Author: Paul, with Silvanus and Timothy
Audience: Christians in Thessalonica
Subjects: Those who are disobedient to Christ will suffer God's wrath, Jesus will destroy his enemies, Avoid those who refuse to work to support themselves, Everyone should earn their own living, etc.
Paul introduces himself, along with Silvanus and Timothy.
Paul says he boasts about them because of their faith while they have endured persecutions. Paul states that judgment will come on those who persecute them. When Jesus returns, those who do not obey Christ will suffer God's wrath.
Paul says he prays for them so that they will be "worthy of [God's] call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith." (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
Paul tells his audience to not be deceived by anyone who says that "the day of the Lord is already here" (2 Thessalonians 2:2; Paul discusses this subject in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7 and Jesus talks about this same subject in Matthew 24:21-38).
Paul refers to the "lawless one" and says that Jesus' return will "[annihilate] him by the manifestation of his coming." (2 Thessalonians 2:3,8) He says God will condemn the unrighteous.
Paul then tells them to continue to be faithful and to keep the teachings he gave them.
Paul asks for the Thessalonians to pray for him and his companions, so that God's word will spread quickly.
He then instructs his audience to, "keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us." (2 Thessalonians 3:6) Paul speaks specifically of what he means in 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12, saying, "For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work." (v. 11)
Paul also says, "Take note of those who do not obey what we say in this letter; have nothing to do with them, so that they may be ashamed." (2 Thessalonians 3:14)
According to Paul, there were some who stopped working while waiting for Jesus' return, letting others support them. Paul says this is wrong and that everyone should earn their own living. He says that these people should be avoided; however, he does clarify that, "Do not regard them as enemies, but warn them as believers." (2 Thessalonians 3:15)
Paul ends his letter by clarifying that it is from him, marking the letter with his personal signature (The letter is authored by Paul, but it would have been transcribed by someone else).
Paul again writes to the Thessalonian Christians, speaking of some of the same subjects that he has spoken of in 1 Thessalonians.
Paul encourages them as they suffer persecutions, telling them that those who persecute them will be punished by God.
He tells them to continue in the teaching they were given by himself, and he says to stay away from those who refuse to work to support themselves and who rely on others for financial support (who are basically being lazy). Paul instructs his audience to have nothing to do with those who don't listen and follow what Paul writes in this letter.
The main teachings that Paul covers in 2 Thessalonians are: Those who are disobedient to Christ will suffer God's wrath, Jesus will destroy his enemies, Avoid those who refuse to work to support themselves, Everyone should earn their own living, etc.
What is love? It's a call to action. Guest post by Ben Byrum.
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