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FRAMEWORKS: Paul's SECOND letter to the Thessalonians

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Frameworks: 2 Thessalonians 1: INTRODUCTION



Why Read 2 Thessalonians: Paul was writing to a relatively new church suffering persecution. He seeks to encourage them by their reputation, trusting God to deal with those opposing them, and being at peace about when Jesus will return. He emphasizes they all need prayer to stand against the opposition, and to make sure they remain diligent. This letter, more than most, helps us realise the trying times some of the early church faced and shows us the means the apostles taught of overcoming.

In the West at least, we rarely suffer persecution, but this church stands as a challenge to us, of those who stood, grew and triumphed despite oppositions. Perhaps our primary opposition is materialism and affluence and a surrounding unbelieving world that would seek to marginalize us. Read it at one sitting and catch these things.



FRAMEWORKS: 2 Thessalonians 1


[Note: Because it is sometimes difficult to follow the flow of a letter like this, we have added a synopsis of each chapter & passage to help clarify where Paul is going with his writing.]


v.1-2 Greetings

v.3-5 Their Perseverance & Faith in the face of persecutions

v.6-10 God will judge the persecutors and unbelievers 

v.11,12 Their Prayer Support


[Chapter Synopsis: To a church that is growing in grace, in faith and in love, but which is having to stand in the face of opposition and persecution, encouragement to trust God to justly deal with those who oppose them and the gospel.]



v.1-2 Greetings


v.1 (From three apostles) Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

v.2 (grace & peace to the church) Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.



v.3-5 Their Perseverance & Faith in the face of persecutions


[Passage Synopsis: Your fame as you grow and overcome persecution stirs us to pray and encourages other churches.]


v.3 (our praying is motivated because we hear of your growing faith and love) We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.

v.4 (your reputation for coping with persecution is well known) Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

v.5 (and you have God's approval) All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.



v.6-10 God will judge the persecutors and unbelievers


[Passage Synopsis: Judgment will come on unbelieving persecutors.]


v.6,7 (God will deal with those who persecute you and us, if not before, when Jesus returns) God is just: 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.

v.8 (all who reject the gospel will be punished) He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

v.9,10 (there is no hope of second chances once he returns) They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marvelled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.



v.11,12 Their Prayer Support


[Passage Synopsis: Prayer is thus the natural response, to ask the Lord to help them grow in Christ.]


v.11 (thus we pray for you that you will stand, grow and be fruitful) With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

v.12 (we pray so Jesus will be glorified in you) We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.



Continue to Chapter 2