Epistles of Thomas

November 20, 2008

2 Thessalonians 1-3

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 16:48

Paul begins this letter with thanksgiving and prayer. He assures the Thessalonians that those who are persecuting them and causing trials will be punished. God is just and his judgement will prevail. He warns them against believing the false teachings that some have spread, in which they claim that the day of the Lord has already come. Chapter two talks about the man of lawlessness which is something that many of us do not want to think about. In reaction to certain end times prophecy books and such we shun hearing about the end. However, for the Thessalonians this was a comforting thing because the end had not come. At the end time “the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming” (2:8). That is where the Left Behind series falls down. Instead of focussing on the assurance Christians have about the goodness of the end times with Christ returning in splendour, all the faithful Christians disappear at the beginning of the series and then the 10+ novels focus on the horrors which follow for those who subsequently convert. All of the New Testament focuses on the hope we have in Christ rather than conjuring up events concerning an unknown future. So then, brothers and sisters, [no matter what happens] stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter” (2:15). Paul concludes the letter by urging Christians to keep working and supporting themselves and not to associate with those who disregard the teaching of this letter.


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