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Getting to Know the Bible: 2 Thessalonians Overview


Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.


Today we are going to visit our Getting to Know the Bible Series. In this series, our goal is to come to a comprehensive understanding of each book of the bible. At this point of the series we're going to focus on 2 Thessalonians. But before we get to 2 Thessalonians 1, I want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of 2 Thessalonians. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual chapter.


And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of 2 Thessalonians, as we prepare to behold and discern 2 Thessalonians, beginning with 2 Thessalonians 1 in our next installment of this series.





Book Type: Ninth Pauline Epistle; the fourteenth book of the New Testament


Authors: Paul, Silvanus (Silas), and Timothy


Date of Writing: ~A.D. 51-52


Audience: Gentile Believers (Thessalonica Church)


Theme: Eschatology; Encouragement & Warning


Original Language: Greek


Genre: Letter


Purpose of Writing: The church in Thessalonica still had some misconceptions about the Day of the Lord. They thought it had come already so they stopped with their work. They were being persecuted badly. Paul wrote to clear up misconceptions and to comfort them.


Summary: This letter from the apostle Paul was probably written shortly after his first letter to the church in Thessalonica. He had been boasting of them to other churches, telling of their faith and their love for each other in the face of persecution. Paul reminded them that God will repay their persecutors. He also addressed two recurring problems in this church. First, as seen in 1 Thessalonians, they were concerned that the Lord had already returned. Paul urged them not to become "shaken in mind or alarmed," fearing that "the day of the Lord" (2:2) had already come. Second, he admonished them not to be idle, commanding them that, "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat" (3:10).


Overview: Second Thessalonians consists of three chapters in three broad categories. After a brief introduction (2 Thessalonians 1:1–2), Paul provides a beginning section of encouragement for his readers (2 Thessalonians 1). This encouragement also addresses the coming judgment at Christ's coming (2 Thessalonians 1:5–12).


The second section addresses concerns regarding issues of prophecy (2 Thessalonians 2). Paul tells the Thessalonian believers they were not to be shaken or alarmed. Before the end, the rebellion will come, including the man of lawlessness who opposes God; this seems to be a reference to the future Antichrist. Paul had already spoken about this with these believers (2 Thessalonians 2:5). These events had not yet taken place, but would come about in the Lord's timing. This lawless figure would be defeated by the Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 2:8). So, the readers of this letter are not to be concerned, but rather encouraged to stand firm (2 Thessalonians 2:13–17).


The third section requests prayer for Paul, Silas, and Timothy (2 Thessalonians 3:1–5) and warns against idleness. Paul's life is meant to be their example: working hard to meet needs and help others. They are to continue living according to God's ways and not grow weary in doing good (2 Thessalonians 3:13). Paul closes with words of blessing and a greeting in his own hand (2 Thessalonians 3:17).


Application: 2 Thessalonians is filled with information that explains the end times. It also exhorts us not to be idle and to work for what we have. There are also some useful prayers in 2 Thessalonians that can be an example for us on how to pray for other fellow believers today.


Key Verses (ESV):


2 Thessalonians 1:6–8: Since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.


2 Thessalonians 1:6–8: Since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.


2 Thessalonians 2:13: But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.


2 Thessalonians 3:3: But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.


2 Thessalonians 3:10: For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.


*Note: Paul wrote this second letter to the church he founded in the city of Thessalonica during his second missionary journey (Acts 17:1–9). Though he lived among these people only a short time, he had already written one letter to them and follows up with a second letter to clear up concerns regarding the day of the Lord as well as dealing with Christian persecution.


Because of its similarity to 1 Thessalonians, it must have been written not long after the first letter -- perhaps about six months. The situation in the church seems to have been much the same. Paul penned it after Silas and Timothy had returned from delivering 1 Thessalonians.


I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.


May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.


Love you much.


Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!


-Humble Servant


P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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