These 12 verses are likely the most difficult part of 1-2 Thessalonians. The meaning of the details here is not easily understood, and in the midst of things that are certain and clear, there are some things that are ambiguous and have produced more than a few different points of view.
The text is about the rise of evil in the world and the return of Christ. Paul writes to reassure and admonish the church in Thessalonica. And God has preserved this for us to establish us in our faith in the midst of a world that seems to move further away from God’s ways, and where we may find ourselves facing persecution for our faith in Christ.
Throughout human history evil has been present, but just before Christ comes, there will be an escalation of it in the world. There will be a rebellion against God and His ways in societies and in the church. Ultimately, a person will appear who embodies that evil rebellion against God. He will demand total allegiance as God and deceive many in the world by doing miraculous things. And then Christ will return and destroy evil and put it away forever.
Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Daniel 7, 9; Matthew 24:23-27; Mark 13; 1 John 2:18-19; Revelations 12-14; 1 Timothy 4; 2 Timothy 3