2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NASB

3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

The man of lawlessness is called the "son of destruction" in this passage. What's the primary implication of this passage? Does this phrase signify that this man was destined to be destroyed in hell or does it signify that this man is going to cause much destruction during that time. In other words, does this title point to his eternal destination or the description of his actions?

  • The implication is the fact that the tribulation will be in full swing. When you say? When the man of sin/destruction is revealed, the anti-Christ. The Apostle Paul is backing up what Jesus stated at Matthew 24:15. "Therefore when you see the Abomination of Desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, (let the reader understand)." At Matthew 24:3 the disciples ask Jesus a very specific question? "What will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age/world?" In short, yes, this man will cause destruction and he is destined to hell.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


The title "Son of Destruction", ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας, occurs only twice in the NT but it has many hooks into other passages; but first, let me list the characteristics of this "son of destruction":

  • he is called the "man of lawlessness" (compare 1 John 3:4)
  • he is revealed before the coming of second coming of Jesus
  • he leads the great rebellion
  • he opposes God and exalts himself above everything
  • he seats himself in the temple of God
  • he proclaims himself to be God
  • he will be destroyed when Christ returns and appears by the breath of His mouth
  • he is accompanied by the works of Satan - false miracles
  • he deceives only those who refuse to love the truth

Other passages

Note the similarity of description with the following passages:

  • John 17:12 - While I was with them, I protected and preserved them by Your name, the name You gave Me. Not one of them has been lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
  • Isa 14:12-15 - this contains a description of the "destroyer of nations", one who would "ascend into heaven" and "be like the Most High"
  • Phil 3:19 - Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and their glory is in their shame. Their minds are set on earthly things.
  • 1 Tim 6:9 - Those who want to be rich, however, fall into temptation and become ensnared by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.
  • 2 Peter 2:1 - But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
  • 2 Peter 2:3 - In their greed, these false teachers will exploit you with deceptive words. The longstanding verdict against them remains in force, and their destruction does not sleep.
  • 2 Peter 3:7 - And by that same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
  • 2 Peter 3:16 - He writes this way in all his letters, speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
  • Rev 9:11 - They were ruled by a king, the angel of the Abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek it is Apollyon [= destruction].
  • Rev 17:8 - The beast that you saw—it was, and now is no more, but is about to come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. And those who dwell on the earth whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world will marvel when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet will be.
  • Rev 17:11 - The beast that was, and now is not, is an eighth king, who belongs to the other seven and is going into destruction.

Thus, one of the beasts of Revelation appears to be linked to the man of sin in 2 Thess 2 and is associated with the work of Satan, comes from the abyss. This man of sin is blasphemous, exalts himself above God, causes great destruction but will ultimately go to his destruction.

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