2 Thessalonians

By Leslie M. Grant

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” — 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 NKJV

Second Thessalonians, like 1 Thessalonians, is pastoral in character. It deals with those subtle influences that so soon threatened to rob this young assembly of its fresh, ardent affection for the Lord, as well as its vigorous faith and endurance of persecution. Faithfully the apostle warns of the future coming of the Antichrist, but even at that time, the “mystery of lawlessness” (2:7) was at work to undermine what was of God. Therefore added to the refreshing encouragement of the first epistle are faithful admonitions, the seasoning of salt, to preserve the testimony of God.

Letters supposed to have come from Paul had told the Thessalonians that the Day of the Lord (not “of Christ”) had come. These letters were a crafty deceit of the enemy by which he sought to undermine their confidence as to Christ’s coming first for the Church (the rapture) before the awesome day of His judgment of the world. Paul corrected this, and chapter 2 is a most striking prophetic Scripture about the Day of the Lord, which cannot take place until the Church has been removed to heaven.

In contrast to the evil works and words of Antichrist, who will sit in the future temple as god (v.4), the saints are encouraged to be established in every good work and word. Second Thessalonians is a book therefore to give us spiritual discernment and firmness regarding those things that would tend to lower Christian testimony. Again, the Lord’s coming is prominent in every chapter.