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Paul's 2nd Letter to the Thessalonians




BOOK : 2 Thessalonians

Description : Paul's second letter to this church at Thessalonica, a simple follow up letter to the previous one, encouraging in a variety of ways.

Author: The apostle Paul

Date written : Probably about AD51 or AD52

Chapters 3



Brief Synopsis:

•  Expressing unity with the church in the way he prays about their past faithfulness and for their future progress
•  He also teaches on uncertainties about the Lord's return and the certainties of their salvation
•  He concludes with some simple injunctions to pray for them and the avoid those who are idle that he has heard about.



Outline :


Ch. 1 Introduction

1:1-2 Salutation

1:3-10 Prayer about their past faithfulness

1:11-12 Prayer for their future Progress

Ch.2 Instruction

2:1-12 Teaching on the Lord's return

2:13-17 Chosen, called and encouraged

Ch.3 Injunctions

3:1-3 Call to Prayer

3:4-15 Charge to stay away from the idle

3:16-18 Conclusion, Greeting and Benediction



Some Key Verses:


Prayer about their past faithfulness

1:3,4 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.


Prayer for their future progress

1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.


Teaching about the Lord's return

2:1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.


Chosen , called & encouraged

2:13-17 from the beginning God chose you to be saved ….. He called you to this through our gospel…. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word


Call to prayer

3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us


Stay away from the idle

3:6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.


Concluding blessing and greeting

3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.



Verses about the Lord's Return


Unlike the first letter where there were short mentions of the Lord's return at the end of every chapter, in this letter, the teaching is more comprehensive and over a third of the verses cover this subject.


1:6-10 He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.


2:1-12 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.



Concluding Comments


The letter is a lesson on pastoral caring by apostles for it

•  expresses unity and commitment to the church through faithful prayer
•  deals with doctrinal worries
•  brings corrective instruction

As we have observed Paul gives considerably more teaching on the Second Coming, presumably to encourage and bolster the new believers.



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