Do not let anyone deceive you in any way. For that Day will not come unless a falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction,2 Thessalonians 2:3 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. I have kept those whom You have given Me. And none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.John 17:12 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
It is unmistakable that the coming prince shares the same epithet that Judas shared. It is also unmistakable that this imposter is not in control of timing.
There is some controversy on exactly what falling away entails. It could be the abandonment of orthodox Christianity by some. If so, it’s easy to see the beginnings of that even now. There are some who see it as a removal of people, specifically believers. Regardless, the revealing of the son of perdition cannot occur until after the event.
If Satan is not in control of the timing of things, that means he has had to have a man ready at any given time. He knows his time is short but has a specific beginning. He has no idea when the specific time starts.
God knows. In fact, God has shared intelligence with us in His Word. We are given vivid descriptions of exactly what is going to happen. But it won’t start until God gives the go-ahead.
For lots of Christians, we think that is what is called the rapture. That word comes with some baggage, too. But I think of it as a catching away of the believers.
As God would have it come to mind… Jesus also controlled the timing of the previous son of perdition. Sitting down to share a meal with his disciples, this is what happened.
Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” When He had dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. After receiving the piece of bread, Satan entered him.John 13:26–28 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
Then Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” But no one at the table knew why He said this to him.
It was Jesus that controlled the timing of His crucifixion.
Satan couldn’t move against Jesus at his own discretion and timing. He also can’t move in his short window of time in the end at his own discretion. He must first wait for God.
The very context of 2 Thessalonians tells us the sign…
Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you these things? Now you know what restrains him that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already working. Only He who is now restraining him will do so until He is taken out of the way. Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and destroy with the brightness of His presence, even him, whose coming is in accordance with the working of Satan with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all deception of unrighteousness among those who perish, because they did not receive the love for the truth that they might be saved.2 Thessalonians 2:5–10 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
He can’t move until that happens. He Who restrains. This time, it’s not Jesus… But the Holy Spirit Who works in the hearts of all believers now.
Time seems short.