Who Restrains the Man of Sin?

Dear Juli,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus and thanks for all the work you do in explaining amazing scriptural truths to us. God bless you richly. I have a question, however.

Romans 8:9 says that if anyone doesn't have the Spirit of Christ, he doesn't belong to Christ. This makes me wonder what will become of believers after the rapture for a paraphrase of 2 Thessalonians 2:6 is that the man of sin, the antichrist, is still withheld from the world. From the scripture, I think that He who restrains the activities of this man of sin is the Spirit of God. I think it is the Holy Spirit because only God is powerful enough to restrain evil from coming forth. Am I right?

If I am right in thinking that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer of this mystery, though, then it means that after He is removed from the earth, people will not be able to be saved after the rapture. It stands to reason, by that, that there won't be any hope for salvation during the Tribulation period. However, I am uncomfortable with this conclusion because I believe there will still be hope for man to turn towards God in repentance even after the church of Christ is gone.

Would you please kindly say something in clarity of this?

Thanks and regards,

Hello Regina,

Grace to you and thank you for the kind comments about the blog! (and wonderful comments you’ve left on some of the articles in the blog as well).

I think II Thessalonians 2 could be referring to either the Holy Spirit or the Church (as in the unified body of Christ, in which the Holy Spirit lives). I believe this because the Satan and his kingdom is currently defeated and the Church is called to overcome (I John 4:4; Revelation 1-3) and stand firm against his attacks (Ephesians 6:11) and the Holy Spirit moves and works through the Church, in other words, he doesn’t act independently of the Church, rather through her and with her. If the Church is gone, then there will be no one to restrain Satan. One book that has really helped me understand the role of the Church is Paul E. Billheimer’s book, Destined for the Throne, it is an amazing revelation of the Church and her role on earth in preparation for her eternal role as the Bride of Christ. The book is very powerful, it book might help to answer some of these types of questions. 

As for if people can get saved after the rapture, during the tribulation (if that’s the order it happens in) I don’t have tons of revelation on this. However, we see in Revelation 7 a great multitude standing before the throne wearing white and praising the Lamb sitting on the throne. They come out of the great tribulation so I believe people will be able to get saved during the Tribulation. I’m not able to offer you a lot of insight here, however one website that has been awesome at explaining end-time questions, is Jack Kelley’s site; gracethrufaith.com. His site is a valuable resource, and he is very knowledgeable and trustworthy. He writes about and answers a lot of end time prophecy questions and I know there is a lot on his site that will help resolve these questions for you. 

I hope this helps answer some of your questions and further directs you in finding resolution. May God bless you greatly as you seek him!

In Christ,


Juli Camarin

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