Introduction

 

2 Thessalonians was written by Paul from Corinth a few months after 1 Thessalonians, possibly in the early 50‘s. The central theme of the book is the return of Christ. It is apparent that some of the things in his first letter were misunderstood, so he penned the second letter to explain things. Chapter 2 verse 2, states that the Thessalonians had become shaken or worried that the day of Christ was at hand. They probably had thought they missed the rapture. The Thessalonians were enduring much persecution so this worried them that the day of the Lord had now begun.

Chapter 1

 
2 Th 1:1 (KJB)
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
 
Paul now begins to pen the second letter which he hopes will quiet the Thessalonians. It seems that within the report that Timothy had brought back to Paul was probably a litany of questions concerning the second coming of Christ. Paul wanted them to know specifically that they had not been forgotten even though they were facing much persecution. He confirms this by stating that the Thessalonian church is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are secure and can never be moved. It looks like the three of them were still together in Corinth at the time of the writing of this letter.
 
2 Th 1:2 (KJB)
Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Grace is the bestowing of something completely undeserved such as salvation and stemming from that grace is the peace that passes all understanding.
 
Peace in the middle of turmoil.
Peace in the middle of tragedy.
 
The word peace comes from the Greek word “Eirene” which means a cessation of hostilities. There was a theological discipline called “Irenic Theology” which attempted to bring harmony among Christianity and thus do away with all the factions. This theological thought was the forerunner of today’s ecumenical movement.
 
Our Father - One cannot have the Father unless they have the Son - 1 John 2:23; 1 John 5:12 - Notice the term "our Father." This term is speaking of the limited Fatherhood of all the believers He has chosen for salvation and is not speaking of the universal fatherhood of God in either creation or salvation.
 
2 Th 1:3 (KJB)
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
 
Meet - Deserving, suitable, or fitting
Aboundeth - Exceed or increases
 
Even under intense persecution, the faith of the Thessalonians had grown tremendously and that faith was manifesting itself in tangible love toward each other. They did not have the attitude of “every man for himself.” They continued to look out for each other and if they were being persecuted by the government, then to make visible associations with each other as Christians could cause both to go to jail or be killed. If they stayed away from each other, then the persecutors would have to use other means to identify the Christians. Here Paul commends them by thanking God for them as it is fitting because they did not forsake each other and held their testimony under persecution. In fact, their love abounded and did not stay stagnant.
 
2 Th 1:4 (KJB)
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
 
Glory - Boast
Patience - Endurance
Persecutions - Religious persecution
Tribulations - Oppression, distress, and affliction
Ye endure - You are bearing
 
Paul had boasted about the Thessalonians to the other churches of God and since he was in Corinth, I am sure he was boasting to the Corinthians about this church. His boast was the fact that they were enduring many persecutions and tribulations which could have a negative effect on anyone but here those things were not affecting their patience and the faith. In fact, whenever there is persecution, the faith of the true Christian increases. Paul was very glad to hear that they were bearing up well under these persecutions which means they were a true church of God and not just made up of phony religious people. (Mat 13:8 KJV) But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. The parable of the sower would have been a good description of this church. They would be considered the good ground which the seed fell in especially from the testimony that they held. If Paul was boasting about them, then they were growing in the faith.
 
2 Th 1:5 (KJB)
Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
 
Paul now begins a section of Scripture which gives comfort to the Christians as they undergo severe persecution. First, Paul tells them that what they were going through was from the hand of God because God kept them faithful through these trials. (1 Pet 4:17 KJV) For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? Peter, had also spoken of this issue that judgment begins at the house of God. The first judgment is that those who are Christians were judged not guilty in Christ because He took the penalty of those sins on the cross of Calvary. The next type of righteous judgment is when Christians go through trials and tribulations, they then have the opportunity to see how God will bring them through in a triumphant way. In other words, the righteous judgment of God shows how He keeps us during the times in our lives when we are the most vulnerable to fall. The tests that we endure will let us know if we are worthy of the Kingdom of God, that is, if we yield to the trials and take a worldly way out, then it shows that we are not worthy simply because the Christian is to trust God and not to find the easy way out which always increases the time in the furnace a lot longer. (James 1:12 KJV) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. The Thessalonians were learning what it was to undergo trials and these trials would prove their worthiness to be called Christian. In this evil world, the true Christian is going to face some type of persecution and if we don’t, then it means we are walking in too much in concert with the world. God sends trials to purge out any rebellion or sinful tendencies that we have and to bring us in line with biblical living. If we suffer for our testimonies, then it would mean that we are living stronger Christian lives.
 
2 Th 1:6 (KJB)
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
 
Recompense - Repay
Tribulation - Oppression or affliction
 
Here Paul speaks about the fact that God will be the one who takes vengeance on those who have caused His people trouble. Those who persecute the Christians, may have a season of time for doing that but there is going to come a time when they will pay for what they have done to the Christians. God may send tribulation upon them in this life and if they do not become saved, then they will stand for those sins on Judgment day where they will really be recompensed for the evil they did to the Christians. God is the only one who is able to make the punishment fit the sin because He is able to not only see the actions but He is able to read the motives of the heart which lead up to the actions which were manifested from an evil heart. This is what makes the judgment of God righteous because it specifically fits the motives and actions of the sinner.
 
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