2 Thessalonians


This second Epistle was probably written shortly after the first. The Apostle appears to have heard of some who claimed to be acting on his authority, and were announcing the immediate coming of the Lord. This had so excited and unsettled the disciples of Thessalonica that they were neglecting their means of livelihood. Writing from Corinth, where he was staying at the time, Paul endeavored to allay that spirit of unrest and to call these disciples back to their everyday employment. This epistle which was sent about half a year after the first, is designed to comfort and support the Thessalonians in their afflictions and persecutions they were enduring for the sake of the Gospel. A secondary purpose was to also to exhort this church to take notice of disorderly persons such as were idle, and busy bodies, and withdraw from them, and remove them from their communion. A third purpose concerned a letter claiming to be from the apostle that was being circulated among them. Paul is writing to clear the air on these matters. Paul instructs them about the conditions that must exist before Jesus Christ returns again. He is admonishing them to return to work, and live Godly lives until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Date of writing~Probably the spring of 53AD

Author~Paul the Apostle

Chapter 1

1.1-12 this letter is Paul’s shortest letter to a church. This second epistle to the church at Thessalonica uses a much sterner note than the previous letter to this same church. Most of the subjects are the same. Paul covers the second coming of Christ, spiritual growth, and people who do not work. The first letter was warm and tender, this time Paul speaks with a stern voice. It appears the Thessalonians failed to listen well the first time. Instead of coaxing, Paul now commands. He commands “stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught” (2.15) The return of Jesus Christ dominates the entire book. Church members were stirred up by a false report that alleged the last days had already arrived. Paul admonishes the saints to be patient and steady. In this first chapter Paul addresses the christians who were undergoing persecution for their faith. He let’s us know life is not fair. Ultimately life will prove to be victorious for the child of God. Verse seven promises rest or release from tribulation and persecution. The world will experience flaming fire and everlasting destruction, while the saint will be glorified! The name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in His saints.

Chapter 2

2.1-6 The church at Thessalonica had become greatly troubled about the subject of the day of the Lord. The word shaken in verse two denotes great anxiety and pain. These saints needed an Apostolic reassurance and instruction. Paul introduces the coming of the man of sin. This is the beast out of the sea of Rev 13.1, the little horn of Dan 7.8, often called the Antichrist. This will be accompanied with a great falling away. (Greek apostasia). This Antichrist will actually sit in the temple of God, verse four. Paul reminds them he spoke of these issues when he was with them. The man of sin will be revealed in his time.

2.7-12 Paul introduces the mystery of iniquity. This is a counterfeit work to the mystery of godliness in 1 Tim 3.16. Mystery in scripture means that which is hidden for a while, but is manifested in due time. Satan will oppose the imminent appearing of Jesus by appearing in the man of sin who is in-dwelt by Satan himself. Satan will attempt to maintain control of the world. At the first coming of Christ, Satan rushed to dwell in as many people as possible, in hopes of keeping many from being filled with the Spirit of God. Before the second coming of Christ, Satan will in dwell a man and this man is noted as the man of sin. Satan always mimics and copies God. In Zech 4.14 there are two who stand by God, so in chap 5 verse 9-10 Satan also has two that hold evil. This is the same spirit of lawlessness Paul speaks of here in chapter two. There must be a great apostasy and the unveiling of the mystery of lawlessness, which even at that time was already at work. First the man of sin, then the Son of man. First He that sets Himself forth as God, then God manifest in the flesh. First the revelation of sin, then the revelation of perfect salvation. In verse 9 the same term is used for the coming of the man of sin as for the coming of Christ, parousia. The coming of Jesus will absolutely destroy this power of Antichrist. For a time Satan’s power will be manifested. Satan will use power and signs and lying wonders. Satan does this because Christ used signs and wonders, Acts 2.22, Heb 2.4 and Satan will attempt to show Himself as God. This will be very effective and many will be deceived, Matt 24.24. The protection against being deceived is to have a love of the truth.

2.13-17 the admonition to stand fast and hold the traditions they had been taught. Tradition: paradosis; par-ad’-os-is from G3860; transmission, that is, (concretely) a precept; specifically the Jewish traditionary law. The new assembly needed to hold on to the teachings of Paul. Paul reminds them they are the beloved of God. Comfort one another with this admonition.

Chapter 3

3.1- 5 finally…Paul prays for free course of the Word, and for the Word to be glorified in them. He further prays that they be delivered from wicked men. He assures them God will keep them from evil. Again, the encouragement to wait patiently for Christ.

3.6 The apostle now proceeds to the last and closing part of the epistle, which respects church discipline, and the removing of disorderly persons from their communion; and introduces it with a request to pray for him, and the rest of his fellow ministers. Paul commands them to withdraw from those who would destroy unity. Unity is the bond of peace in the body of Christ.

3.7-16 Paul leaves the high spiritual revelation of the coming of the Lord and concludes with his final word to them. He speaks of living life until Christ comes. They are to work, even as he worked while he was among them. He speaks against any who would not work and those he calls busybodies. These busybodies simply went around meddling in other peoples business, and not working. Paul clearly tells the church to disassociate from any one like this. Paul uses his Apostolic authority to command such people to to work with quietness, and eat their own bread (mind their own business). He clearly states if any man does not obey this command, then have no company with him. He says to note that man or distinguish that man. They were to have no company with such a one, for they harm the body of Christ. Paul closes with an appeal to the Lord of peace. This is needed because of the confusion brought by those who acted disorderly.

3.17-18 Paul signs off himself to give the proof of authenticity. Grace from the Lord Jesus Christ is entreated upon them.