Second Thessalonians Bible Study, Chapter 1, Dynamic Faith

Second Thessalonians Bible Study  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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I did this study of 1 Thessalonians in part for my mother-in-law, Imogene Mobley Bolf.

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2 Thessalonians Study
Author: John Stott
Bobby Earls, Northgate Baptist Church, Florence, SC
September 6, 2020
Chapters 8: Dynamic Faith
2 Thessalonians 1
(I did this study of 1 Thessalonians in part for my mother-in-law, Imogene Mobley Bolf.)
Study Questions:
1. Read 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, (NIV) 1 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
What do you learn about Paul’s relationship with the Thessalonians from these verses?
Answer: Paul obviously had a close and personal relationship with the believers in the Thessalonian Church. He uses his customary “brothers and sisters” greetings phrase in verse 3. He is aware that they are growing in their faith and love, (also v. 3). In verse 4 Paul says he brags more about the Thessalonians perseverance and faith even in the midst of persecutions and trials they were enduring. So Paul is very well informed about the circumstances happening in the church in Thessalonica.
2. Paul thanked God for the Thessalonians’ increasing faith and love. For whose faith and love are you thankful for?
Answer: Personally, I am thankful for the faith and love of my life partner and wife. I admire Penny’s consistent walk with Christ and her own perseverance in the face of persecutions and trials.
3. What gave Paul the right to “boast” about the Thessalonians?
Answer: The fact that the Thessalonians perseverance and faith was evident to all even while they also experienced persecutions and trials.
4. Persecutions and trials sometimes lead to increased perseverance and faith, but not always. What makes the difference?
Answer: I think the major difference between believers who remain committed and grounded in faithfulness to Christ during times of persecution, trials or hardship is their level of spiritual maturity. Those who are grounded in their faith or beliefs because they have a firm grasp upon the word of God usually survive the challenges life throws at all of us. We should be rooted and grounded in the faith. Those who are committed to meet together and intently study the truths from God’s word such as your small group will be the ones who remain when others have long since fallen away.
5. Read 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10. 5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
What is included in the “evidence that God’s judgment is just”?
Answer: God is just in that He will judge and recompense those who trouble believers. He will also provide relief from our troubles although not always in this lifetime. Paul says this will occur when Christ returns, v. 7. Then He will punish those who do not know God.
6. How and when will God demonstrate His justice?
Answer: (See the above response in question 5) Basically add verse 9. The end time punishment of unbelievers.
7. Using all five of your senses, describe the scene when Jesus is revealed from heaven.
Answer: (This is one I will not attempt to answer. Using the 5 senses to describe the Day of our Lord’s return could turn into a book. I will say verse 10 reminding us that we will be among those who marvel at the great day of His return.
8. The scenario which Paul describes is a furious and terrible one. What makes it a hopeful scenario for Christians?
Answer: While unbelievers will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out of the presence of the Lord, (vv. 8-9) we who are called His holy people and those who have believed, in verse 10, can anticipate that marvelous day in which Christ is glorified in us! And we are reminded that we, like the Thessalonians will have a part in this day. Thus, the return of Christ brings us hope.
9. Read 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12. What is “this” which Paul keeps in mind and which inspires him to prayer?
2 Thessalonians 1:11–12 (NIV) 11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Answer: The this Paul refers to in verse 11 is the glorious Day of Christ’s return as recorded in the pervious verses 7-10.
10. We can never be worthy of Jesus Christ. How do you reconcile that fact with Paul’s prayer that God would “count you worthy of His calling”?
Answer: Count you worthy or make you worthy, there is a difference. While it is true that we can never, in and of ourselves, obtain worthiness. It is Christ makes us worthy. We are accepted in the Beloved!
11. Consider the various things Paul prays for the Thessalonians. How would each help them endure persecution and wait for Christ’s coming?
Answer: Prayer How It Builds Endurance
that our God may make you worthy of his calling, We endure through the work of Christ
that by his power he may bring to fruition your We endure by His power. every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.
12 We pray this so that the name of our We endure knowing He is glorified Lord Jesus may be glorified in you
12. Notice the ultimate purpose Paul cites for his prayer for the Thessalonians, (v. 12). What does this mean?
Answer: that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him…. The ultimate purpose of our lives as Christians is that Christ may be glorified in us, and we in Him. Paul goes on to remind us this is a work of His grace.
How does it help defining your purpose in life?
Answer: To know that I do not exist or live for myself or even for others, but for the glory of the One True God and Savior of us all, Jesus Christ brings tremendous meaning and purpose for living. To embrace this understanding of my purpose for life then enables me to live with humble acceptance whatever state or condition or circumstance I may find myself in from day to day throughout all of life. It is not about me. It is about Him. “May He be glorified in me” should be our prayer each and every day.
2 Thessalonians Study
Author: John Stott
September 6, 2020
Chapters 9: Standing Firm
2 Thessalonians 2
Study Questions:
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, (NIV) 1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
When Paul wrote his first letter to the Thessalonians, they were troubled that the Lord’s coming had not happened quickly enough; now their concern was that He had already come. What words or phrases suggest the frame of mind of Thessalonians?
Answer: The phrase in verse 2, easily unsettled or alarmed reveals how some of the Thessalonian believers were feeling regarding what they believed about the return of Christ.
How did Paul counteract the false teaching that the day of the Lord had already come?
Answer: Paul begins chapter 2 of 2 Thessalonians by returning to the subject of the return of Christ which was the primary reason for the writing of both letters to the Thessalonians. Paul strongly asserts that any teaching that Christ had already returned supposed as preached or taught by Paul was false indeed. He tells them he had neither prophesied by word or letter that Christ had already returned.
What must take place before the day of the Lord?
Answer: Paul also reminded the Thessalonians in verse 3 that the return of Christ would not happen until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. This is the one we know as the Antichrist.
Although Paul does not call the person named in verse 3 the “antichrist,” this is evidently who he is. Regarding the identity of the “man of lawlessness,” here we should have humility. Church history is littered with mistaken attempts to find in Paul’s text a reference to some contemporary person or event. What do we learn about his person from verse 3?
Answer: 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will be a man of lawlessness and he is doomed to destruction.
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:4-12. What is especially repulsive about the behavior of the coming man of lawlessness?
Answer: 2 Thessalonians 2:4–12 (NIV) 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
Verse 4, the Antichrist will declare himself to be God, actually setting himself up in the holy Temple of Jerusalem after first opposing the true worship of God.
(Imogene, use your book to review this two-part question/commentary on a very interesting verse 6. I will just say I regard that “restraining power” that must first be removed before the Antichrist can be revealed to be the Holy Spirit. Of course, when the Rapture occurs, the Holy Spirit who indwells all believers will be removed from this world. Christians who have been salt and light to this dark and decaying world will be gone along with the Holy Spirit of God. Then Satan will have no resistance and he will implement his diabolical plan revealing himself to be the antichrist.
This is yet another reason why I believe in the Premillennial view of the return of Christ beginning with the Rapture. Believers, or the church must be removed before the antichrist is revealed. I think this is what Paul is implying here as well.
What will happen when the restraining influence is removed?
Answer: Look at verse 8-10 once again but I think the previous response covers most of this.
By what means will the lawless one deceive people?
Answer: Verses 9-10, He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.
Why will certain people be ripe to be deceived?
Answer: The lost of this world at the time of the antichrist will easily be deceived. Their inability to understand the truth of God’s word and the Christian doctrine, along with the deceptiveness of sin or wickedness lures them to a drunken deception. Don’t miss that God will further insure the lost will believe a lie rather than truth as He also sends them a powerful delusion, verse 11.
Application—This is not hard to imagine since we already see how people in culture today so easily embrace darkness over light; lies over truth and wickedness over Godliness. If anything, the Covid19 pandemic has shown us how very easily the masses submit to the dictates of government.
How will the Lord Jesus Christ deal with the lawless one?
Answer: Verse 8, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. Just as Jesus spoke all creation into existence so He simply speaks and antichrist along with his followers are destroyed.
I’m going to stop with chapter two at this point. There are about three more questions, but I think you already have more material than you can get through. I will try to take a look at chapter 3 over the next day or two and send you my answers to your final chapter.
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