What does the “falling away” in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 mean?

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4).

Paul’s words here speak about a conceited power that opposes all competitors in the field of religion and claims all worship to himself rather than to God. This overbearing power assumes divine prerogatives, with reference to the true God and not simply pagan deities. His taking his seat in the inner sanctuary of the temple reveals that he claims to sit “as God,” that, indeed, “he is God.” Such claims are the ultimate blasphemy.

Bible students identify the message of 2 Thessalonians 2: 3, 4 with Daniel’s prophecy of the blasphemous power that succeeds that of pagan Rome (Daniel 7:8, 19–26). The details of how this power is described in Daniel are echoed in similarity to the leopard-like beast in Revelation 13:1-18.  This leads to the conclusion that Daniel, Paul, and John are speaking of the same power, namely, the papacy.

Many commentators apply the term Antichrist, “one who opposes Christ,” or “one who stands in the place of Christ” (1 John 2:18) to the power of the Papacy. For more details on who the Antichrist is, check the following link: https://bibleask.org/who-is-the-antichrist/

Paul warned the churches he had visited of a coming apostasy when men would turn to fables, closing their ears to the truth (1 Timothy 4:1–3; 2 Timothy 4:3, 4; Acts 20:30).  Jesus Christ Himself forewarned His disciples saying take heed of the false prophets (Matthew 7:15; 24:24), and predicted that many would be offended (Matthew 24:10). Although the prophecy of the falling away was partly fulfilled during Paul’s time, and during the papal rule of the Dark Ages, it will find its complete fulfillment in the days just before the second coming of Christ.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service

BibleAsk Team

 

Disclaimer:

The contents of this article and website are not intended to be against any individual. There are many priests and faithful believers in Roman Catholicism who serve God to the best of their knowledge and are seen by God as His children. The information contained here is directed only towards the Roman Catholic religio-political system which has reigned in varying degrees of power for nearly two millennia. This system has established an increasing number of doctrines and statements that directly go against the Bible.

It is our purpose to lay the clear Word of God before you, the truth-seeking reader, to decide for yourself what is truth and what is error. If you find anything here contrary to the Bible, do not accept it. But if you desire to seek for truth as for hidden treasure, and find herein something of that quality and feel that the Holy Spirit is revealing truth to you, please make all haste to accept it.

Sign Up for Our Updates

Get notified of our latest updates. Don't worry, they're occasional :)

You May Also Like