blessed day,