2 Thessalonians

Reading 0,07 - 3 Charters - 47 verses - 1,042 words


Vital Statistics

 Purpose:  To clear up the confusion about the second coming of Christ  
 Author:  Paul 
 Original audience:  The church at Thessalonica
 Date written:  Approximately A.D. 51 or 52 a few months after 1 Thessalonians, from Corinth  
 Setting:  Many in the church were confused about the timing of Christ's return. Because of mounting persecution, they thought the day of the Lord must be imminent, and they interpreted Paul's first letter to say that the Second Coming would be at any moment. In light of this misunderstanding, many persisted in being idle and disorderly, with the excuse of waiting for Christ's return.  
 Kay verse:  "May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance." (3:5)
 Key people:  Paul, Silas, Timothy
 Key places:  Thessalonica 
 Special features:  This is a follow-up letter to 1 Thessalonians. In the letter, Paul indicates various events that must precede the second coming of Christ  

Author, Date and Place of Writing

    Paul's authorship of 2 Thessalonians has been questioned more often than that of 1 Thessalonians, in spite of the fact that it has more support from early Christian writers. Objections are based on internal factors rather than on the adequacy of the statements church fathers. It is thought that there are differences in the vocabulary (ten words not used elsewhere), in the style (it is said to be unexpectedly formal) and in the eschatology (the doctrine of the "man of lawlessness" is not taught elsewhere). However, such arguments have not convinced current interpreters. A majority still hold to Paul's authorship of 2 Thessalonians.
    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 probably penned it (see 1:1; 3:17) C. A.D. 51 or 52 in Corinth, after Silas and Timothy had returned from delivering 1 Thessalonians.


    Inasmuch as the situation in the Thessalonian church has not changed substantially, Paul's purpose in writing is very much same as in his first letter to them. He writes:
    (1) to encourage persecuted believers (1:4-10)
    (2) to correct a misunderstanding concerning the Lord's return (2:1-12)
    (3) to exhort the Thessalonians to be steadfast and to work for a living (2:13-3:15).


    Like 1 Thessalonians, this letter deals extensively with eschatology. In fact, in 2 Thessalonians 18 out of 47 verse deal with this subject.     

How to read 2 Thessalonians

    What is going on? At times the world around us seems chaotic and unpredictable. This letter provides something stable—an eternal perspective—with which to evaluate society’s shifting standards. Paul’s words remind us that as the world careens towards its final end, our hope of eternity strengthens us to live day-by-day in an anti-Christian environment.

    Chapter 1 provides encouragement to Christians undergoing persecution to persevere in the midst of hardship. Chapters 2 and 3 confront false reports that the last days had already come and gone. These chapters reveal that certain things have to happen before Jesus returns, and they urge an unwavering trust that God will accomplish his plan of redemption. The church is encouraged to be patient and steady. We are to faithfully persevere in diligent service until Jesus comes again.

    You’ll notice several subjects that parallel those in Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians: suffering (1Th 2:14-16; 2Th 1:3-12); work (1Th 4:9-12; 5:14; 2Th 3:6-15); and the end times (1Th 4:13– 5:11; 2Th 2:1-12). Together, these letters tell us much of what we know about the Lord’s return.

2 Thessalonians Interpretive Challenges

Eternal reward and retribution are discussed in 1:5-12 in such general terms that it is difficult to identify precisely some of the details with regard to exact timing. Matters concerning the Day of the Lord (2:2), the restrainer (2:6, 7), and the lawless one (2:3, 4, 8-10) provide challenging prophetic material  to interpret.


I. Introduction (ch.1)

A. Greetings (1:1-2)

B. Thanksgiving for Their Faith, Love and Perseverance (1:3-10

C. Intercession for Their Spiritual Progress (1:11-12)

II. Instruction (ch.2)

A. Prophecy regarding the Day of the Lord (2:1-12)

B. Thanksgiving for Their Election and Calling (Their Position) (2:13-15)

C. Preter for Their Service and Testimony (Their Practice) (2:16-17)

III. Injunctions (ch.3)

A. Call to Prayer (3:1-5)

B. Charger to Discipline the Disorderly ad Lazy (3:6-15)

C. Conclusion, Final Greetings and Benediction (3:16-18)

2 Thessalonians Horizontal

1:1 - To church of Thessalonians

1:2 - Grace to you, peace

Steadfast Amidst

1:3 - We give thanks always


Comfort and

1:5 - Evidence of righteous judgment


2:1 - Concerning coming of Christ

Mystery and Man

in Christ

2:13 - Give thanks always

of Lawlessness

2:16 - May God comfort hearts

Christ 2nd coming

3:1 - The Lord is faithful

Live and

3:6 - Keep away from idleness



3:14 - Warn brother


in work and

3:16 - May Lord give peace


the word

3:17 - Grace be with all

God's character in 2 Thessalonians

  1. God is good - 1:11
  2. God is loving - 2:16
  3. God is righteous - 1:6
  4. God is wrathful - 1:8

Christ in 2 Thessalonians

    Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians describes the effects of CHrist's second coming. While 1 Thessalonians reveals the expectation of CHrist's return, 2 Thessalonians describes the glorification of believers on that day and Fod's judgment of unbelievers (1:10, 12; 2:8-12).