Matthew Henry's Commentary
2 Thessalonians Chapter 2
autions against the error that the time of Christ's coming was just at hand. There would first be a general apostacy 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 apostacy; an exhortation to stedfastness, and prayer for them. (13-17)
Verses 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.
Verses 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.
Verses 13-15: When we hear of the apostacy 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.
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.
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making
an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue
in the book of 2nd Thessalonians with Chapter 2 and in our text we see Paul telling of the
coming of the lawless one and that Believers should stand strong. In making application we see that today we live in a lawless
society where evil is looked upon as good and good-evil. In this society we should stand strong knowing that the Lord is in
control and the Lord will deliver us in his timing. How about you? Do you stand for the Lord in this culture in which we live?
Let us learn from our text today and the reminder of Paul that the days are evil but the Lord is in control and will deliver
us so let us not waver but rather stand strong.
2 Thessalonians 2
we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2That 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.
3Let 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;
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.
ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken
out of the way.
8And 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:
9Even him, whose coming is after the working
of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they
might be saved.
11And for this cause God shall
send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13But 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:
14Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to
the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
16Now 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,
17Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.