2 Thessalonians Introduction + 1

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This letter is as follow up from Paul to a church that was near and dear to his heart. This letter, written just a few months after 1 Thessalonians in 51 AD, was written in Corinth as Paul grew concerned with his friends and fellow Christ followers who had fallen prey to some false teachers (and their messages). Paul’s own views on the end times had been distorted, so this letter was intended to correct those misconceptions and remind the church what he really believed. It’s even believed that certain teachers were presenting fake letters as if they were written by Paul! 

As we read this brief (and powerful) letter, it serves as an important reminder to us to have sound doctrine and test all that we hear and learn with what God’s Word says. It’s easy to get lost in the culture, news, trends, and mantras of the day, but the ways of the world always pull us away from God’s heart. Pastor and author Dr. Chuck Swindoll says this about 2 Thessalonians: 

“Discipline and self-control are two qualities that quickly slip away in a society so focused on the material that its people forget the spiritual realities that should dictate their lives. Fat with financial and material success, many people today have descended into an unruly and lazy existence that possesses little care for others, especially of the kind that might conflict with our personal, fleshly desires.”

As we read this letter, take great notes and look for ways to apply it to your own life! 

Read 2 Thessalonians 1

Paul, Silas and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Go Deeper

In reading this chapter, we notice Paul’s thankfulness that this church is remaining faithful to the Gospel message and is growing in their faith both (personally and corporately). However, similar to our world today, the culture of Thessalonica and other teachings led to a misunderstanding of Paul’s words over the end times and Christ’s prophesied return. Paul writes again to correct these in this letter.

Paul compliments this church by saying, “We ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in midst of persecutions and afflictions you endure” (v. 4). He continues on in his encouragement to them that Christ, in His glorious return, will deal with the wicked, the oppressors, and all who willfully reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

There are two messages for us in this short chapter. First, verse nine sums up the result of unbelief, both then and today. The Message translation of scripture says, “Those who refuse to obey the message will pay for what they have done. Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and His splendid power is their sentence.” The thought of eternal separation from Christ and heaven is sobering and must motivate our hearts to share the gospel willingly and often with others. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” These words of Jesus give never ending purpose and fullness of life now to all who accept Him along with the promise of eternity in heaven. What good news to be shared with our world!

The second message comes in verse 10 and reminds us of our hope as believers: “When He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day and to be marveled at among all who believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.” Paul emphasizes here that all who believe can live expectantly in the truth and promise of Christ’s return. To live expectantly means to live with excitement that something good is about to happen. Scripture reminds us here that it will be a glorious day filled with awe and joy watching Jesus establish His kingdom of righteousness over earth and heaven. Let us all allow His love, goodness, and power to move purposefully within every aspect of our lives in readiness to rejoice with Him face to face in His victory for all of creation, and may we invite as many people as possible to join us.


  1. What stands out to you about Paul’s opening greeting to the church? What does he say they’re marked by?
  2. How would you describe the “good news” of John 3:16 in your own words? Why is it important to share? Think of someone you can share your thoughts with about the promises we have in Jesus.
  3. What does it mean to live expectantly in the return of Christ? Discuss this with your Life Group.

Watch This

Check out this video overview of 2 Thessalonians from The Bible Project! 

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4 thoughts on “2 Thessalonians Introduction + 1”

  1. What caught my attention were Paul’s encouraging words of affirmation to the Thessalonians. Oh that these qualities would mark our lives and change the world! Their faith was flourishing and they were growing in love for each other. They pressed on through persecution, counting it worthy to suffer for the kingdom. Through their intentional deeds the Lord was honored. One main takeaway I noted was through mounting hardship, they demonstrated ENDURANCE through their faith in Christ. Eugene Peterson describes it this way,
    “a long obedience in the same direction.” Let’s make Hebrews 12:2 our battle cry, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

  2. My mantra BUT GOD!!! New revelation, WOOHOO!!, I have been thinking, well I did something terrible wrong,(which maybe I did) that set me up in a long season of trials. Then God said, but would you have been still? started listening better? started seeing My people through My love goggles? thinking about the minutes of the day with Me in mind? if your life were all rainbows and sunshine? Truthfully, NO. I had to rely on Him, to press in, to persevere in looking, seeking and breathing more of Him. In verses 5-10 He tells me I am fulfilling my calling and to continue to abound in His goodness by my life. Love the unlovable, speak of His love to all, hug, speak Jesus, “Don’t be like them” (Matt 6:8) live your life as if today was your last day on earth. God loves you!!!!

    God thank You for Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for scriptures that speak. Thank You for being able to listen better and better everyday. God I desire You to light my path, to help me see people through Your love goggles. to hug and speak the name of Jesus over each person. I am so thankful for Your Love WOOHOO and WOOHOO some more!! in Jesus name amen.

  3. Beautiful! Thank you! Amen!

    Today, I’m going to cling to this . . .

    11 “and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.”

    So be it!

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