Thursday, May 07, 2009

New Testament survey (14): 2 Thessalonians

Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power
(2 Thessalonians 1:6-9)


[1] 2 Thessalonians, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3), Who is Antichrist? (PDF)

While 1 Thessalonians emphasized the return of Christ for His church in what we call the “Rapture,” 2 Thessalonians emphasizes the return of Christ to the earth the second time, when He returns in judgment and sets up His Kingdom here upon this earth. This is called the revelation. You see, at the Rapture, the emphasis is not upon His coming to earth, because He doesn’t come to the earth. He makes it clear that “we shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air” (see 1 Thessalonians 4:17). “Caught up” is the Greek word harpazo, meaning “to snatch away.” We shall be snatched away or raptured to meet Christ in the air. However, the revelation of Christ is when He returns to the earth to set up His Kingdom. In the time gap between these two events will be the Great Tribulation period. (Read the complete article)
[2] Book of 2 Thessalonians, from (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
Paul greets the church at Thessalonica and encourages and exhorts them. He commend them for what he hears they are doing in the Lord, and he prays for them (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12). In chapter 2, Paul explains what will happen in the Day of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). Paul then encourages them to stand firm and instructs them to keep away from idle men who don’t live by the gospel (2 Thessalonians 3:6). Read the complete article
[3] 2 Thessalonians, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
WRITER: The Apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 1:1)

DATE: Second Thessalonians was evidently written very soon after Paul’s first letter to that church. The occasion may well have been the return of the bearer of the former Epistle and his report.

THEME: The theme of Second Thessalonians is, unfortunately, obscured by a mistranslation in the A.V. of 2 Thessalonians 2:2 where "day of Christ is at hand" (See Scofield “1 Corinthians 1:8”) should be, “day of the Lord is now present” (See Scofield “ 2:12”, ref). The Thessalonian converts were “shaken in mind” and “troubled,” supposing, perhaps on the authority of a forged letter as from Paul, that the persecutions from which they were suffering were those of the “great and terrible day of the Lord,” from which they had been taught to expect deliverance by “the day of Christ, and out gathering together unto him” (2 Thessalonians 2:1)

The present letter, then, was written to instruct the Thessalonians concerning the day of Christ, “and our gathering together unto him” 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 and the relation of the “day of Christ” to the “day of the Lord.” First Thessalonians had more in view the “day of Christ”; the present Epistle the “day of the Lord.”

The Epistle is in five divisions:

1. Salutation, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4
2. Comfort, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
3. Instruction concerning the day of the Lord and the man of sin, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
4. Exhortations and apostolic commands, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:15
5. Benediction and authentication, 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18

[1] Key verses: 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9, 2:13; 3:3, 10

[2] “The purpose of Bible prophecy is not for us to make a calendar, but to build character. Paul emphasized this fact in both of his Thessalonian letters, and our Lord warned us not to set dates for His coming (Matt. 24:36, 42). Date-setters are usually upsetters, and that is exactly what happened in the Thessalonican assembly.”(By Warren Wiersbe, from Be Ready, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Victor Books, Wheaton, 1979, p. 137)

[3] The “day of Christ” in 2 Thessalonians 2:2 should be translated “day of the Lord”.

[4] Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
The phrases “the day of Christ,” Philippians 1:10; 2:16; “the day of Jesus Christ,” Philippians 1:6; “the day of the Lord Jesus,” 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Corinthians 1:8, denote the time of the Parousia of Christ with His saints, subsequent to the Rapture, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. In 2 Peter 1:19 this is spoken of simply as “the day”.

From these the phrase “the day of the Lord” is to be distinguished; in the OT it had reference to a time of the victorious interposition by God for the overthrow of the foes of Israel, e.g., Isaiah 2:12; Amos 5:18; if Israel transgressed in the pride of their hearts, the Day of the Lord would be a time of darkness and judgment. For their foes, however, there would come “a great and terrible day of the Lord,” Joel 2:31; Malachi 4:5. That period, still future, will see the complete overthrow of Gentile power and the establishment of Messiah’s Kingdom, Isaiah 13:9-11; 34:8; Daniel 2:34, 44; Obadiah 1:15; cp. Isaiah 61:2; John 8:56.
[5] 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9 are references to Daniel’s prophecy regarding the “man of sin” (Daniel 7–8).

Further study
(Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] 2 Thessalonians: Introduction, Argument, Outline, by Daniel B. Wallace, Th.M., Ph.D

[2] 2 Thessalonians: An Exegetical and Devotional Commentary (9 article series), by J. Hampton Keathley, III, Th.M.

[3] 2 Thessalonians in English and Chinese

[4] Steadfast To The Final Bell, A Devotional Commentary on the Book of 2 Thessalonians, by Paul G. Apple

Sermons on 2 Thessalonians
(Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Sanctifying Work of the Holy Spirit, by Jordan Irvin

[2] Our Gathering Together To Him, by Dr. F. Bobby Atkins

[3] 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 - Purifying Influence, by Ronnie Mitchell

[4] Mysteries of God, by Brent Harris

[5] Community Revival- The Falling Away, by Daniel P. Johnson

[6] Loved, Chosen, Sanctified, Called, and one day...Glorified! by Patrick D. Williams

[7] Jesus Sanctifies Himself, by Robert L. Smith

[8] God’s Work in Our Lives, by Mark Barnes

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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