2 THESSALONIANS 1:1-2
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.
As seen in 1 Thessalonians, Paul addresses a single church, perhaps the only church in Thessalonika during the time. He addresses his fellow traveling companions by name with no introduction, showing that the church is as familiar with them as much as they are with Paul.
2 THESSALONIANS 1:3-8
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 tribulations that you endure,
5 which is manifest 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 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.
Paul exults in the fact that even despite persecution the Thessalonian Church has remained faithful and indeed appears to be growing despite tribulations, a sign that their faith is indeed grounded in God and they are indeed children of God. Paul also proudly tells them that he uses them as examples to other churches of Christian conduct and fidelity.
Paul comforts them, reminding them that their persecutors will suffer a fiery judgment when Jesus rewards every man for what they have done when He returns whether during their lifetime or in the future.
2 THESSALONIANS 1:9-12
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 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.
Paul reminds his audience that the punishment of their persecutors will be not momentary but eternal and will also be banishment from the glory, peace and joy of the presence of Jesus Christ.
Paul also prays that they remain steadfast in their faith and not lose hope, that they continue to be zealous for God so that they might be counted worthy to be welcomed into His kingdom and receive glory and honor from God through Jesus Christ at their Judgment.
2 THESSALONIANS 2:1-6
1 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 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 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 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.
To us in modern times, it may seem foolish to believe that The Second Coming had already happened. However, the Scriptures were not yet complete and the book of Revelation either hadn’t yet been written or wasn’t well known at that time. Even today, there is at least one religious sect that teaches that Jesus returned sometime during World War II. I recently had a man tell me I didn’t know what I was talking about concerning the timing of Jesus’ return, and stubbornly argued that Jesus had already returned, despite the fact that the signs accompanying His return hadn’t occurred yet.
2 THESSALONIANS 2:7-10
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only 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.
The One who restrains is the Holy Spirit, who is holding back the demon prince who will inhabit and empower the Antichrist when he arises. He cannot arise to power until God gives him permission, so he remains restrained until his time comes at which time the Spirit will step aside and let him loose.
2 THESSALONIANS 2:11-12
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.
We are seeing this today. Radical political groups are rising today (ANTIFA, BLM and others), spreading blatant lies, colleges are producing hate-filled students, racist groups are preaching hateful lies to their followers, rebellion against authorities is accelerating with protest groups calling for the murder of police officers, etc.
There can be no denial that we are living in the End Times, as Paul told Timothy;
1 TIMOTHY 3:1-5
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
We’re seeing all of this right now, and Satan hasn’t been thrown down to Earth to make his final stand yet!!
2 THESSALONIANS 2:13-17
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,
14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,
17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
We really don’t think about how blessed we are, that the Lord chose us before Creation to become His disciples, and to receive the salvation that He has provided, choosing us to inherit the kingdom of Heaven with Him and being inheritors of eternal life! (Our spirits are eternal and will live forever, but WHERE we will spend eternity is decided at the end of our lives based on our acceptance or rejection of Jesus and our obedience to His commandments.)
Therefore seeing as Satan tirelessly tries to get us to fall away from God, we must constantly be diligent to cling to the truth, especially during these Last Days. The time is soon coming when Satan will be cast down to Earth to make his final stand and will be directing his demon forces personally. He will do his best to outlaw and destroy Bibles, trying to destroy and deprive us of the truth which is why we need to memorize the Word now, before it is taken from us.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:1-5
1 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.
We need to keep pastors, evangelists, prayer warriors and spiritual warriors lifted up in prayer, as these people operate on the “front lines” of the spiritual battlefield so to speak and are primary targets of Satan’s wrath. God has given us His armor for our defense against demonic forces, but how much do we use it? How many can name the parts of the Armor and the purpose of each piece?
2 THESSALONIANS 3:6-12
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 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 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 exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
Because of persecutions the early Christians held church services in homes or rented banquet rooms. Services many times were conducted during meals in which congregants would bring food (much like a potluck meal), that way the poor and widows with dependant children could eat.
Unfortunately just like today, there are those who want “a free lunch” and contribute nothing and bring nothing but their appetites, much like people who refuse to work, but collect welfare checks. They are healthy and are capable of working, but are too lazy to work and expect everyone to support them. I remember a woman bragging on television that she does nothing each day but smoke weed, party with her friends, and collect welfare; another was caught in welfare fraud and when informed that her welfare had been cut off, she shrieked, “Who’s going to pay my rent?”
Paul has justifiably harsh words for these people. If you are capable but refuse to work, you will not eat. Paul was a tent-maker by trade and while traveling and preaching he worked at his trade, even though he could have demanded payment for his preaching. That way he could be a good example to the Churches concerning this behavior.
Paul says we are to shun these people, lest the uninformed or weak emulate them, and Christians are maligned as worthless lazy gluttons in the eyes of unbelievers. For as Paul says in 1 Corinthians;
I CORINTHIANS 15:33
33 Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.”
1 CORINTHIANS 5:11
11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
Paul also admonishes us to keep out of affairs that don’t concern us, lest the congregation be torn apart by gossip, rumors, strife and contention which is fertile ground for Satan and can destroy a church.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:13-18
13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.
14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this 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 admonish him as a brother.
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 epistle; so I write.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Paul instructs us to note corrupt people within the church, and if they refuse to change after several warnings, disassociate yourself from them. Don’t treat them as enemies, just don’t associate with them, lest unbelievers think the Church accepts their actions.
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