2 Thessalonians

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.



Purpose


    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).


Theme

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




Outline



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)




Notes