THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS
“This second epistle was written, not from Athens, as the subscription testifies, nor from Rome... but from Corinth, from whence was sent the former, and where the apostle and Timothy, and Silvanus [Silas] met; and which was sent about half a year after the other. The design of which is to comfort and support the Thessalonians under the afflictions and persecutions they endured for the sake of the Gospel; and to rectify a mistake they had gone into, and which might be occasioned by what the apostle had said in his former epistle, concerning the second coming of Christ, as though it was just at hand; which might lead them to neglect their worldly business, and duties of civil life…” --- John Gill’s Expositor.
Writer: The Apostle Paul.
Central Theme: The Second Coming of Christ.
Key Text: 2 Thessalonians 3:5, “And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.”
I. Words of Comfort and Contrast.
A. The salutation and thanksgiving, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3.
B. Words of Comfort to the church under persecution, 2 Thessalonians 1:4-6.
C. A Sharp Contrast is drawn between the Glorious Destiny of Believers at the Coming of Christ, and the Fate of the Impenitent Sinner, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-12.
II. Events Prior to the Coming of the Lord
A. Warnings against unrest caused by Wrong Views concerning the Lord’s Coming, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2.
B. The Announcement of Events that will Occur Prior to the Coming of the Lord:
1. A Coming Apostasy, 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
2. The Self-exaltation of the Man of Sin, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.
3. In due time the Lawless One will be Revealed, accompanied by Signs and Lying Wonders, 2 Thessalonians 2:5-9.
4. The Satanic Person shall be Destroyed at the Coming of Christ, 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
5. A Mighty Delusion shall Deceive the Wicked, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
C. An affectionate appeal to believers who had enjoyed the great privileges of the gospel, to hold fast to sound doctrine, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15.
D. A comforting benediction, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.
III. Paul Expresses His Joy and Satisfaction in the News that Timothy Had Brought Concerning Their Faith.
A. The Apostle’s Confidence in the church:
1. He requests their prayers, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2.
2. He believes they will be Kept from Evil and be Obedient to his Commands, 2 Thessalonians 3:3-4.
3. He directs them to patiently wait for the Coming of Christ and to separate themselves from disorderly brethren, 2 Thessalonians 3:5-6.
B. The Apostle Paul’s Example:
1. Of orderly living, 2 Thessalonians 3:7.
2. Of voluntary self-support for the sake of a good influence, 2 Thessalonians 3:8-9.
3. Of insistence upon discipline on the part of believers, 2 Thessalonians 3:10.
a. A test of obedience, 2 Thessalonians 3:4.
b. Paul says for them to steer clear of those walking disorderly, 2 Thessalonians 3:14.
C. Concluding admonitions:
1. Concerning idlers and busybodies, 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12.
2. Respecting persevering labor, 2 Thessalonians 3:13.
3. Regarding those who do not obey, 2 Thessalonians 3:14.
D. The benediction and salutation, 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18.