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2 Thessalonians

Background

Thessalonica was a seaport city, population around 200,000, and a key communication and trade centre. It was on an important trade route and the largest city in Macedonia and the capital of its province.

Paul had started the church in Thessalonica after spending three weeks there. He had to leave quickly when his opponents created a riot situation, and Paul wrote his first letter soon after. But it was necessary for Paul to write a second letter to the Thessalonians soon after the first. His Jewish opponents, probably from the synagogue in Thessalonica, were creating more problems.  They had written a letter and sent it to the church but signed it in Paul’s name (2:2).This letter said that the Day of the Lord had already happened and would lead to the soon return of the Lord, according to their beliefs.   Some claimed to have a prophesy about the second coming which had deceived people. The letter was written maybe just six months after the first in 50AD when Paul was staying in Corinth.

 

Purpose

Paul needed to correct the idea that he had sent a letter about the Day of the Lord and explain that it had not come. He also needed to rebuke those who had given up work and were getting money off the church, when they should have been working.

 

Why read it?

Justice is coming

There are times when we think that life seems unfair.  Those who do evil things seem to get away with it while the righteous suffer. The letter reminds us that one day God will judge all people justly and those who bring evil will have to face Him one day. One day things may seem especially bad, when the man of lawlessness is revealed. But God will have the last word.

Check your facts

The heart of the Letter concerns an alarming Report. We can’t avoid how we feel when we read or hear news, but we are wise to be sure it is true before reacting. Many an issue would have been avoided if believers had checked facts first.

Work matters

We can be so excited by faith that we forget that the daily business of working to earn money is also important to God. You may not be tempted to give up work because you think that the Second Coming is soon (like some in Thessalonica), but you may think that daily work is not important to God. The way you work can be a blessing to those you work for and with. Don’t waste the opportunity.

Structure 
ChaptersContent
1Taking comfort from the hope of Christ’s return
2What to believe about Christ’s return
3How to live in the light of Christ’s return
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