We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded solely by your direct support. Please consider supporting this project.

How do you respond to 2 Thessalonians 2:3–4?

“Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God.”

As with most passages in the Bible that deal with eschatology, this one is shrouded in mystery and thus has many possible interpretations. We need not discuss these now. Suffice it to say that the passage assumes that God knows that Satan will unleash his fury in an unprecedented way at the end of the age. One of his strategies will apparently be to possess an evil influential person and carry out the things Scripture says regarding the Antichrist. He will try to deceive the nations, perform miracles, enter the temple and proclaim himself to be God.

How reassuring it is to know that Satan never takes God by surprise. Such reassurance is rooted in God’s perfect knowledge of Satan’s evil character and in his wisdom in working the decisions of free agents to his desired ends. We need not assume that the future is exhaustively settled in God’s mind to have confidence in his wisdom, however. While a lesser god would have to micro-manage the cosmos to achieve his goals, the true God is so sovereign he is perfectly capable of outwitting all his foes without having to meticulously control and foreknow every detail about the future.

Related Reading

What is the Gospel?

Our friend Roger Olson raised this question in response to accusations by Calvinists that those who espouse Arminianism do not “preach the gospel.” The same argument has been made about Open Theists. Olson writes: The complete gospel is communicated in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith and that not…

God’s Love and Your Freedom

The most distinctive aspect of the revelation of God in Christ is Jesus’ demonstration that God relies on love to defeat his enemies and to accomplish his purposes. More than anything else, it was the perfect love of God revealed in the incarnation, ministry, and self-sacrificial death of Jesus that in principle defeated evil and…

A Video Introduction to Open Theism

Here’s a video clip on Open Theism from Greg’s sessions with Travis Reed with The Work of the People. What is Open Theism? Open Theists affirm that God knows all of reality perfectly, so Open Theism really is about the nature and content of the future. Does the future contain real possibilities? We have to wrestle with…

Last Minute Preparations

We’re all busy here at ReKnew making last minute preparations for the Open2013 conference here in St. Paul, MN. It’s our first ever event of this kind and there’s a nervous energy and anticipation. I wonder if you’ll hold this up in prayer if you weren’t able to join us? We have a last minute…

Can a Christian be demonized?

I along with most evangelical scholars and pastors do not believe it possible for a Christian to be “possessed” by a demon or by Satan. Christ in principle defeated Satan, and all who are “in Christ” share in this victory (e.g., John 12:31; Col. 2:13–15; 2 Thess. 3:3; Heb. 2:14–15; 1 John 5:18). Colossians 1:13…

Podcast: What is the Difference Between Open Theism and Process Thought?

Greg openly processes the major differences between Open Theism and Process Thought. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0218.mp3