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Paul's opinion of II. Thessalonians. their faith, love, &c.
the end of the age under the law, and the beginning of the age under the Messiah; 1 Cor. x. 11. Phil. iv. 5. Heb. ix. 26, X. 25-37. James v. 7-9. 1 Peter iv. 7. 1 John ii. 18, &c. The second event was the destruction of the man of sin, 2 Thess. ii. 8. The third is death, which releases all the followers of Christ from their trials and sufferings, 1 Cor. i. 8. Phil. i. 6. 1 Thess. v. 23. The fourth is Christ's coming in person to judge the world, and to put an end to the present state of things. This event is probably still far distant; as the final consummation of all things is not to take place till Christ has triumphantly reigned on earth a thousand years in the hearts of men.
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL, THE APOSTLE,
He sheweth his good opinion of their faith, love and patience; 3 and comforteth them against persecution. and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace unto you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingİy, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye enJure;
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be count
ed worthy of the kingdom of God,a for which ye also suffer :
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you ;
And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
In flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punishedwith everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that
a Which faith and patience are an righteous judgment of God, who counted evidence or a manifest token of the you Gentiles worthy of the kingdom of God, Sc.
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power; 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 He willeth them to continue steadfast in the truth received, 3 shewing that there shall be a departure from the faith, 9 and a discovery of antichrist before the day of the Lord come; 15 and thereupon repeateth his former exhortation, and prayeth for
NOW, we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,a
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
to steadfastness, &c.
come a falling away first,c and that man of sin d be revealed,e the son of perdition;
a By, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and concerning our gathering together around him.
b Let no man deceive you by any of the above mentioned means, verse 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.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what
c Except there come a falling away first; or, there come the apostacy, that great departure from the true faith and worship, of which I formerly told you, (see ver. 5.) It is probable the apostle here alludes to some future state of the church, in which the disciples of Christ should greatly depart from the true faith & worship of God, enjoined in the Gospel; and it is thought by many, that this apostacy denoted Popery or the
Roman Catholic religion.
d That man of sin, the son of perdition, and that wicked, or wicked one, verse 8, signify the same thing: but what that particular thing was, is not perhaps fully ascertained. It has, however, generally been supposed, that these phrases were designed to signify, not any one man, but a succession of wicked teachers, who would corrupt the church, and exercise a most cruel tyranny and by the description in verse 4 these false teachers seem to have been exemplified in the
3 Let no man deceive you by any means;b for that day popes and bishops of Rome.
shall not come, except there
e Revealed. The revelation of the man of Sin consisted in his openly assuming the titles and honours of God, and shewing himself that he is a god. The Roman catholic clergy have actually been guilty of this shocking impiety.
Antichrist revealed. II. Thessalonians. Divers exhortations.
withholdeth,f that he might be revealed in his time.
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.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
18 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:
7 For the mystery of iniquityg doth already work; only he who now letteth,h will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wick. ed i be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth,j and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders,k
f What withholdeth or restraineth. That which restrained the man of sin from revealing or displaying himself, is generally supposed to have been the Roman empire; for so long as that power, which was idolatrous, continued unbroken, and exercised universal dominion, it would not suffer another, especially one bearing the name of Christian, to gain ascendancy, and rule with despotic power.
8 The mystery of iniquity, a system of error, which secretly encouraged iniquity: it here signifies the same as the man of sin.
b He who letteth, &c. He who hindereth or restraineth, will continue to restrain the open operations of the mystery of iniquity, till he (meaning the power of the Roman magistrates) be taken out of the way.
i Wicked, or lawless one.
j Spirit, it should be, breath of bis mouth, which is a figurative expression, that probably denotes the preaching of the Gospel, which will eventually destroy all sin and opposition to the Redeemer's cause.
k Lying wonders, miracles of falsehood, impositions upon the senses of mankind.
14 Whereunto he called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions, which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epis tle.
3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you,a that ye both do and will do the things which we command
5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, & not after the tradition,b which he received of us.
For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we
to shun idleness, &c.
might not be chargeable to any of you :
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
a Touching, concerning you. b Tradition, See 2 Thess. ii. 15.
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle : so I write.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.
TO THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY."
TIMOTHY was a native of Lystra in Asia Minor. His father was a Greek, but his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice were pious Hebrew women, by whom he was taught the scriptures from his childhood. He was a youth of most amiable manners and disposition, and after being instructed in the Gospel, he was almost constantly a companion of St. Paul.
As Ephesus was a great and populous city, and the intercourse between this and the surrounding cities was frequent, the preservation and success of the Ephesian church was of great importance, not only to itself, but also to the neighbouring churches. Paul therefore passing through Ephesus in his journey to Macedonia, and finding the church infested with false teachers, judged it expedient to leave Timothy for the purpose of counteracting their influence, and of correcting the errors they had already introduced. But Timothy being young, and the trust committed to him, important, Paul, after his departure, wrote to him this excellent letter from Nicopolis, A. D. 64 or 65, to direct him in his duty, and to establish his authority with the Ephesians. In chap. i. he specifies the errors he was to condemu, and the truths he was to inculcate; ---in chap. ii. he prescribed the manner, in which public worship was to be performed;-in chap. iii. he explained the qualifications requisite for bishops and deacons ;-in chap. iv. he foretold the heresies, which, in after times, should prevail in the church-in chap. v. he instructed Timothy how to admonish the old and the young of both sexes, and mentioned the age and character of such widows, as were to be employed in teaching young women the principles of religion;-and in chap. vi. he condemned strifes about words, perverse disputings, and inordinate love of money, and requires Timothy to charge the rich to be rich in faith and good works.
The Epistles to Timothy, and likewise that to Titus, written about the same time, and containing nearly the same things, are of the greatest importance to the church in every age; as they contain a full account of the qualifications and duties of the ministers of the Gospel, and may be considered a complete body of divinely inspired rules to be observed by the Christian elergy of all denominations to the end of the world.