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The SECOND Epistle to the THESSALONIANS
1: 1 - 9.
pp. 124 - 128
The second letter to the Thessalonians, like the first, is addressed to the church of the
Thessalonians by Paul, Silvanus and Timothy. It was evidently sent not long after the
first letter, possibly from Corinth. When the Apostle send a second letter to a church, it
was normally to correct misunderstanding arising from the first letter, or an expansion of
some aspect of truth that had not been fully understood. We have seen that the first letter
revolves around the graces of `faith, hope and love'. Both faith and love are mentioned
in the introduction to this second letter.
"We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your
faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity (love) of every one of you all toward each
other aboundeth" (1: 3).
But as we read on we find that hope is missing, and it was largely because some had
misunderstood his teaching concerning the Lord's Second Coming, possibly being misled
by a spurious epistle purporting to come from him (2: 2), that the Apostle writes this
second epistle as a corrective.
Before we go any further, we set out the structure of the epistle as a whole:
A | 1: 1, 2. Grace and peace.
B | a | 1: 3-10. Bound to thank. Counted Worthy.
b | 1: 11, 12. Prayer for you. Work of faith.
c | 2: 1-12. We beseech. Man of lawlessness, his coming and deception.
B | a | 2: 13-15. Bound to thank. Obtaining the glory.
b | 2: 16 - 3: 5. Pray for us. Good work.
c | 3: 6-15. We command. Disorderliness.
A | 3: 16-18. Peace and grace.
The outstanding section is B | c | 2: 1-12 dealing with the coming of the man of
lawlessness, the son of perdition and the lying miracles whereby he accomplishes mass
deception. The whole subject is compressed because Paul had dealt with it in detail when
he was with the Thessalonian saints. He reminds them of this (2: 15), and it is the
compression of a complicated prophetic subject that makes this passage one of the most
difficult to interpret in the N.T.
Coming back to chapter 1:, the Apostle highly commends them for their courageous
endurance in persecution, which was a proof of the genuineness of their faith: