Can The Holy Spirit Be Withdrawn?

Q. I wonder if you could clear up some confusion for me about 2Thess.2:6-8. I think most scholars believe the restrainer mentioned is the Holy Spirit. Some say this means he will vacate the scene, so to speak, which also means the church must go with him. My question is about the vacating the scene aspect. Isn’t the Holy Spirit omnipresent, which makes it impossible for him to vacate the scene?

A. The common understanding is that during the Church age the Holy Spirit is sealed within believers as a guarantee of our inheritance (Epes. 1:13-14). If that’s not the case, and He’s really everywhere all the time then that wouldn’t be much of a guarantee would it? Also, there’s precedent for the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from Earth before a judgment. It appears to have happened before the Great flood as well. (Genesis 6:3)

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