Devotional: December 5th
“Let no man deceive you by any means.”
2 Thessalonians 2
Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians was misunderstood, and he therefore wrote them a second time. They had come to believe that the Lord would appear at once, whereas all that Paul had stated was, that the Lord would certainly come, that the time was unrevealed, and that, therefore, they should live in daily watchfulness. He here corrects their wrong impressions.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 , 2 Thessalonians 2:4
It is difficult to give this passage any other interpretation than the common one. The evil system of Popery was foreseen by the apostle, and it is every day developing itself. A few months ago the Pope claimed to be infallible, but long before he had been publicly adored, and spoken of as “our Lord God the Pope.” The Popish system teaches that the priest creates his Creator, and thus it sets the son of perdition above God himself. If the Pope has not yet formally proclaimed himself actually to be God, we have only to wait a little and even this climax of blasphemy will be reached. Perhaps, when that last profanity shall have been perpetrated, the Lord will immediately come, but this we know not.
2 Thessalonians 2:7
There were elements at work even in Paul’s day, which only needed the removal of persecution to develop themselves. The traditions of men were beginning to mislead the church, and Paul saw that in after years, when the civil powers ceased their opposition, the pride of man would be rampant, and the church would yield to Antichrist.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 , 2 Thessalonians 2:12
It is hard to account for the apparent sincerity of Romish emissaries and their dupes, except upon the theory that they are given over to their delusions and justly left to perish in their own folly.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 , 2 Thessalonians 2:14
Electing love has called us out of the world and saved us from the vile priestcraft which slays its thousands: let us give thanks to God for this as long as we live.
2 Thessalonians 2:15
Hold such traditions, but not the traditions of men.
2 Thessalonians 2:16 , 2 Thessalonians 2:17
A blessed prayer. Comfort and stablish two choice blessings; Lord grant them to us for Jesus sake. Amen.
Hasten, Lord! the promised hour;
Come in glory and in power;
Still thy foes are unsubdued;
Nature sighs to be renewed.
Time has nearly reach’d its sum,
All things with thy bride say, “Come;”
Jesus, whom all worlds adore,
Come, and reign for evermore!
“The Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means.”
2 Thessalonians 3
2 Thessalonians 3:2
Unreasonable men are almost as troublesome, and quite as dangerous, as those who are really bad; and men who are false and faithless are, above all, painful to deal with.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
God is faithful; this is the great antidote for all the ills inflicted on us by evil and unfaithful men.
2 Thessalonians 3:5
They had been hasty in expecting the Lord to come at once, he now bids them be patient in their waiting. They were to look for the Lord soberly and patiently, and not as those fanatics did who ceased from their labours and neglected their lawful callings because they deemed that the end of the world was near.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 , 2 Thessalonians 3:7
Paul and his friends had not acted in a fanatical manner and neglected sober, orderly labour, and he quotes his own example against the disorderly ones at Thessalonica. When men or women neglect their work on the pretence of religion they are acting improperly, and ought not to be countenanced by honest Christian people.
2 Thessalonians 3:8-10
Laziness is sin. There is bread for the industrious, but none for the idle. May none in our household ever disgrace themselves and us by being sluggards.
2 Thessalonians 3:11 , 2 Thessalonians 3:12
Some eat other peoples bread almost all their lives. It is pleasant to help the needy, but it is a hard tax to have to support the indolent. Young people should strive to ease their parents as soon as possible of the task of supporting them, and receivers of the alms of the church should make conscience of never receiving a penny more than they absolutely need.
2 Thessalonians 3:15
Members of Christian churches have solemn duties to each other, for purposes of mutual discipline. If a man be regarded as a brother he is to be treated as such, but if he errs he is not to stand on the same footing as to converse and confidence as those who walk in an orderly manner. There must be love to him as a brother, but he must be made to feel that his sin grieves us.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
This devout wish seems even now to whisper over this family its gentle benediction. “The Lord be with you all” is a blessing fitly falling from an apostles lips, and to it the holiest of men may joyfully say Amen from their very hearts.
Enrich us with thy blessing Lord;
Help us to feed upon thy word;
All we have done amiss, forgive,
And let thy truth within us live.
Though we are guilty, thou art good:
Wash all our works in Jesus’ blood;
From every burden grant release,
And fill us all with perfect peace.
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