2 Thessalonians 2:5 MEANING

2 Thessalonians 2:5
(5) Remember ye not.--A rebuke of the same character as Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 6:19, and, like those, levelled at ignorance of what in apostolic days were thought the six fundamental points of Christian teaching (Hebrews 5:12; Hebrews 6:1-2). The doctrine of Antichrist would naturally form part of the course on resurrection and judgment. This explains how the doctrine was enforced (1) so early in the education of the Christian churches: "while I was yet with you" (see Introduction to the First Epistle to Thessalonians); and (2) so emphatically and repeatedly:" my habit was to tell you these things"--for the word translated "told" is in the imperfect tense, which means more than a single action. Notice that in St. Paul's eager personal recollection, of thus teaching, he for once (and nowhere else) forgets Silas and Timothy: not "we," but "I." Imagine a forger who should forge with such subtlety! Mark also how erroneous is the opinion that St. Paul in this Epistle recedes from his former teaching about the Advent and its date.

Verse 5. - Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? These words contain a reproach. Had the Thessalonians remembered the instructions of the apostle, they would not have been so soon shaken from their sober reason or troubled. The apostle, when he was in Thessalonica, had told them of these things; he had instructed them concerning the nature of the apostasy and the coming of the man of sin; so that, as already observed, this description, so obscure to us, was not obscure to the Thessalonians, - they possessed the key to its interpretation.

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.Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you,.... At Thessalonica, for the apostle had been there in person, and had preached there with great boldness and success; he had declared the whole counsel of God, and the Gospel came in power and worked effectually in them, and yet there was too great a forgetfulness of it; with which the apostle tacitly charges them, and rebukes them gently for it; and as a faithful monitor, stirs up their pure minds by way of remembrance, and reminds them of former truths delivered to them:

I told you these things: or "words" as the Arabic version; concerning the coming of Christ as that it would not be yet, that there, must be a defection from the faith, and antichrist must be revealed; which shows that these were things of moment and importance, and were useful and profitable to be insisted on; and therefore the apostle had told them of them, and spoke freely and largely about them, at his first preaching among them, and were what he inculcated everywhere; and also that his doctrine was all of a piece at one time as another; it was not yea and nay, or contradictory; what he now said was no other than what he had said before; and therefore it was the more inexcusable in them, to be shaken or troubled by any means with another doctrine.

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