2:1 Now 1 we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our a gathering together unto him,
(1) The second part of the epistle, containing an excellent prophecy of the state of the Church, which will be from the apostles time to the latter day of judgment. 2:2 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by b spirit, nor by c word, nor by d letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
(a) If we think earnestly upon that unmeasurable glory which we will be partakers of with Christ, it will be an excellent remedy for us against wavering and impatience, so that neither the glistening of the world will allure us, nor the dreadful sight of the cross dismay us.
(2) We must take heed of false prophets, especially in this matter, who go about to deceive, and that for the most part, after three sorts: for either they brag of fake prophetical revelations, or they bring conjectures and reasons of their own, or use counterfeit writings. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: 3 for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and e that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
(b) By dreams and fables, which men pretend to be spiritual revelations.
(c) Either by word of mouth, or by written books.
(d) Either by forged letter, or falsely commented upon.
(3) The apostle foretells that before the coming of the Lord, there will be a throne set up completely contrary to Christs glory, in which that wicked man will sit, and transfer all things that appertain to God to himself: and many will fall away from God to him. 2:4 Who opposeth and f exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; 4 so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
(e) By speaking of one, he singles out the person of the tyrannous and persecuting antichrist.
(f) All men know who he is that says he can shut up heaven and open it at his pleasure, and takes upon himself to be lord and master above all kings and princes, before whom kings and princes fall down and worship, honouring that antichrist as a god. (4) He foretells that the antichrist (that is, whoever he is that will occupy that seat that falls away from God) will not reign outside of the Church, but in the very bosom of the Church. 2:5 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
(5) This prophecy was continually declared to the ancient Church, but it was neglected by those that followed. 2:6 And now ye know g what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
(g) What hinders and stops. 2:7 6 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: 7 only he who now h letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way.
(6) Even in the apostles time the first foundations of the apostolic seat were laid, but yet so that they deceived men. (7) He foretells that when the empire of Rome is taken away, the seat that falls away from God will succeed and hold its place, as the old writers, Tertullian, Chrysostom, and Jerome explain and interpret it. 2:8 8 And then shall i that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall k consume with the l spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
(h) He who is now in authority and rules all, that is, the Roman Empire.
(8) That wickedness will at length be detected by the word of the Lord, and will utterly be abolished by Christs coming. 2:9 9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and m lying wonders,
(i) Literally, "that lawless fellow", that is to say, he that will completely tread upon Gods law.
(k) Bring to nothing.
(l) With his word, for the true ministers of the word are as a mouth, by which the Lord breathes out that mighty and everlasting word, which will break his enemies apart, as though the word were an iron rod.
(9) He foretells that Satan will bestow all his might and power, and use all false miracles that he can to establish that seat, and that with great success, because the wickedness of the world does so deserve it: yet in such a way that only the unfaithful will perish through his deceit. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them n strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
(m) Which are partly false, and partly done to establish a falsehood.
(n) A most mighty working to deceive them. 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but o had pleasure in unrighteousness.
(o) They liked lies so much that they had pleasure in them, which is the greatest madness that may exist. 2:13 10 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 p sanctification of the Spirit and q belief of the truth:
2:14 Whereunto he called you by our r gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(10) The elect will stand steadfast and safe from all these mischiefs. Now election is known by these testimonies: faith is increased by sanctification: faith, by that which we grant to the truth; truth, by calling, through the preaching of the Gospel: from where we come at length to a certain hope of glorification.
(p) To sanctify you.
(q) Faith which does not lay hold upon lies, but upon the truth of God, which is the Gospel.
(r) By our preaching. 2:15 11 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
(11) The conclusion: it remains then that we continue in the doctrine which was delivered to us by the mouth and writings of the apostles, through the free good will of God, who comforts us with an invincible hope, and that we also continue in all godliness our whole life long.