Q. I just read your comments on II Thes. 2. You made mention of the “restrainer” being the church, and the Rapture would be what would remove the restrainer. I have a note in the margin of my KJV bible that some scholars believe the restrainer is the Holy Spirit, but most believe it is the Roman Empire. If we consider that the USA grew out of the Roman Empire( Brittain) and in many ways has been a restraining force in the world as a superpower ( God blessing our Christian nation) couldn’t America be the restrainer due to our large (true) Christian population ?
A. To believe that the Roman Empire was the restrainer and that the US is currently in that role is really pushing the envelope of interpretation. First, by using the personal pronoun “he” in 2 Thes. 2:7 Paul identified the restrainer as being of the masculine gender. Nations are usually referred to in the feminine gender. And second, the Roman Empire was a pagan entity in the beginning, and an evil one through out.
Also, I don’t buy the idea that America is the restrainer of evil today. America has been blessed because in the past the Church has had a great deal of influence over our official policies, but for the most part that ceased to be the case a couple of generations ago. Our last claim to blessing has been our support for Israel and even that is by no means certain anymore.
Finally, I didn’t say the Church is the restrainer either. I said the Holy Spirit is the restrainer of evil. Since He’s sealed in the hearts of believers (Ephes. 1:13-14), when He is withdrawn the Church will have to leave with Him.