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Category: 2 Thessalonians (page 1 of 4)

Theology of 2 Thessalonians–Counted Worthy by Enduring

This fits into several categories of thought.  It fits in with our recent series on Suffering and the Existence of God (click here).  It fits in with our 2nd Thessalonians series (click here).   Finally, it is a good start to the theology of 2nd Thessalonians series.

This has to do with an important phrase in 2 Thessalonians 1:

We ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.  5This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

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Overview of 2 Thessalonians

The letter known as Second Thessalonians was written to the Macedonian church established by Paul in the Greek city of Thessalonica in Acts 17. Paul wrote the first letter when Timothy arrived with the news that the Thessalonians had not given up their faith under the pressure of Jewish persecution. He rejoiced in their faithfulness and thanked God for their continued Christian walk. He encouraged them with hope in the Lord’s coming and encouraged them to live Christian lives.

In the second letter, he thanks God again that their faith is growing more and more and they continue to persevere (1:3-4). The greater portion of the second letter centers around the matter of the Lord’s return and the behavior of the people relative to that return.

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Instructions to the Church–2 Thessalonians 3:13-18

Paul has just finished strongly commanding men who are walking disorderly. His instruction was clear:  they need to get jobs (read here).  Now Paul turns his attention to the church.  Paul gives three instructions to the church concerning their response to men who are not willing to work:

1.  Do not grow weary in well-doing. Since Paul was very strong in his past section, he does not want the church to go too far.  It is true that they are not to feed a man who refuses to work, but that does not mean that they stop doing good works.  They should still help those with legitimate needs.  One specific need that would arise is the feeding of the wife and children of lazy men.

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Withdraw from the disorderly–2 Thessalonians 3:6-12

Paul just finished asking for prayers in the previous section (read here).  In this section Paul addresses the second major issue facing the Thessalonian church (the other issue can be read about here and here).

Paul begins with a strong statement.  He commands the church by the authority of Jesus to withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly (3:6).  This is a strong exhortation for several reason.  First,  Paul evokes the authority of Jesus.  Second, “Command” starts the Greek sentence, thus providing it with added emphasis.  Third, the command that Paul gives is that they “withdraw.”  The word means “to avoid” or “shun.”  What Paul is commanding, in an emphatic way, is what we now call dis-fellowshipping (for another article on this subject click here).

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The Apostle’s Prayer Request–2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

Throughout 2 Thessalonians Paul emphasizes praying.  He shares with the church, in several sections, the content of his prayers for them (1:3,4; 1:11, 12; 3:5; 3:16).  The prayer sections not only reveal Paul’s innermost thoughts, but also urge the Thessalonians to live out Paul’s prayer.  It is a powerful means of encouragement toward faithful living.

In the beginning of this section, though, we are offered a different aspect of prayer.  Instead of Paul laying out his prayers, he asks the Thessalonians to pray for him.  Specifically in two areas:

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