2 THESSALONIANS INTRODUCTION
AUTHOR- Silvanus – (Silas) and Timothy are named with the author, Paul (as they are at the opening of 1 Thessalonians), because they were his co-laborers in establishing the Thessalonian church – (see- Acts 17:1-9)
DATE- This epistle was written in AD 51, most likely from Corinth
MAJOR THEME- Stand fast by means of apostolic teaching: Some of the Thessalonians had been shaken in their faith by speculations on Christ’s return; some even said the day of the Lord had already come (2 Thessalonians 2:2): As a result, these people had lost holiness of life: Paul counters such traditions of men with apostolic tradition (2 Thessalonians 2:15- 2 Thessalonians 3:6) and for God’s faithfulness to His people (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
BACKGROUND- Paul had not paid a return visit to Thessalonica since the establishment of the church a year earlier: St. John Chrysostom observes he was “filling up by his writings what was lacking his presence…” But a few months after writing 1 Thessalonians, Paul received another report: The Thessalonians’ faith amidst persecution was still firm, but speculations concerning the Second Coming were increasing, claiming to be based on Paul’s teachings (2 Thessalonians 2:2): Some became so excited about the END TIMES that they abandoned their jobs and lived off charity of the Church (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13): Others grew despondent and wavered in hope (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17): Paul write to encourage them to stand fast…
2 Thessalonians 1 Study Guide
GREETING & THE PRESENT PERSECUTION
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
THE PRESENT PERSECUTION
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and [a]tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest[b] evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with [c]tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who [d]believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:3-10: THIS PASSAGE ON GOD’S JUDGEMENT TEACHES THAT (1): SUFFERING IS REDEMPTIVE for the Christians (v. 5): (2): GOD PROMISES TO RETURN tribulation to our enemies – (vv. 6, 8); (3): PUNISHMENT OF THE WICKED is everlasting (v. 9); and (4): GOD’S GLORY will be displayed in His saints (v. 10), for as Christians was transfigured, so will be His faithful – (see Matthew 13:43; Colossians 3:4): WHY DOES GOD reveal His dread judgement and His glory to us??? To help us toward righteousness: “if the fear of an earthly king withdraws us from so many evils, how much more fear of the King Eternal!!!” (JohnChr): How we bear up under unjust persecution now is MANIFEST EVIDENCE (v. 5) of how we will stand at the Final Judgement:
1:11-12: Some say Paul and James contradict each other, but here is the essence of James 2: Paul teaches that God’s CALLING and the WORK OF FAITH are a unity through our cooperation with God’s power…
2 THESSALONIANS STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
FALSE TEACHING ON THE SECOND COMING (THE GREAT APOSTASY) (2 THESSALONIANS 2:1-12)
2 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of [a]Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of [b]sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits [c]as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the [d]mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only [e]He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2:3-12: While we are warned about predicating the Day of the Lord (Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7; 1Thessalonians 5:1), there will be signs preceding His Coming: Paul is instructing the Thessalonians concerning two distinct signs: (1): A GENERAL FALLING AWAY (v. 3, Apostasy) from Christ and the Church and (2): THE REVEALING OF THE MAN OF SIN, THE SON OF PERDITION (v. 3), who is the Antichrist of 1 and 2 John, similar to the Dragon and the Beast of Revelation 13: This lawless one is described in the OT (Daniel 7:25; and Daniel 8:25; and Daniel 11:36), mentioned by Christ (Matthew 24:15), and discussed by Paul on his first visit to Thessalonica (v. 5): The devil incites divisions among people so they will readily receive the Antichrist when he comes: The man of sin is a counterfeit messiah with a counterfeit kingdom: He (1): EXALTS HIMSELF ABOVE GOD (v. 4), (2): PERFORMS DECEPTIVE MIRCALES AND WONDERS THROUGH SATANIC POWER (v. 9), (3): WILL FOOL THE UNRIGHTEOUS INTO FOLLOWING HIM (vv. 10-12), and (4): WILL BE REMOVED FROM POWER BY CHRIST HIMSELF AT HIS SECOND COMING (v. 8): Paul is also instructing that when the world gets, worse and it will, Christians must not be distressed or deceived (vv. 11, 12), but rather preserve as good stewards (vv. 13-17):
2:15; 3:6: In the NT we read two types of TRADITIONS: (1): THE TRADITION OF MEN (Matthew 15:1-9; Colossians 2:8) is soundly condemned: Jesus (quoting Isaiah 29:13) describes this as teaching as doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9): (2): THE TRADITION OF THE APOSTLES or “HOLY TRADITION”, by contrast, is to be preserved by the Church, for God is its source: Holy Tradition is that which Jesus taught to the apostles, and which they in turn taught the Church under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in (a): Their instructions as they visited and (b) their writings…Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we adhere to Holy Tradition as it is present in the apostles’ writings and as it is resident in the Church to which the truth is promised (John 16:13):
2 THESSALONIANS 3 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
PRAY FOR US-BE INDUSTRIOUS-PERSERVE UNITY (2 Thessalonians 3:1-15)
3 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you.
5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.
6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which [a]he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread [b]free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and [c]exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this [d]epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but [e]admonish him as a brother.
3:6: SEE MY NOTES ABOVE on 2 Thessalonians 2:15…
3:13: A warning filled with great wisdom: While sin is burdensome, we can also grow tired and fatigued by DOING GOOD: Paul, as our spiritual director, is giving us a strict warning of caution not to cease or tire of good works…
BENEDICTION (2 Thessalonians 3:16-18)
16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.
17 The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every [f]epistle; so I write.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
3:17: Paul’s authorship is emphasized here because of the fraudulent letters mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:2…
PSALM 47 (48) STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN – reading from my study bible I like it better…
This is a prophecy of the Church as heaven on earth (see also Hebrews 12:22, 23) she is being described as a city (vv. 2, 3, 4, 9, 14) as Mount Zion (vv. 2, 3, 12, 13), and as a temple (v. 10): And Jesus Christ is called LORD (vv. 2, 9, 12), KING (v. 3), and GOD (vv. 2, 4, 9, 10, 11, 15):
2 THESSALONIANS 2:8
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
“STAY WATCHFUL AND VILGANT, KEEP PATIENT & SOBER MINDED…WE LIVE IN THOSE TIMES ITS IMPERATIVE WE KEEP UP OUR MISSION, AND THAT MISSION IS IN CHRIST…DON’T BE JUST A HEARER OF SPIRITUAL WORDS, BUT A DOER OF GOOD DEEDS AND TRUE PURSUER OF FAITH, AND DO NOT BE ASHAMED TO SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH OTHERS, AND DON’T BE AFRAID TO WITNESS OUR JESUS HAS CHANGED YOUR LIVES!!!”