The Epistles Analyzed: 2 Thessalonians


Paul wrote this very shortly after the first epistle. It was from Corinth as that was the only place that Silas and Timothy were with him (2Thes 1:1 and Acts 17:14-17). It was written because of persecution, confusion, and disorder. There was obviously a forged letter sent in Paul’s name telling the believers that they were going through the tribulation (Day of the Lord). Paul wrote to correct this.

• Commendation for Endurance
• Correction of Error
• Charge of Evil


Short, concise, and to the point. Yet Paul, by the Spirit of God, reveals tremendous truths in these three brief chapters.


Goes from eternity to eternity (ch 2:13 and 2:16)

From the mundane and day to day (ch 3:10-12), to the spiritual (ch 1:10)

From the cosmic (ch 1), to the universal and national (ch 2), to the local and personal (ch 3)

Deals with the future (ch 1), and forgery (ch 2), and with failure and freeloading (ch 3)


Look at the structure of the epistle and its balance

A. Grace and Peace 1:1-2
B. Thanksgiving 1:3-10
C. Prayer 1:11-12
D. Warning 2:1-12

D. Warning 3: 6-16
C. Prayer 2:16-3:4
B. Thanksgiving 2:13-15
A. Peace and Grace 3:16-18


ch 1 God Encouraging the Assembly in its Distress
ch 2 God Enlightening the Assembly as to Doctrine
ch 3 God Exhorting the Assembly as to Disorder

ch 1 Truth had been Forgotten
ch 2 Truth had been Forged
ch 3 Truth had been Forced to an Extreme

ch 1 Unveiling and Manifestation of the Savior
ch 2 Unveiling of the Man of Sin
ch 3 Unveiling and the Morals of the Saints

ch 1 The Lord’s Coming to Earth Recompensing for Trials Experienced
ch 2 The Lord’s Coming to Earth Reversing the Triumph of Evil
ch 3 The Lord’s Coming to Earth Regulating Behavior of the Saints


“Glory” mentioned in each chapter

ch 1:9, 10, 12 Future and the Work of God is Us
ch 2:14 Past and Linked with the Will of God for Us
ch 3:1 Present and Linked with the Word of God from Us

ch 1 God is Righteous
ch 2 God is Sovereign
ch 3 God is Faithful

Beauty and Benefit

Look at the 10 mentions of the “Lord Jesus Christ” through the epistle. Notice the five mentions in ch 1

The unfolding of Prophetic Truth and the view it gives us

The Greatness of God revealed in the epistle

The Value of Prayer

The Recompense for Suffering and Persecution

Breakdown of the Epistle

ch 1 Places the People of God are Found

vv 1-2 Under the Shadow of the Almighty – In the Hand of the Sovereign

vv 3-5 Amidst the Storm of Adversity – In the Heat of Suffering

vv 6-10 In the Showcase of Admiration – In Honor with the Savior

vv 11-12 In the Shepherd’s Affections – In the Heart of the Shepherd

ch 2 The Program for the Future

vv 1-2 The Great Concern of the Saints – The Sufficiency of the Scriptures

vv 3-8 The Great Climax of Sin – The Sovereignty of God

vv 9-12 The Great Counterfeit of Satan – Subtlety of Satan

vv 13-17 The Great Contrast of the Saved – The Salvation Possessed

ch 3 Problems Assemblies Face

vv 1-5 Defiance – Unreasonable and Wicked Men

vv 6-12 Disorder – Undisciplined Saints

v 13 Discouragement – Unappreciated Efforts

vv 14-15 Disobedience – Unrepentant Brother

vv 16-18 Distress – Unsettled Atmosphere