This chapter really came across to me as doom and gloom. Paul gives a peak into some of the unrest and confusion that comes with the end of times, and is identified in more detail in Revelations. False prophets will be spreading their messages, the man of lawlessness will do the work of Satan with counterfeit powers and signs and miracles. This same man of lawlessness will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship.
Paul knew that the Thessalonians would face pressure from persecutions, false teachers, worldliness, and apathy. Paul wrote this letter to the Thessalonians because they were currently being subjected to and tested by these assaults on their faith.
Pretty scary stuff. It seems that it will be pretty easy to be misled by these false and lawless people. All the more reason to stay in the Word, and appeal repeatedly to the Holy Spirit to help us hold on to the truth of Christ’s teachings. As Paul pointed out, none of us know when Christ will return, but we do know where our heart should lie when that time becomes reality. Holy Spirit, stay with us, we firmly need your support and guidance.