THE BOOK OF 2 THESSALONIANS
CHAPTER 1 - The Study "You Can Feel Safe"

Reference Collection, Edited by Ray Kendzierski

Various Authors, Edited as reference material [1]


2 Thessalonians Quick Summary

KEY THOUGHT NO. OF CHAPTERS KEY VERSE CHRIST SEEN AS
Waiting For Christ 3 2 Thess. 3:5 The Coming Lord
 
WRITER DATE CONCLUSION  
The Apostle Paul A.D. 54 The Christian is to wait, watch and work for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He shall be glorified in His saints and His saints shall be eternally satisfied in Him

YOU CAN FEEL SAFE
Lesson Passages: 2 Thess 1:1—12

Chapter 1 Summarized:

Contents: Believer’s comfort in persecution.

Conclusion: The patient suffering of believers for Christ’s sake is a manifest token that they are worthy to be accounted Christians, since they can suffer for Christianity. God will recompense their trouble with rest of heart now, and with abundant reward at Christ’s coming, when also He will recompense trouble to those who have troubled His people.

Key Word: Comfort, v. 7.

Promises: 7, 8, 9, 10.

Christ Seen: v.10.  As the coming of Christ will reveal His wrath and power upon His enemies, so His grace and power will be magnified in the complete salvation of His saints. This is an evidence that the church will not pass through the Great Tribulation, the time of God’s wrath.

Introduction: “My life stinks,” Josh complained to his friend Matt at the regular Friday breakfast meeting. “I hate my job, and besides that, I just learned yesterday that nobody’s getting a raise this year. The roof on my house is leaking and I don’t have the money to fix it. My wife just got a report a report on the baby’s heart condition. The doctor is recommending surgery. Where is God in all of this?  How do you answer this problem?

The way believers respond to difficult circumstances reveals much about their view of God as well as their trust in God. Sometimes loss and setback lead to bitterness and disappointment. Most adult Christians have known other believers who have moved from saying “life isn’t fair” to supposing “God isn’t just.” As adults we need regular reminders not only that God is fair with us but also that He is more than fair.


WHAT IS GOD DOING IN ME? (2 THESS. 1:1—4)

Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 4So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

Verse 1--2:

Here we have,

  1. The introduction (v. 12), in the same words as in the former epistle, from which we may observe that as this apostle did not count it grievous to him to write the same things (Phil. 3:1) in his epistles that he had delivered in preaching, so he willingly wrote the same things to one church that he did to another. The occurrence of the same words in this epistle as in the former shows us that ministers ought not so much to regard the variety of expression and elegance of style as the truth and usefulness of the doctrines they preach. And great care should be taken lest, from an affectation of novelty in method and phrases, we advance new notions or doctrines, contrary to the principles of natural or revealed religion, upon which this church of the Thessalonians was built, as all true churches are; namely, in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  2. The apostle’s expression of the high esteem he had for them. He not only had a great affection for them (as he had expressed in his former epistle, and now again in his pious wish of grace and peace for them), but he also expresses his great esteem for them, concerning which observe.

The Thessalonians were familiar with Paul’s greeting of grace to you and peace (1 Thess. 1:1). Here, however the apostle explicitly noted that these blessings are sent equally from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Both the Father and the Son are equally involved in bestowing favor to human beings.

Further, notice Paul used all three names for the Son: Lord emphasizes His divine sovereignty; Jesus is a reminder of His earthly life and ministry; and Christ acknowledges Him as the Messiah of biblical prophecy.

Verse 3:

We are bound—Greek, “We owe it as a debt.” Since their prayer in 1 Thessalonians 3:12 that the Thessalonians’ love might grow and overflow had been dramatically answered, they must thank God for it. Paul and his fellow workers were practicing what they preached in 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Your faith grows exceedingly—The word signifies to grow luxuriantly, as a good and healthy tree planted in a good soil; and if a fruit tree, bearing an abundance of fruit to compensate the labor of the husbandman. Faith is one of the seeds of the kingdom; this the apostle had sowed and watered, and God gave an abundant increase. Their faith was multiplied, and their love abounded; and this was not the case with some distinguished characters only, it was the case with every one of them.

Verse 4:

We ourselves glory in you in the Churches of God—We hold you up as an example of what the grace of God, can produce when communicated to honest and faithful hearts.

For your patience and faith—From Acts 17:513, and from 1 Thessalonians 2:14, we learn, that the people of Thessalonica had suffered much persecution, both from the Jews and their own countrymen; but being thoroughly convinced of the truth of the Gospel, and feeling it to be the power of God unto salvation, no persecution could turn them aside from it. And having suffered for the truth, it was precious to them. Persecution never essentially injured the genuine Church of God.


WHAT IS GOD GOING TO DO WITH ME? (2 THESS. 5—10)

5Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Verse 5:

Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God - The word “which” is supplied by our translators, and there may be some doubt to what the apostle has reference as being “a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God.” The general sense seems to be, that the fact that they were thus persecuted was an evidence that there would be a future judgment, when the righteous who were persecuted would be rewarded, and the wicked that persecuted them would be punished. The manner in which they bore their trials was an indication also of what the result would be in regard to them. Their patience and faith under persecutions were constantly showing that they would “be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which they were called to suffer.”

  1. It is evidence that there will be a future judgment - since the righteous here suffer so much, and the wicked triumph.

  2. these things are now permitted in order that the character may be developed, and that the reason of the sentence in the last day may be seen.

  3. the manner in which these afflictions are borne is an evidence - an indication of what the results of the judgment will be. The word rendered “manifest token” occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means an indication, token, proof - anything that shows or points out how a thing is, or is to be, to show, to point out. The meaning here is, therefore, that the course of events referred to - the persecutions which they endured, and the manner in which they were borne - furnished a proof that there would be a righteous judgment, and also afforded an indication of what the result of that judgment would be. We may, in general, learn what will be the issues of the judgment in the case of an individual from the manner in which he bears trials.

Of the righteous judgment of God - That there will be a just judgment hereafter. The crimes of the wicked that go unpunished on the earth, and the sufferings of the good that are unavenged, are a demonstration that there will be a judgment, when all these inequalities will be adjusted.

That ye may be counted worthy - As the result of your affliction, that you may be fitted for the kingdom of God. This does not mean that Christians will merit heaven by their sufferings, but that they may show that they have such a character that there is a fitness or propriety that they should be admitted there. They may illustrate by their patience and resignation, by their deadness to the world and their holy lives, that they are not disqualified to enter into that kingdom where the redeemed are to dwell. No true Christian will ever feel that he is worthy on his own account, or that he has any claim to eternal life, yet he may have evidence that he has the characteristics to which God has promised salvation, and is fitted to dwell in heaven.

For which ye also suffer. - The sufferings which you now endure are because you are professed heirs of the kingdom; that is, you are persecuted because you are Christians.

Verse 6:

It is a righteous thing with God to render to every man according to his works. The thoughts of this should be terrible to wicked men and persecutors, and the great support of the righteous and such as are persecuted; for, seeing there is a righteous God, there will be a righteous recompense. God’s suffering people will lose nothing by their sufferings, and their enemies will gain nothing by their advantages against them.

Verse 7:

The time when this righteous recompense shall be made: When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven. That will be the day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God; for then will God judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath appointed, even Jesus Christ the righteous Judge. The righteousness of God does not so visibly appear to all men in the procedure of his providence as it will in the process of the great judgment-day. The scripture has made known to us the judgment to come, and we are bound to receive the revelation here given concerning Christ. As,

  1. That the Lord Jesus will in that day appear from heaven. Now the heavens retain him, they conceal him; but then he will be revealed and made manifest. He will come in all the pomp and power of the upper world, whence we look for the Saviour.

  2. He will be revealed with his mighty angels, or the angels of his power: these will attend upon him, to grace the solemnity of that great day of his appearance; they will be the ministers of his justice and mercy in that day; they will summon the criminals to his tribunal, and gather in the elect, and be employed in executing his sentence.

Verse 8:

In flaming fire - This is a circumstance which is not noticed in the account of his appearing in the parallel place in 1Thess. 4:16. The object of the apostle here seems to be to represent him as coming amidst vivid flashes of lightning. He is commonly described as coming in clouds, and to that common description there is here added the image of incessant lightning, as if the whole heavens were illuminated with a continued blaze.

Taking vengeance - The word “vengeance” is used in the sense of punishment, for there cannot be in God what literally corresponds with the passion of revenge.

On them that know not God. - On all who are strangers to him; that is, who are living in pagan darkness, or who, having heard of him, have no practical acquaintance with him.

And that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. - Who do not embrace it, and practice its precepts in their lives.

Verse 9:

They will then be punished. Their misery will be a proper punishment for their crimes, and only what they have deserved. They did sin’s work, and must receive sin’s wages. Their punishment will be no less than destruction, not of their being, but of their bliss; not that of the body alone, but both as to body and soul. This destruction will be everlasting. They shall be always dying, and yet never die. Their misery will run parallel with the line of eternity. The chains of darkness are everlasting chains, and the fire is everlasting fire. It must needs be so, since the punishment is inflicted by an eternal God, fastening upon an immortal soul, set out of the reach of divine mercy and grace. This destruction shall come from the presence of the Lord, that is, immediately from God himself. Here God punishes sinners by creatures, by instruments; but then he will take the work into his own hands. It will be destruction from the Almighty, more terrible than the consuming fire which consumed Nadab and Abihu, which came from before the Lord.

It shall come from the glory of his power, or from his glorious power. Not only the justice of God, but this almighty power, will be glorified in the destruction of sinners; and who knows the power of his anger? He is able to cast into hell.

Verse 10:

When he shall come to be glorified in his saints—Christ will be glorified in his believers when he returns to establish his kingdom on earth. Christ in the believers, previously the hope of glory (Col. 3:4), will then be the reality of glory shining out through all the transformed and transfigured saints. to be admired—by other people. in all them that believe—Christ in the believers will be admired because he will be glorified in them. because our testimony among you was believed—A parenthetical statement affirming the Thessalonians’ portion in the just-mentioned glory because they had believed the gospel. in that day—joins with the first part of this verse, as shown by the preceding parentheses in the KJV.


WHAT DOES GOD WANT TO DO THROUGH ME? (2 THESS. 1:11—12)

11Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 11:

We pray—that our God would count you worthy—It is our earnest prayer that God would make you worthy, of those continual supplies of grace by his Holy Spirit, without which you cannot adorn your holy vocation; you are called into the Christian Church, and, to be proper members of this Church, you must be members of the mystical body of Christ; and this implies that you should be holy, as he who has called you is holy.

Fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness—

  1. The goodness of God—his own innate eternal kindness, has led him to call you into this state of salvation.

  2. It is the pleasure of that goodness to save you unto eternal life.

  3. It is the good pleasure; nothing can please God more than your receiving and retaining his utmost salvation.

  4. It is all the good pleasure of his goodness thus to save you; this he has amply proved by sending his Son to die for you, beyond which gift he has none greater. In this, all the good pleasure of his goodness is astonishingly manifested.

  5. And if you be faithful to his grace, he will fulfill—completely accomplish, all the good pleasure of his goodness in you; which goodness is to be apprehended and is to work by faith, the power of which must come from him, though the act or exercise of that power must be of yourselves; but the very power to believe affords excitement to the exercise of faith.

Verse 12:

Why the apostle prayed for these things. That the name of the Lord Jesus may be glorified; this is the end we should aim at in every thing we do and desire, that God and Christ in all things may be glorified. Our own happiness and that of others should be subordinate to this ultimate end. Our good works should so shine before men that others may glorify God. That Christ may be glorified in and by us, and then we shall be glorified in and with him. And this is the great end and design of the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ, which is manifested to us and wrought in us. Or thus: it is according to the grace of God and Christ, that is, it is an agreeable thing, considering the grace that is manifested to us and bestowed on us, by God and Christ, that we direct all we do to the glory of our Creator and Redeemer.


[1] This lesson was prepared using the following: Brooks, Keith I., The Summarized Bible; Clark, Adam, Commentary on the N. T.; Henry, Matthew, Commentary on the N. T.; Green, Oliver, Commentary on Thessalonians; Walvoord, John, Commentary on the Book of Thessalonians.

All scripture is from the King James Version.


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2012-11-23