Paul’s second letter to his friends in Thessalonika was also written both to encourage them & to address questions that had come up about their faith in Jesus (286).
He began by sending greetings from himself, Silas & Timothy. Paul again reminded the Thessalonian believers that persecution is inevitable for Christians in this world. But Paul also assured them that Jesus will make right all that now seems wrong, when he comes again to judge the world.
Some in Thessalonika were teaching falsely that Jesus had already come back to the earth a second time & that he would not be coming a third time. Paul countered this by repeating the teaching of Jesus – who had told his chosen witnesses that great tribulation would be experienced throughout the world before his second coming.
This tidal wave of wickedness would not occur, Paul wrote, until the restraining power of the Holy Spirit, living in the body of Christ, had itself been temporarily restrained. Since all of that had clearly not yet happened, Paul taught the Thessalonians to keep expecting that Jesus will come again.
When Jesus does return to the earth, all people — who refuse to believe the truth about God & who persist in the pleasures of sin – will be condemned before God. But, all people — who believe & receive Jesus as savior & who faithfully follow him as master — will be saved from condemnation before God.
The Thessalonian believers had been chosen by God for this very salvation, Paul said. So they should stand firm in the truth & traditions of their faith until the end. And they should always give evidence of their faith by how they lived.
Particularly, Paul encouraged his Thessalonian friends to pray & to work.
- He asked them to pray for him, that he would also stand firm until the end.
- And he reminded them to continue in good works of love toward other people, as the best defense against the sins which so easily arise from self-indulgent laziness.
(286) 2 Thessalonians 1-3