How to Study 2 Thessalonians (NASB)
If you haven't studied 1 Thessalonians, you should do so before you begin 2 Thessalonians. However, if you have worked through 1 Thessalonians, read it once again. Observe what Paul says about the coming of the Lord Jesus. Also give special attention to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11.
Now read 2 Thessalonians. Mark every reference to the author (s) in one color and to the recipients in another. Note how 1 Thessalonians ties in with 2 Thessalonians. Look for the following information and record it in the Observations Chart.
What do you learn about the author and the recipients of this letter? What are the circumstances of the recipients?
Paul addresses several problems that need correction. List these in the margin and on the chart. This will help you see his purpose in writing. Then note the instructions or commands related to each problem addressed. List these on your Observations Chart.
Paul also praises the Thessalonians and encourages them about the things they are doing well. List the exhortations he includes in his letter.
Be certain you record what happens to those who do not obey the gospel.
From what you observed, why do you think Paul wrote this book? Record this on Structure of 2 Thessalonians under "Propose"
Read through 2 Thessalonians again, a charter at a time, and do the following:
Mark in the text the key words (including their synonyms and pronouns): affliction (suffering, persecutions), coming of Jesus Christ (or synonymous references), God, Spirit, love, faith, glory (glorified), ma of lawlessness, undisciplined (unruly), day of the Lord (and pronouns), truth, example (model). Also watch any words you feel are key but aren't listed.
Now go back through the key words and observe what you learned from marking these words. You may want to write your observations in your notebook.
On the "Observation Chart" are two more headings: "When the Day of the Lord Comes" and "When the Man of Lawlessness is Revealed"
Carefully read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and list everything the chapter says must happen before the day of the Lord can come.
Do the same for the revelation of the man of lawlessness.
Think through each chapter and record its theme on Structure of 2 Thessalonians. Also record the theme of the book, author, and date.
Key Words in the NIV and KJV
Key doctrines in 2 Thessalonians
Church disciple - clear guidelines about godly conduct are necessary for a healthy church (3:6-15; Matt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:1-13; Gal 6:1-5; 1 Tim 5:19, 20)
Eternal reward and retribution - each human after death will either be with God forever (eternal reward) or absent from God's presence and glory forever (eternal punishment) (1:5-12; Matt 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; Luke 16:24-26; Rom 2:7; 2 Cor 5:10; Col 3:24; Heb 11:6; Rev 20:14, 15; 22:5)