1 & 2 Thessalonians
As I explained in my December 7, 2019 post, I am reading the entire Bible out loud over a one year period and proclaiming it over the land. I'm also writing down summaries of the chapters and books as I read. Here are the summaries for 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
1 Thessalonians Summaries
Paul wrote this letter to the church of the Thessalonians in 50 A.D. from Corinth. He thanks God for them and says he prays for them remembering their faith, labor of love, and hope in the Lord. He says the gospel came to them not just in word, but in power, the Holy Spirit, and full conviction, and that they became an example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia. Others reporting how they turned from idols to serve God and wait for His Son.
Paul says even though they came to them after being mistreated in Philippi, they spoke the Word boldly amid much opposition. They speak, not to please men, but God who examines their heart. They didn't speak to them in flattery, greed, or seeking glory, but cared for them gently and worked hard so they wouldn't be a burden to them. So they would walk worthy of God who called them into His kingdom and glory.
Paul thanks God they received the Word for what it really is--the Word of God. They, as the churches in Judea, suffered from hostile men. Paul and those with him were taken away from them for a little while and were eager to see them but Satan hindered them. Finally, when they could wait no longer, they sent Timothy to check on them. He returned and said they are well and they rejoice in that.
Paul prays God and Jesus would lead them there and that their love for all people abounds so they are established in holiness. He tells them to abstain from sexual immorality and to possess their vessel in sanctification and honor. The Lord is the avenger in this. They've been taught by God to love, and they practice that towards all the brethren in Macedonia, but he urges them to excel even more. To lead a quiet life, attend to their own business, work with their hands, so they behave properly towards outsiders.
Paul wants them to understand that those who have fallen asleep--died--in Jesus will return with the Lord when He comes. The dead in Christ will rise first, then those who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While they are saying peace and safety, destruction will come suddenly and they won't escape. But you are not in darkness so it won't overtake you like a thief. God has not destined us to wrath, but salvation.
He exhorts them to appreciate and honor those who labor among them and have charge over them in the Lord and instruct them. He says to admonish, encourage, help, be patient, and seek good for each other. Rejoice. Pray and give thanks always. Don't quench the Spirit or despise the prophetic, but examine everything carefully. He ends saying, May God preserve you blameless until His coming.
- Endure opposition and sacrifice as a father would for the sake of his children--so they may not be burdened but walk worthy of God.
- So they learn to love and are established in holiness, possessing their vessel in sanctification and honor.
- Walking in the day, so when the Lord returns, they are not caught off guard, but rise to meet Him in the air--destined for salvation.
- Exhort, love, pray, rejoice.
- Examine everything carefully.
- May God preserve you blameless until He comes.
2 Thessalonians Summaries
Paul writes this letter to the church of the Thessalonians in 51 A.D. from Corinth. He thanks God for their faith and love and is proud of their perseverance and faith in the midst of their persecutions and afflictions, making them worthy of the kingdom. When the Lord is revealed from heaven those who afflict them will pay the penalty of eternal destruction. He will give relief to, and be glorified in, His saints. He prays that God counts them worthy of their calling.
He says not to listen to those who say the Day of the Lord has already come. It will not come until the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed--sitting in the temple, making himself as God. The mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but is restrained. When its time, he who restrains will be taken out of the way and the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord will slay him with the breath of His mouth and by the appearance of His coming.
This one will have shown power, signs, and false wonders with the activity of Satan, the deception of wickedness for those who perish--who were not saved by receiving the love of the truth. God will send a deluding influence so they believe what is false and will be judged. They didn't believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness. So stand firm in the traditions you were taught--whether by their mouth or letter.
Paul asks for prayer for their work and says God will strengthen and protect them from evil men. He says to keep away from those who are undisciplined and won't work but are busybodies. Even Paul was an example to them and worked for his own provision. If they don't work, they shouldn't eat. If they don't, disassociate with them, yet not as an enemy, but admonish them as a brother.
- There is no pleasure in wickedness. It is a deception.
- Don't choose false pleasure over truth.
- Love the truth.
- Truth leads to life and salvation.
- Believe the truth and you'll be saved from the strong, deluding influence which deceives and brings judgment.
- Stand firm in the Word of God.