Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians

Discovery for Students

Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians


2 Thessalonians 1:1 through 3:18

“Therefore brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15)


Thessalonica, the largest city of Macedonia, was an important trade city. Located on the main roadway between Rome and the Orient, it was a thriving seaport. During Paul’s second missionary journey, around A.D. 50, after preaching for a short time in the synagogue in Thessalonica (Acts 17), he started the church there. Within two years or less, Paul felt the need to write a letter to the new church to encourage the believers there and counsel them in several areas, including the Second Coming of the Lord. That letter is the Book of 1 Thessalonians.

A short time after writing that letter, Paul received word that some in the church had misinterpreted his teaching about Christ’s second coming. Thinking the event was imminent, these people had quit working and had simply settled back to wait (2 Thessalonians 3:11). Continued persecution of the church caused some people to feel that they must be living immediately prior to the “Day of the Lord.” To correct these misunderstandings, Paul wrote another letter — the Book of 2 Thessalonians. In this epistle, he explained the events that would precede Christ’s return, what the believers were to avoid, and how they were to conduct themselves until the Lord’s return.

Paul’s loving concern for the infant church is evident in his epistles. He used the endearing term “brethren” twenty-eight times in his two letters to the Thessalonians. He expressed his love in the way he greeted them, in his warm praise and thanksgiving for the progress and growth he had observed, his careful admonition on the points that had brought confusion, and his closing benediction.


  1. In the opening of his second letter to the believers in the Thessalonian church, what attributes did Paul commend? 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4
  2. In 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10, Paul referred to persecutions and tribulations that the Thessalonians were experiencing. How did Paul encourage them regarding their sufferings, and how can we apply his message when we face persecution in our day?
  3. Following his words of encouragement in chapter 1, Paul gave some warnings in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3. Identify these warnings and cite the reason Paul gave for people being deceived. What are some things we can do to ensure that we are not led away from the truth of the Gospel?
  4. The phrase, “Day of the Lord,” refers to the Second Coming of Jesus. The Second Coming encompasses two separate events: the Rapture of the Church, when Jesus comes to catch away His waiting Bride, and the Revelation of Christ, when He returns with His saints to execute judgment upon the ungodly and to set up His millennial kingdom on earth. In attempting to clarify for the Thessalonians the events of the end time, Paul laid out three occurrences that must take place before “the day of Christ” (the Revelation of Christ). What are these occurrences? 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8
  5. How did Paul describe the way the Antichrist will come in and the manner in which the Lord will defeat him? 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10
  6. What two requests did Paul make of the believers at Thessalonica in chapter 3:1-2 regarding the spread of the Gospel? What does this teach us about how we should pray?
  7. In 2 Thessalonians 3:5, Paul expressed his desire that God would direct the Thessalonians into two things. What were these things, and why were and are they so important?
  8. What problem in the church did Paul address in verses 6-12 of Chapter 3?
  9. What key points did you derive from reading the Book of 2 Thessalonians? Why were they particularly meaningful?


Some day, Christ will come back to earth for those who trust in Him. If we are ready, we need not be concerned about when He will return. We should stand for the truth, keep working for Christ, and patiently wait and watch for Him.