“The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression.
It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen. . ..
“It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but [...]
Can we modern-day computer-saturated Christians even imagine what communication was like in Paul’s day? Today we consider it a disaster if we’re without electricity for an hour or two. Once current is available, we can flash a message to a relative or friend thousands of miles away and in seconds the message is being read, and an answer arrives on our screen. Or think about the robot, Curiosity, that traveled 350 million miles into space on a trip [...]
Read 2 Thessalonians 1:10-12. What does it mean that Jesus Christ will be glorified in His saints?
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The full sentence in this week’s text (2 Thess. 1:3-10) provides a number of important details about the second coming of Jesus. When Jesus returns, He will afflict the afflicters and provide rest for the afflicted (see 2 Thess. 1:6, 7, ESV). He will come down from heaven in the company of powerful angels (2 Thess. 1:7). He will come with flaming fire and execute justice on [...]
Read 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.
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What is the primary reason for the destruction of the wicked at the time of Jesus’ second coming? How are we to understand these verses with the idea of God as full of love, grace, and forgiveness?
Many people are uncomfortable with the language of these verses. They feel that “pay back” (NIV), vengeance, punishment, and the infliction of suffering are unworthy of a God of love, grace, and mercy. But just punishment and retribution [...]
Key Thought: God is aware of the injustices inflicted on His followers and will vindicate their faithfulness and punish their enemies when Christ returns.
[Teaching plan for Promise to the Persecuted September 10, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. How does our understanding of God’s grace bring us peace, even amid trials and persecution? Share.
C. Personal Application: Share an experience [...]
Second Thessalonians 1:5-10 in the Greek has an Old Testament feel (the Bible of most New Testament Christians was the Septuagint, a pre-Christian Greek translation of the Old Testament).
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Second Thessalonians exhibits many more references to the Old Testament than does 1 Thessalonians.
Read 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 6. What is Paul saying? What promises are found in there?
The word evidence (NIV) or token (KJV) means “proof” or “plain indication” of something. What does the persecution of Christians (vs. 4) prove? It is certainly not evidence of God’s [...]
Paul had a tendency toward extra-long sentences.
Image © Erik Stenbakken from GoodSalt.com
Second Thessalonians 1:3-10 is a single sentence focusing primarily on events surrounding the second coming of Jesus. The central core of the sentence, however, is not focused on the Second Coming (2 Thess 1:3, author’s translation): “We are obligated at all times to give thanks to God concerning you.” Paul’s comments regarding the return of Jesus (2 Thess. 1:6-10) are part of the reason he thanks God concerning them, the Thessalonians themselves.
Read 2 Thessalonians [...]
“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our
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Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:1, 2). What hope and promise is found even in such a simple greeting as this? How much theology is in there, how much hope, how much promise? How can we learn to make these hopes and promises our own?
Paul, as he [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Thess. 1:1-12, John 1:18, Rom. 2:5, 12:19, Rev. 16:4-7, 20:1-6, John 14:1-3.
Memory Text: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11, ESV).
Key Thought: The second coming of Jesus is the culmination of all Christian hope.
Because written correspondence could be slow, a church that wanted to talk to Paul had to track him down and get a [...]