3:10-13 The more fully we know the doctrine of Christ, as taught by the apostles, the more closely we shall cleave to it. When we know the afflictions of believers only in part, they tempt us to decline the cause for which they suffer. A form of godliness, a profession of Christian faith without a godly life, often is allowed to pass, while open profession of the truth as it is in Jesus, and resolute attention to the duties of godliness, stir up the scorn and enmity of the world. As good men, by the grace of God, grow better, so bad men, through the craft of Satan, and the power of their own corruptions, grow worse. The way of sin is down-hill; such go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. Those who deceive others, deceive themselves, as they will find at last, to their cost. The history of the outward church, awfully shows that the apostle spake this as he was moved by the Holy Ghost.
13. Reason why persecutions must be expected, and these becoming worse and worse as the end approaches. The breach between light and darkness, so far from being healed, shall be widened [Alford].
evil men—in contrast to the "godly" (2Ti 3:12).
seducers—literally, "conjurers." Magical arts prevailed at Ephesus (Ac 19:19), and had been renounced by many Ephesians on embracing Christianity: but now when Paul was writing to Ephesus, symptoms of a return to conjuring tricks appeared: an undesigned coincidence [Burton]. Probably sorcery will characterize the final apostasy (Re 13:15; 18:23; 22:15).
wax worse—literally, "advance in the direction of worse" (see on 2Ti 3:9). Not contradictory to that verse: there the diffusion of the evil was spoken of; here its intensity [Alford].
deceiving, and being deceived—He who has once begun to deceive others, is the less easily able to recover himself from error, and the more easily embraces in turn the errors of others [Bengel].