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Lessons from the Second Epistle of
Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians

By Ken Raggio

Paul, Silas, And Timothy

Paul, Silas (Silvanus), and Timothy. How would you like to have this ministry team visit your local congregation? Do you think that they ever imagined that their influence would extend beyond Thessalonica - not only to the cities on their missionary journey, but to hundreds of millions of Bible-readers in the 21st Century? Paul, Silas and Timothy clearly established an enormous portion of all New Testament beliefs and practices. You can never know how far your consecrated ministry may eventually reach. Serve the Lord with gladness.

2 Thessalonians 1:1 - "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians."

Greet Others With Blessings, Prayers, Thanksgiving

In every epistle, Paul's greetings were essentially the same. He straightaway offered a blessing and a prayer, with thanksgiving, for his good brothers and sisters in the Lord. How would it affect our lives if we began every encounter with a blessing, a brief prayer, and thanksgiving for every good report?

2 Thessalonians 1:2-3 - "Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We 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."

Your Tribulations Are Only A Token By Comparison

In this second communique with the Thessalonians, Paul expressed great delight with the stalwart young Church. "Your faith groweth exceedingly." "The charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth." He rejoiced over their "patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure." The persecutions and tribulations that you suffer is only a manifest token when compared to the enormous wrath of God that will recompense the evil ones those who trouble you.

2 Thessalonians 1:6 - "Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you."

The Lord Jesus Will Be Revealed With His Mighty Angels

Just because you may not have seen one does not mean angels are not there. They watched God create the heavens and the earth, and they rejoiced. They were in the garden of Eden, appeared to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Gideon, Manoah, Elijah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, and many others. If you don't believe in angels, you don't believe in the Bible. Saint or sinner, believer or unbeliever, you will actually see them one of these days.

2 Thessalonians 1:7 - "...the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels."

Jesus Will Take Fiery Vengeance On The Godless

Songwriter Charles Johnson wrote, "It's gonna rain. You better get ready and bear this in mind - God showed Noah the rainbow sign. It won't be water, but fire the next time." That is scriptural. At Armageddon, Jesus will judge the world with fire.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 - "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, ...When he shall come to be glorified in his saints."

He Shall Come To Be Admired In All Them That Believe

The vast majority of Christians have almost no comprehension about how prophecies of the last days will unfold. The subject of the coming of the Lord is extremely vague to most people. Jesus will come at a time when Israel is about to be annihilated, and will destroy their enemies at Armageddon. Then He will establish His earthly kingdom in Jerusalem for 1000 years.

2 Thessalonians 1:8,10 - " In flaming fire taking vengeance ...When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe."

Pray That God Will Count You Worthy Of His Calling

Paul told the Church that their patience and faith in the midst of persecutions and tribulations "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." God is glorified when we bravely endure suffering for Him. Pray for the privilege to suffer for His sake, glorifying Him thereby.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 - "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, ...That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him."

Our Gathering Together Unto Him

Most Christians refer to "our gathering together unto Him (Jesus)" as "the rapture." In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Paul said, "the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air." He warned that before that day comes, apostasy will decimate the Church, and the Antichrist will be revealed.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 - "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."

Let No Man Deceive You By Any Means

There are literally hundreds of prophecy warnings in the Bible that reveal upcoming events for the last days. Unfortunately, Christianity is saturated with pathetic mis-interpretations and mis-applications of key prophecies, and many priceless prophecies are rendered powerless to help individuals to be prepared. The same is true about great Bible doctrines. Let NO MAN deceive you! You must bear responsibility for studying the Word of God carefully enough to protect yourself from lies and liars.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 - "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first."

Paul Explained Why The Rapture Could Not Be Imminent

Matthew Henry deducted that the Thessalonians expected the imminent return of Jesus, but Paul corrected that error. "Be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, ...that the day of Christ is at hand." There must be a "falling away first." The "man of sin" must sit in the Temple, pretending to be God. Saints will NOT be raptured before that man appears. (See Matthew 24:15,21,29-31.)

2 Thessalonians 2:4 - "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

Man Of Sin, Son Of Perdition, Prince Of Rome

This character was prophesied in Daniel 9:26-27. "The people of the PRINCE THAT SHALL COME shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." Since ROMANS destroyed Jerusalem (70AD), the Prince is Roman. "He shall confirm the covenant... he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." The Prince of Rome - the POPE, or his agent, will commit the Abomination of Desolation.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 - "...that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

The Mystery Of Iniquity

The "Mystery of Iniquity" is that we are involved in invisible, spiritual warfare - not with flesh and blood - but with "principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places," (Ephesians 6:12). The "mysterious" demonic power of spiritual iniquity over kings and governments is explained in Daniel 10.

2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 - "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way."

The Withholder Will Be Taken Out Of The Way

Who or what has prevented the "man of sin" from being revealed? Who will be removed so the man of sin can appear? Gabriel and Michael withheld the Prince of Persia, and later the Prince of Grecia in Daniel 10. They also announced the rise of the Prince of Rome. It is the holy angels who bind and loose the demons who raise up earthly kings and princes.

2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 - " ye know what withholdeth ...he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed."

Then Shall That Wicked Be Revealed

The Man of Sin, or Son of Perdition (Destruction) is the person who will commit the Abomination of Desolation in the Temple in Jerusalem in the middle of the last seven years (Daniel's Seventieth Week) prior to Jesus' return to wage the Battle of Armageddon. He will cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and the Temple will become desolate. Three-and-a-half years later, Jesus will come and destroy him.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 - "Then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

The Lord Will Consume That Wicked One

There is no greater theme in the scriptures than the final victory of Jesus Christ over all evil. That final conquest will begin when Jesus returns to earth for the great battle of Armageddon. He will appear in the clouds with His saints and angels to conquer the Beast, False Prophet and Man of Sin in fiery vengeance. You will not want to be on the losing side of that war!

2 Thessalonians 2:8 - "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

Great Deception Will Precede The Man Of Sin

The GREATEST DECEPTIONS of all time will lure multitudes of Christians and non-Christians into eternal condemnation, just before the man of sin appears. BEWARE!!

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 - "[The man of sin will appear] after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

The Deceivableness Of Unrighteousness

This is one of the most pregnant phrases in the Bible: "The Deceivableness of Unrighteousness." If a man knew he was being deceived, it would not be deception. How does a man come to believe that he is righteous in his unrighteousness? That is the effect of a reprobate mind, which says right is wrong, and wrong is right. Satan easily enslaves men with hideous deception because they do not love the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 - "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

Power, Signs, Lying Wonders, And Pleasure In Unrighteousness

There is a terrifying connection between those who have pleasure in unrighteousness and the deceptive works of Satan with all power, signs and lying wonders. God literally grants a license to Satan and his followers to greatly delude, with miracles, signs and wonders, those who despise the Holy Truth of God. It is a trap that will send countless multitudes to Hell. Whatever you do, stay out of that trap!

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 - "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

Brethren Beloved Of The Lord, Chosen To Salvation

Paul foresaw "the deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish," and those who "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved," and to whom God sends a "strong delusion." Thank God, if you are chosen to believe the truth!

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 - "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The Traditions Which Ye Have Been Taught

The Pharisees taught many unbiblical traditions, while Paul taught many BIBLICAL traditions. Pharisees condemned the disciples for "eating with unwashen hands," and voided the Commandment to "Honor thy Father and thy Mother." Jesus said, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." STILL, Paul defended BIBLICAL traditions that he and others taught and practiced.

2 Thessalonians 2:15 - "Stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."

Hope Comes From Grace

Have you ever felt hopeless? Why? Because you could not imagine how things would ever work out. If natural laws were our only resource, we would be truly hopeless. Sin and sickness often force feelings of hopelessness upon us. But when God reminds us that His grace (His favor) is sufficient to help us through every trial, that gives us hope. If I did not know that God can forgive me, heal me, and help me, I would be hopeless. Hope comes from His grace.

2 Thessalonians 2:16 - "...hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace"

God Stablish You In Every Good Word And Work

After his exhortation about the second coming of the Lord, and the great deception that would come upon the earth just before He returns, Paul admonished them to stand fast and hold the traditions they were taught. Then he said a prayer for them, that they would be comforted and established. I pray that same prayer for you, my reader.

2 Thessalonians 2:16 - "Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."

Pray That The Word Of The Lord Will Have Free Course

In the 20th Century in America, Pentecostal Churches often conducted "revival meetings" lasting one to four weeks long, with services every night. A preacher typically preached one hour every night on any subject he felt God wanted him to preach, and saints regularly "tarried" afterward in intense prayer. Today, Churches rarely have more than two or three services weekly, preaching rarely exceeds 30 minutes, and ministers are carefully chosen for popular, politically-correct topics. We must pray that the Word will again be unfettered.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 - "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified."

Pray That We May Be Delivered From Unreasonable Men

I was twenty years old, ministering in a Tuesday morning prayer meeting to a group of elderly saints. I was making the case that every person has a measure of faith, and that we should use it. Afterward, a dear sister softly whispered to me, "read 2 Thessalonians 3:2: 'not all men have faith.'" In the decades since then, I have learned that lesson well. Faith is the gift of God. Faithless men are a dreadful lot.

2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 - "Pray for us, ...that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith."

The Lord Will Stablish You And Keep You From Evil

Are we vendors of false hope? Do the ministers of God delude the innocent and naive into believing that there really is a God in control, and who comes to the help of those who put their complete trust in Him? No. Our hope is fixed upon the Creator and Master of the Universe. We have no reason to doubt our hope.

2 Thessalonians 3:3-4 - "The Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you."

May The Lord Direct Your Hearts

A subtle prayer is embedded in Paul's admonitions. "The Lord direct your hearts..." It is good to know that God is able to direct our hearts. We are so sin-prone, so error-prone, so easily mis-directed. We can pray this prayer for ourselves, and for those we love. "God, direct our heart to love you, and wait patiently for you!" God can lead us away from sin, selfishness, vanity and pride into genuine love and desire for Him.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 - "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."

Disorderly, Disobedient People Who Break Traditions

Our culture of "diversity" and "tolerance" has bamboozled us into believing that we must accept every kind of behavior. But God demands that we isolate ourselves from those who are disorderly, disobedient, and who break godly traditions. "We command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." Have NO COMPANY with them.

2 Thessalonians 3:14 - "If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed."

Disorderly Busybodies

The great Apostle confronted a controversial problem in the Church - busybodies! He commanded them to be quiet, get a job and support themselves. Then he told the other saints that if those who were disorderly did not correct their behavior, they should have nothing to do with them. "Have no company with him, that he may be ashamed." He was not instructing them to excommunicate such a person, but to discipline him in hopes that he would mend his ways.

2 Thessalonians 3:15 - "Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."

Men Of God Labor And Travail For Souls

In his appeal to the Thessalonians to withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly, Paul defended his own ministry. "For we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail [pain, sadness] night and day." Real men of God labor and travail intensely with a sad, painful burden for condemned souls.

2 Thessalonians 3:16,18 - "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. ...The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

Paul's Personal Signature

Several Pauline epistles have subscripts, claiming various copyists and locales, which cannot be ascertained. (These claims are not canonical.) Tertius penned ROMANS in Corinth (16:27). FIRST CORINTHIANS; Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus and Timotheus in Philippi (16:24). SECOND CORINTHIANS; Titus, Lucas in Philippi (13:24). EPHESIANS; Tychicus in Rome. PHILIPPIANS; Epaphroditus. COLOSSIANS; Tychicus, Onesimus in Rome. PHILEMON; Onesimus in Rome. HEBREWS; Timothy in Italy. Paul personally signed each epistle to prove that he was the author.

2 Thessalonians 3:17 - "The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write."

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