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Back Ground Thessalonica, modern day Thessaloniki (Salonika), has been one of the main cities of Macedonia. Strengthened and enlarged by Cassander, who named the city in honor of his wife, the half-sister of Alexander the Great.
Thessaloniki In New Testament times, Thessalonica was a seaport of political and commercial importance, situated on a land route that put it into a direct stream of traffic
Majority of the Thessalonians were native Greeks, Romans and Orientals added to the population. Because of the attractive commerce, the city also hosted a large Jewish colony.
Paul established the church at Thessalonica on his second missionary journey (Acts 17). The city was the second in Macedonia to hear the gospel.
ACTS 17:1-9 Act 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Act 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. Act 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
Act 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. Act 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Act 17:7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. Act 17:8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. Act 17:9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.
Authorship and Background Paul wrote II Thessalonians from Corinth, probably a few months after he sent the first epistle to this church. Evidently the bearer of the first letter had remained at Thessalonica long enough to ascertain the conditions there and then had reported back to Paul. Paul commended the Thessalonians in some areas while reprimanding them in others. False teachers had come in and misinterpreted Paul’s first letter.
Purpose Paul wrote to clarify what he had stated in his first letter. Apparently some Thessalonian believers felt that the coming of the Lord was so imminent that they quit their jobs and were simply waiting for His return. Second Thessalonians is a supplement to I Thessalonians. Both deal with the Second Coming of the Lord.
Outline SALUTATION II Thessalonians 1:1-2 I. CONFLICT AMID PERSECUTION : II Thessalonians 1:3-12 II. THE DAY OF THE LORD : II Thessalonians 2:1-17 III. PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING : II Thessalonians 3:1-15 CONCLUSION : II Thessalonians 3:16-18
SalutationII Thessalonians 1:1-2 Paul greeted the Christians with benedictions of grace first and then peace (1:1-2). He included Timothy and Silas, his fellow workers who were with him at Corinth, in the salutation.
I. Conflict amid PersecutionII Thessalonians 1:3-12 Paul expressed his thanks for the Thessalonians (1:3-5). He was thankful they had been stable in the midst of persecution-even abounding in the work of the Lord. The Christian growth that resulted from their trials was making them fit for the kingdom of God.
I. Conflict amid PersecutionII Thessalonians 1:3-12 God will recompense tribulation (1:6-10). He will punish with everlasting destruction those who do not know Him and do not obey the gospel of Christ, even though they presently seem to have the upper hand. Paul included here the hope of the saints-their being with the Lord because of their adherence to the gospel.
I. Conflict amid PersecutionII Thessalonians 1:3-12 It was Paul’s desire that they would continue to be worthy of the calling of Christ Jesus by their steadfastness (1:11-12). By doing so, their lives on earth would glorify the name of Jesus Christ.
II. The Day of the LordII Thessalonians 2:1-17 The endtime was Paul’s theme as he began the second chapter. There are various interpretations of this passage that attempt to correlate it with Paul’s statements in the first epistle.
II. The Day of the LordII Thessalonians 2:1-17 Paul pointed out that before the Day of Lord dawned, there must first come apostasy. It was Paul’s desire for them to be ready. The apostle encouraged them to be strong, not shaken in faith, as many others would be. He reminded them that the Antichrist will make himself known. The Twentieth Century New Testaments translation of II Thessalonians 2:7 states that lawlessness now works in secret -but in secret only, until he who restrains it is removed. When the wicked one comes, he will be destroyed as well as those who have not loved the truth. God will send a lie for them to believe; it will bring them destruction.
II. The Day of the LordII Thessalonians 2:1-17 Paul again expressed appreciation because the Thessalonians were strong in the Lord (2:13-17). He wanted them to remember to live the truths they had been taught. He urged them to stand fast and prayed that Christ would comfort them with the hope of eternal life and establish them here.
Ill. Practical Christian LivingII Thessalonians 3:1-15 Paul desired the prayers of the Christians at Thessalonica (3:1-5). He expressed the need for the prayers of the saints to keep him free and bold in spreading the gospel. He assured them that the Lord would keep them and establish them. The Lord would direct their hearts in His love and patience.
Ill. Practical Christian LivingII Thessalonians 3:1-15 Paul admonished the Thessalonians to withdraw from those who had turned away from the gospel (3:6-15). The apostle reminded them of his own example and teaching. Even though the Lord’s coming is imminent, we must keep working and be responsible Christians. We should be aware of those who are not following the truth. We must try to help them as brothers, not condemn them as enemies.
ConclusionII Thessalonians 3:16-18 Paul desired that the Lord of peace would grant peace always by all means to the Thessalonians. Paul also pronounced the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” upon all of God’s people. The closing salutation in his own penmanship attested to the authenticity of the letter.