Day 328 – Thru the Bible
Today we read Second Thessalonians. Here’s the overview video.
Video – Read Scripture: Second Thessalonians
How does this video help you understand Second Thessalonians better?
2 Thessalonians 1 – Paul begins and concludes his second letter to the Thessalonian church as he did the first letter, with an apostolic blessing of grace and peace from God. Amid their persecutions and afflictions, the Thessalonians have continued growing in mutual love, steadfastness, and faith, and so Paul and his companions give thanks to God and boast about them. Paul continues encouraging the church along the same lines as in his previous letter, striving to give them confident hope in the imminent return of Jesus.
When we face persecution and affliction in this world, we tend to lose our grasp on our assurance and hope. We may wonder whether our suffering indicates God’s absence from our lives. We wonder if God will ever bring release or vindication from the assaults of enemies. Although we sometimes doubt God’s Gospel promises when afflictions and persecutions enter our lives, such trials are evidence that we belong to Him. Just as Jesus’ own path to glory was through pain, so too is this often true for His disciples in a world that is naturally opposed to our God and His gospel (Mark 10:42–45).
Yet, precisely because we are called-out citizens of the kingdom of God, we will be persecuted by the unbelieving citizens of the kingdom of this earth—just as they persecuted Jesus. We can find hope in the promise of the Gospel that Jesus will return to be worshiped, to be marveled at among all who have believed. At Jesus’ return, we will worship the Lord Jesus because God declares us worthy to worship Jesus by the worthiness of Jesus. This same God will make us worthy of His calling for our eternal good and Jesus’ eternal glory—all according to His glorious grace.
How do you remember the truth about the Gospel when the troubles of this world attack you?
2 Thessalonians 2 – The second coming of Jesus is a foundational doctrine of the New Testament, though we often forget this truth amid the daily activity of life. Jesus’ return is meant to generate hope in the midst of present sin, affliction, and trials. The final prayer of Scripture is a prayer for this second coming: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation ). Such prayer—made in the light of God’s promise that our Savior will come to execute justice, vindicate the righteous, and make the world right—has the power to refresh and sustain us regardless of whatever pain may wash into our lives.
Paul’s teaching about Jesus’ return is also aimed at encouraging the Thessalonians “not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed” about premature rumors of the Lord’s return. Therefore, to answer any looming questions about Jesus’ return and to allow no one to “deceive [us] in any way,” Paul provides further details about “the day of the Lord,” “the rebellion,” the activity of Satan, and the false signs and wonders that will accompany the revealing of the “man of lawlessness.” Throughout Paul’s vivid description of the day of the Lord is the resounding truth of Jesus’ victory and God’s sovereignty over all that will come to pass.
Paul is clear: only believing the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will save us from God’s righteous and accurate judgement on the day of the Lord (Romans 8:1). God declares us righteous according to the finished work of Jesus by faith alone. Such faith produces a life that is unlike the lives of the wicked, who take “pleasure in unrighteousness.” Rather, because God chose us, loved us, gave us eternal comfort through grace, called us through the Gospel, and we believed, we will “obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Established in the glorious promise of the Gospel, we are called to stand firm as we rest confidently in the sustaining work of the Spirit, the Lord Jesus, and God our Father. Our triune God is faithful to His Gospel promise, a promise accompanied by His gracious commitment to comfort our hearts and establish them in every good work and word so that all might see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
How does the Gospel empower you for today and bring a hope for tomorrow?
2 Thessalonians 3 – As they awaited the return of Jesus, some of the professing Believers at Thessalonica had fallen into the sin of laziness and were not willing to work. Paul urges them not to be idle but to imitate him and his companions, who worked day and night when they ministered among the Thessalonians. Idleness is a serious matter; it affects not only the idle person but also their family and community. Most importantly, idleness dishonors the body of Jesus and the name of Jesus before the eyes of the watching world. Paul thus admonishes the Thessalonians to give brotherly warning to anyone who does not heed his words.
Paul’s fundamental concern is the advance of the Gospel of Jesus. To that end, he has worked, prayed, and asked for prayer that the word of the Lord would speed ahead and be honored and that he and his companions would be delivered from wicked and evil men. Paul’s prayer for deliverance is not motivated by concern about his own health or security but by his desire to advance the Gospel. Knowing that his calling will lead to confrontation with those in Thessalonica or elsewhere who do not love Jesus, Paul nevertheless boldly proclaims the truths and responsibilities of the Gospel. He reminds his readers (and us) that the Lord is faithful and will establish and guard His people against the Evil One. Established on these glorious Gospel truths of God’s faithfulness, Paul communicates his confidence that the Thessalonians and all true Believers will do the things that bring glory to Jesus.
Paul ends his letter with a final encouragement for Believers facing the trials that will always be present until Jesus returns. The trials are not to have the final word or controlling influence on our hearts, for the Lord of peace Himself gives us peace “at all times in every way.” Walking with and relying upon this God of such abundant compassion and grace, we are stabilized amid the storms of life as we await Jesus’ return in power and glory.
How does this chapter encourage you?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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