2 Thessalonians

Overview
BUT I thought he said . . . ,” “I’m sure he meant . . . ,” “It is clear to me that we should . . . ,” “I disagree. I think we must . . .” Effective communication is difficult; often the message sent is not the message received in the home, marketplace, neighborhood, or church. Even when clearly stated or written, words can be misinterpreted and misunderstood, especially when filtered through the sieve of prejudices and preconceptions. Paul faced this problem with the Thessalonians. He had written them earlier to help them grow in the faith, comforting and encouraging them by affirming the reality of Christ’s return. Just a few months later, however, word came from Thessalonica that some had misunderstood Paul’s teaching about the second coming. His announcement that Christ could come at any moment had caused some to stop working and just wait, rationalizing their idleness by pointing to Paul’s teaching. Adding fuel to this fire was the continued persecution of the church. Many felt that indeed this must be the “day of the Lord.” Responding quickly, Paul sent a second letter to this young church. In it he gave further instruction concerning the Second Coming and the day of the Lord (2:1-2). Second Thessalonians, therefore, continues the subject of 1 Thessalonians and is a call to continued courage and consistent conduct. The letter begins with Paul’s trademark—a personal greeting and a statement of thanksgiving for their faith (1:1-3). He mentions their perseverance in spite of their persecution and trials (1:4) and uses this situation to broach the subject of Christ’s return. At that time, Christ will vindicate the righteous who endure and will punish the wicked (1:5-12). Paul then directly answers the misunderstanding concerning the timing of the events of the end times. He tells them not to listen to rumors and reports that the day of the Lord has already begun (2:1-2), because a number of events must occur before Christ returns (2:3-12). Meanwhile, they should stand firm for Christ’s truth (2:13-15), receive God’s encouragement and hope (2:16-17), pray for strength and for the spread of the Lord’s message (3:1-5), and warn those who are idle (3:6-15). Paul ends with personal greetings and a benediction (3:16-18). Almost 2,000 years later, we stand much closer to the time of Christ’s return; but we also would be wrong to see his imminent appearance as an excuse for idle waiting and heavenward gazing. Being prepared for his coming means spreading the gospel, reaching out to those in need, and building the church, his body. As you read 2 Thessalonians, then, see clearly the reality of his return and your responsibility to live for him until that day.

Purpose
To clear up the confusion about the second coming of Christ.

Date Written:Between A.D 50-54

Key Verses
We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us. 2 Thessalonians 3:4–6

2 Thessalonians Bible Study Download

 
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