Text: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
If these two Epistles of Thessalonians are read together, it will appear that the teachers who confused and mistaught the Thessalonians were Jewish believers. Their hopes were set upon the return of the Messiah to the earth and the setting up of His Kingdom at Jerusalem. Those who had fallen asleep would consequently miss that Kingdom.
Paul, having in the First Epistle used the word “we” (4:17), these teachers could argue that he, Silas and Timothy (2 Thess. 2:2) expected that event in their lifetime; therefore, it must be near at hand, and that of necessity the “Day of the Lord” had already begun (2:2). That day, as predicted in Isaiah 13, Joel 2, Amos 5, etc. was to be a day of darkness and unparalleled terror, to be immediately succeeded by the appearing of the Messiah in His glory. The sufferings that the Thessalonians were enduring at the time supported such teaching. But these views were all earthly, and accordingly the principal aim of these two Epistles was to recall the Thessalonians to hold fast to the heavenly hope which the Apostle had taught them. They were “called on high” to a glory greater than that of Zion. The Thessalonians appear to have lost the hope of this Rapture; for, while in the First Epistle their faith and hope and love (1:3) are applauded, in the Second Epistle, only their faith and love are praised (1:3).
I. Paul’s Greeting of the Thessalonians (vss. 1-2)
II. Paul’s Esteem for the Thessalonians (vss. 3-4a)
…He was thankful for their
- faith (belief and doctrine)
…He was boastful of their
III. Paul’s Concern for the Thessalonians (vs. 4b)
lV. Paul’s Comfort for the Thessalonians (vss. 5-10)
…The Righteous Decision of God…
- (vss. 5-7a and 11) To give the Thessalonians persecution and tribulation which qualifies them for the enjoyment of all of the “good pleasure of God’s goodness” (heavenly government) in the Kingdom of God. (When?) at the Rapture or during the “rest” (cf., Rom. 5:3-5).
(vss. 7b-10) To give to the unbelieving “troublers” of the Saints the “punishment of flaming fire” and “everlasting destruction.” (When?) at the revelation or second coming of Jesus Christ.
VI. Paul’s Expectations for the Thessalonians
- (vs. 11) “That” = “God would count you worthy of THIS CALLING,” i.e., the “rest” of verse 7.
- “fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith (doctrine).”
- (vs. 12) “That” = “the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you.”