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2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 2 Thessalonians
Book: 2 Thessalonians
Chapter: 2

Cautions against the error that the time of Christ's coming
was just at Hand. There would first be a general apostasy from
the Faith, and a revealing of the antichristian Man of Sin.
(1-4) His Destruction, and that of those who obey him. (5-12)
The security of the Thessalonians from apostasy; an exhortation
to stedfastness, and Prayer for them. (13-17)

1-4 If errors arise among Christians, we should set them right;
and good men will be careful to suppress errors which rise from
mistaking their words and actions. We have a cunning Adversary,
who Watches to do mischief, and will promote errors, even By the
words of Scripture. Whatever uncertainty we are in, or whatever
mistakes may arise about the time of Christ's coming, that
coming itself is certain. This has been the Faith and Hope of
all Christians, in all ages of the Church; it was the Faith and
Hope of the Old Testament saints. All believers shall be
gathered together to Christ, to be with him, and to be happy in
his presence for ever. We should firmly believe the second
Coming of Christ; but there was danger lest the Thessalonians,
being mistaken as to the time, should question the Truth or
certainty of the thing itself. False doctrines are like the
Winds that toss the water to and fro; and they unsettle the
minds of men, which are as unstable as water. It is enough for
us to know that our Lord will come, and will gather all his
saints unto him. A reason why they should not expect the coming
of Christ, as at Hand, is given. There would be a general
falling away first, such as would occasion the rise of
Antichrist, that Man of Sin. There have been great disputes who
or what is intended By this Man of Sin and son of perdition. The
Man of Sin not only practises wickedness, but also promotes and
commands Sin and wickedness in others; and is the son of
perdition, because he is devoted to certain Destruction, and is
the instrument to destroy many others, both in soul and body. As
God was in the Temple of old, and worshipped there, and is in
and with his Church now; So the Antichrist here mentioned, is a
usurper of God's authority in the Christian Church, who claims
Divine honours.

5-12 Something hindered or withheld the Man of Sin. It is
supposed to be the power of the Roman empire, which the Apostle
did not mention more plainly at that time. Corruption of
doctrine and Worship came in By Degrees, and the usurping of
power was gradual; thus the Mystery of iniquity prevailed.
Superstition and Idolatry were advanced By pretended devotion,
and bigotry and Persecution were promoted By pretended zeal for
God and his Glory. This Mystery of iniquity was even then begun;
while the apostles were yet living, persons pretended zeal for
Christ, but really opposed him. The fall or ruin of the
antichristian state is declared. The pure Word of God, with the
Spirit of God, will discover this Mystery of iniquity, and in
due time it shall be destroyed By the brightness of Christ's
coming. Signs and wonders, visions and miracles, are pretended;
but they are false signs to support false doctrines; and lying
wonders, or only pretended miracles, to cheat the people; and
the diabolical deceits with which the antichristian state has
been supported, are notorious. The persons are described, who
are his willing subjects. Their Sin is this; They did not Love
the Truth, and therefore did not believe it; and they were
pleased with false notions. God leaves them to themselves, then
Sin will follow of course, and spiritual judgments here, and
eternal punishments hereafter. These prophecies have, in a great
Measure, come to pass, and confirm the Truth of the Scriptures.
This Passage exactly agrees with the system of popery, as it
prevails in the Romish Church, and under the Romish popes. But
though the son of perdition has been revealed, though he has
opposed and exalted himself above all that is called God, or
that is worshipped; and has spoken and acted as if he were a God
upon Earth, and has proclaimed his insolent pride, and supported
his delusions, By lying miracles and all kinds of frauds; still
the Lord has not yet fully destroyed him with the brightness of
his coming; that and other prophecies remain to be fulfilled
before the End shall come.

13-15 When we hear of the apostasy of many, it is a great
comfort and joy, that there is a remnant according to the
election of Grace, which does and shall persevere; especially we
should rejoice, if we have reason to Hope that we are of that
number. The preservation of the saints, is because God loved
them with an Everlasting Love, from the beginning of the world.
The End and the means must not be separated. Faith and Holiness
must be joined together as Well as Holiness and happiness. The
outward Call of God is By the Gospel; and this is rendered
effectual By the inward working of the Spirit. The belief of the
Truth brings the sinner to rely On Christ, and So to Love and
obey him; it is sealed By the Holy Spirit upon his Heart. We
have No certain proof of any thing having been delivered By the
apostles, more than what we find contained in the Holy
Scriptures. Let us then stand Fast in the doctrines taught By
the apostles, and reject all additions, and vain traditions.

16,17 We may and should direct our prayers, not only to God the
Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, but also to our Lord
Jesus Christ himself. And we should pray in his name unto God,
not only as his Father, but as our Father in and through him.
The Love of God in Christ Jesus, is the Spring and Fountain of
all the good we have or Hope for. There is good reason for
strong consolations, because the saints have good Hope through
Grace. The free Grace and Mercy of God are what they Hope for,
and what their hopes are founded On, and not any worth or merit
of their own. The more pleasure we take in the Word, and Works,
and ways of God, the more likely we shall be to persevere
therein. But, if we are wavering in Faith, and of a doubtful
mind, halting and faltering in our duty, No wonder that we are
strangers to the joys of religion.