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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
2 Thessalonians 2

 

 

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Verses 1-4

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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.

In his former Epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul had written as if he expected Christ to come immediately, and the people seem to have taken his words so literally as to have lived in expectation of Christ’s advent, and perhaps to have exhibited some degree of fear concerning it. He now calms their minds by telling them that Christ would not come until certain events had happened. The history of the world was not complete, the harvest of the Church was not ripe; neither had the sin of man and especially the “man of sin” become fully developed.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. 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; 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.

If this “man of sin” be not the Pope of Rome, we cannot tell who is the antichrist. Certainly, if this description were put in the Hue-and-Cry, and we were police officers, we should at once arrest the Pope as the man whose character agreed with the warrant in our hands. What does he call himself? “Vicar of Christ on earth.” What does he do but set himself up to be adored and worshipped as though he were divine, making himself out to be the fountain and channel of all grace. Beloved, this “man of sin” has been revealed. Now we may look for the coming of the Son of man; but the day and the hour when he shall come no man knoweth; no, and not even the angels of God.

This exposition consisted of readings from 2 Thessalonians 1; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4.


Verses 1-17

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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.

In the Church of Christ, the teaching has always been that Christ is coming quickly, and that teaching must never be withdrawn, for he is coming quickly, as he said to John in the Revelation. At the same time, this teaching has given an opportunity to certain presumptuous people to prophesy that at such and such a time Christ will come. They know nothing about it, and their prophecies are not worth the breath they spend in uttering them, and we have today what the apostle wrote to the Thessalonians: —

2 Thessalonians 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;

I believe that, to a large extent, this has already happened, and that the “man of sin” has been revealed. This “son of perdition” has had a long, dark, and terrible reign over myriads of men, and still he sitteth on the seven hills of Rome, and ruleth over multitudes of his fellow-sinners. But Paul held that it was consistent to expect the Lord to come quickly, and yet to know that certain events must occur before he did come. That is just the condition, I think, to which a man’s mind will come if he diligently and impartially reads the Scriptures, especially the prophetic parts of them. The Lord will come in such an hour as we think not, yet there are clear indications of certain things which are to happen before he does come.

2 Thessalonians 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.

It has been said that the Pope of Rome is infallible, that his interpretation of Scripture, whatever it may be, is as valid as the Scripture itself, and that whatever he chooseth to decree must be obeyed by the faithful. Such are some of the pretensions even at this day of the “man of sin.”

2 Thessalonians 2:5-7. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:

There were certain reasons why that gigantic iniquity should begin to be developed even while the Roman Empire was in power to keep it in check; and when that passed away, there was the opportunity for “the mystery of iniquity” to become the despot of the world.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-10. Only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 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: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

This is the last sin of all, that ungodly men do not receive “the love of the truth.” If they were themselves true, they would love the truth; if the grace of God was in them, his own precious truth would be prized by them above everything else, but when men finally reject the truth by which they might be saved, God visits them with terrible judgments.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-17. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 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: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 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, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

So may it be, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/2-thessalonians-2.html. 2011.

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