2 Thessalonians 2:10
(10) And with all deceivableness.--"Deceivableness" does not mean "readiness to be deceived," but, according to old English usage, has an active meaning; the words include and expand the list just given "in all sham power and signs and wonders, and, in fact, in every iniquitous fraud."

In them that perish.--Rather, for them. These are not the persons who exercise the fraud, but the objects of it. The word depends not only on "deceivableness," but on the whole sentence:" his coming (for them) is," &c. St. Paul adds the words as a consolation to "them that are saved": it will not be possible to seduce the elect (Mark 13:22). "They that perish" (1Corinthians 1:18; 2Corinthians 2:15; 2Corinthians 4:3; comp. also Acts 2:47) is a phrase which contains no reference whatever to the doctrine of predestination, but merely describes the class; the men who let themselves be thus duped are, as a plain matter of fact, in course of perishing.

Because.--Here does come in the question of God's decree. The phrase rendered "because" means "in requital of the fact that," which at once implies that their being duped by Antichrist's coming is a judicial visitation. (See next verse.) "They did not receive," i.e., it was offered them, and they refused it; not, as Calvinism would teach, because it was not given them. The grace of love of the truth is offered us along with every new presentment of truth; if we are too indolent to examine whether it be truth, we are rejecting the love of the truth. This is a worse thing than not accepting the truth itself: if they had only aspired to know what was the truth they would have been saved, even if, in fact, they had been in error.

Verse 10. - And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness; or rather, with all deceit of unrighteousness (R.V.); either with all deceit leading to unrighteousness or with all deceit which is unrighteousness. The man of sin works by deceit and falsehood; and by means of imposture and wonders and high pretensions he will succeed in imposing on the world. The energetic power of the man of sin is, however, by no means irresistible; only they who perish will succumb to it. In them. In the best manuscripts the preposition "in" is wanting; therefore the words are to be translated for them or to them. That perish (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:15); because they received not the love of the truth. Not only did they not receive the truth when it was offered them, but, what was worse, they were destitute even of a love of the truth. By the truth here is meant, not Christ himself, as some expositors think, but primarily the Christian truth, and secondarily the truth generally. There was in them a want of susceptibility for the truth, and thus not only were they prevented embracing the gospel, but they were led astray by numerous errors and delusions. That they might be saved. The result which naturally would arise from the reception of the truth.

2:5-12 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.And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness,.... Not that he deceives, or goes about to deceive, or thinks to deceive by open unrighteousness; but by unrighteousness, under a pretence of righteousness and holiness; as with the doctrines of justification and salvation by a man's own righteousness, with the doctrines of merit and of works of supererogation, which are taking to men, and by which they are deceived, and are no other than unrighteousness with God, and betray ignorance of his righteousness, and a non-submission to it; as also with practices which carry a show of holiness, religion, and devotion, when they are no other than acts of impiety, superstition, and will worship; as their litanies and prayers, their worship of images, angels, and saints departed, their frequent fasts and festivals, their pilgrimages, penance, and various acts of mortification and the like: but then these deceptions only have place

in them that perish; whom the god of this world has blinded, from whom the Gospel is hid, and to whom it is foolishness: all men indeed are in a lost perishing condition, through original and actual sin; but all shall not perish, there are some that God will not have perish, whom Christ is given for that they should not perish, and whom he has redeemed by his blood, and to whom he gives eternal life; but there are others that are vessels of wrath afore ordained to condemnation, reprobate men left to themselves, and given up to their hearts' lusts; and these, and only these, are finally and totally deceived, by the signs and lying wonders, and false appearances of antichrist; see Matthew 24:24

because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved; by the "truth" is meant either Christ the truth of types, the sum of promises, in whom the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are, and by whom grace and truth came; or the Gospel, often called truth, and the word of truth, it coming from the God of truth, has for its subject Christ the truth, is dictated and directed into by the spirit of truth, and contains nothing but truth: and by "the love" of it is meant, either the loveliness of it, for truth is an amiable, lovely thing, in its nature and use; or an affection for it, which there is, where true faith in it is, for faith works by love: there may be a flashy affection for the truths of the Gospel, where there is no true faith in Christ, or the root of the matter is not, as in the stony ground hearers; and there may be an historical faith in the doctrines of the Gospel, where the power of them is denied, and there is no true hearty love for them; and in these persons there is neither faith nor love; the truths of the Gospel are neither believed by them, nor are they affected with them, that so, they might be saved; for where there is true faith in the Gospel of Christ, and in Christ the substance of it, there is salvation; the reason therefore of these men's perishing is not the decree of God, nor even want of the means of grace, the revelation of the Gospel, but their rejection and contempt of it.

2 Thessalonians 2:9
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