8: Expectation of the Lord’s Return
(Introduction to 2Thessalonians)
himself in the epistle as the writer (1:1; 3:17), but he also includes Silvanus (Silas) and Timothy in the salutation.
The epistle is
addressed to the church of the Thessalonians (1:1). See Lesson 1 for more
information about this church.
Paul wrote this
epistle in about A.D 50-51, shortly after he wrote 1 Thessalonians.
developments in the church called for Paul’s second epistle: 1) persistent
persecutions and tribulations; 2) false teaching that the day of Christ had
already come, causing confusion and disturbance in the church; 3) presence of
some brethren who were disorderly and idle. To strengthen those who were
suffering, Paul assured the believers the certainty of divine retribution on
the day of the Lord. To remove misapprehensions about the Lord’s return, Paul
pointed out events that must take place before that day to show that the day
had not yet come. Finally, Paul instructed the church to take disciplinary
action on the disorderly and idle and exhorted the believers to lead
“Therefore, brethren, stand
fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our
Read the entire
epistle once for general impressions and answer the following questions.
1. Write down a
chapter heading for each chapter.
2. Based on your
first reading, what similarities and differences do you see between 1 and 2
what is taught about each of the following themes.
Persecutions and Tribulations
The Day of Christ
Dealing with Those Who Are Idle
The Lord, thanks,
persecutions, tribulations, revealed, vengeance, that Day, lawlessness,
What this epistle
instructs concerning the hardships and challenges the Thessalonians faced can
also instruct present day believers. Everyone who enters the kingdom of God
needs to persevere under persecutions while trusting in the righteous judgment
of God. Just as there were misleading doctrines about the day of Christ,
deceptions will surely abound in the last days and have indeed become prevalent
today. But the epistle foretells of the coming of the lawless one, an event
that must take place before the Lord’s return. By heeding this prophecy, we
will not be troubled and confused. The epistle’s exhortations on Christian responsibility
also certainly warrant the attention of every believer. Even in view of the
Lord’s imminent return, we need to continue to fulfill our daily duties and
persist in doing good.