2 Thessalonians 2:9–10

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

Title: Understanding the Eschatological Role of the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2:9–10

In 2 Thessalonians 2:9–10, the Apostle Paul presents a sobering eschatological prophecy concerning the “lawless one,” commonly interpreted as the Antichrist. This passage underscores the Antichrist’s emergence as a figure of deception and falsehood, powered by Satan, to lead those astray who have rejected the truth of the Gospel. This blog post aims to delve into the theological and eschatological dimensions of this passage, exploring why the Antichrist is granted the agency to judge humanity before the return of Jesus Christ and the divine allowance for his actions within God’s sovereign plan.

The Deceptive Power of the Antichrist

Paul describes the coming of the Antichrist as characterized by “all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception” (2 Thessalonians 2:9–10). This description aligns with other biblical warnings about false prophets and deceivers performing signs to mislead, as seen in Matthew 24:24, where Jesus warns that false Christs and false prophets will arise, performing great signs and wonders to lead even the elect astray, if possible.

The Judgment and Agency of the Antichrist

The agency of the Antichrist to act and judge comes from a divine allowance as part of the eschatological unfolding. Revelation 13:5-7 elaborates on the power given to the beast (another figure associated with the Antichrist) to speak blasphemies and to make war with the saints, indicating a period of tribulation and testing for believers. This period serves not only as a judgment for those who reject the truth but also as a refinement for the faithful, demonstrating the dual purpose of the Antichrist’s agency within God’s sovereign plan.

Divine Allowance for the Antichrist’s Actions

The permission for the Antichrist’s reign of deception is part of the broader narrative of divine justice and mercy. 2 Thessalonians 2:11–12 states that God sends a “strong delusion” so that those who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned. This divine action underscores the just nature of God’s judgment, allowing individuals to face the consequences of their refusal to accept the truth.

The Purpose Behind the Antichrist’s Free Reign

The Antichrist’s free reign is permitted by God to fulfill eschatological prophecies and to bring about the final judgment and the ultimate victory of good over evil. Revelation 17:17 mentions that God has put it into the hearts of the beast’s allies to accomplish His purpose by agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled. This indicates that even the actions of the Antichrist and his followers are under God’s sovereign control and serve His ultimate plan for redemption.


The passage in 2 Thessalonians 2:9–10, along with supporting scriptures, illustrates the complex role of the Antichrist in God’s eschatological plan. While the Antichrist is allowed to wield power and deception, his agency serves a divine purpose: to judge those who reject the truth and to refine the faith of believers. This serves as a reminder of the importance of steadfastness in faith and the love of truth in the face of deception. Ultimately, the Antichrist’s reign is temporary and under the sovereign control of God, who ensures that justice prevails and that His ultimate plan of salvation is fulfilled.