2 Thessalonians Graphics

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. 
 Key verse: "May the Lord lad your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ" (3:5)
 Key people: Paul, Silas, Timothy
 Key place: Thessalonica
 Special features: This is a follow-up-letter to 1 Thessalonians. In this letter, Paul indicates various events that must precede the second coming of Christ. 

A Comparison of Emphases in 1 and 2 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
Addresses how the Thessalonians were evangelizes as they received the Word of God
Addresses how the Thessalonians are being edified, noting their progress in faith, love, and patience
The imminency and importance of the Lord’s return is emphasized
Misunderstandings about the Lord’s return are corrected
The saints are comforted and encouraged
The saints are assured of God’s judgment on His enemies
Paul is concerned with the church and its hope of the rapture (meeting Christ in the air)
Paul is concerned with Satan, the man of sin (Antichrist) and their destruction at the revelation (return of Christ to the earth)
Contains the outstanding passage on the rapture of the saints in 4:13–18
Contains the outstanding passage concerning the day of the Lord in 2:1–12
New Geneva study Bible. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (1 Tes 5.26). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The Blueprint


 1. The bright hope of Christ's return (1:1-2:17)

 2. Living in the light of Christ's return (3:1-18)

  Paul wrote to encourage those who were facing persecution and to correct a misunderstanding about the timing of Christ's return. The teaching about the Lord's return promoted idleness in this young church. The imminent coming of Christ should never make us idle; we should be even more busy-living purely, using our time well, and working for his kingdom. We must work not only during easy times when it is convenient but also during difficult times. Christians must patiently watch for Christ's return and work for him while they wait.  

Second Thessalonians Overview