II Thessalonians - The End Times

  • Paul reminded the Thessalonians of the events that must take place before Christ returns.
  • This is the shortest of Paul’s nine letters to the churches, but it provides crucial information concerning the end times and clarifies issues that would otherwise be very obscure.
  • This letter was also written by Paul, who wrote I Thessalonians under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (I Thessalonians 1:1). Twice the writer refers to himself as Paul (1:1; 3:17).
  • Like the first epistle, II Thessalonians was written in Corinth to the church at Thessalonica and to all believers everywhere.
  • It is primarily a letter of correction:
  1. Concerning persecution (chapter 1).
  2. Concerning prophecy (chapters 2).
  3. Concerning practice (chapter 3).
  • Paul had heard about conditions in the church. Many had interpreted Paul’s first letter to say that the Second Coming would be at any moment. Because of this misunderstanding, many of the people persisted in being idle and disorderly with the excuse of waiting for Christ’s return.
  • Paul commended his children in the faith for their growth, corrected their error in doctrine about the Day of the Lord, and warned of its consequences. In this letter, Paul indicated various events that must precede the second coming of Christ.
  • The imminent coming of Christ should never cause us to be idle; we should be even more busy, using our time wisely and working for Him while we wait. The doctrine of the Lord’s return requires a balance between waiting and working. It is a perspective that should encourage holiness, not idleness.
  • As we read II Thessalonians, we see clearly the reality of the Lord’s return and our responsibility to live for Him until that day.

The following is a suggested outline of the book:

  1. Encouragement in persecution: Thanksgiving for their lives (chapter 1).
  2. Explanation of the Day of the Lord: Instruction in their doctrine (chapter 2).
  3. Exhortation to the church: Correction of their behavior (chapter 3).