Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians
Judging by the content of this letter, there doesn’t seem to have been much change to the situation at Thessalonica.
However, it does appear there was a fraudulent letter circulating (2:2) that caused a misunderstanding concerning Christ’s
second coming. Consequently, about one third of this letter is devoted to this subject. It is generally considered to have
followed Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians some months later, around A.D. 51 or 52.
Greetings and thanksgiving
Paul sends greetings from himself, Silas and Timothy, and gives thanks to God for their growing faith and love in the face
of continuing persecutions and tribulations they are having to endure. Those around them who have not accepted the
gospel will not share in the glory of the Lord’s second coming. Paul’s prayer for the church is that God will count them
worthy, and that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified in them and they in Him.
The man of lawlessness
Paul tells them not to be troubled by things they are told or by a counterfeit letter they had received, and reminds them of
his teaching whilst he was with them. There would be an apostasy before the man of lawlessness (the son of perdition, the
antichrist) is revealed who will exalt himself as God, occupying the temple and deceiving many with all power, signs and
wonders. Then, when the Lord comes again, He will cause him to be destroyed and all those who believed him will be
punished. Paul calls on them to stand firm in their faith and hold to the truth that they will be partakers in the glory, which
is their hope through grace.
Not to keep company with sinners
After requesting the Thessalonians’ support in prayer, Paul instructs them not to keep company with any among them who
are disorderly or do not keep God’s word, with the intent they will then be ashamed. Yet they are not to be treated as
enemies, but admonished as brothers.
Paul concludes his letter in his usual manner, but makes a point of saying it is in his own hand, presumably to counter the
fraudulent letter referred to earlier.