Outline of 2 Thessalonians
1. Introduction (2 Thessalonians 1:1-12)
A Christian missionary who once persecuted the church More, Silvanus, and The companion on Paul’s later journeys for whom two pastoral epistles are named More greet the Thessalonian church, thank God for the Thessalonians’ faith and love, and assure believers that their faithful endurance of persecution will result in Christ being glorified and the punishment of those who afflict them.
2. On the Coming of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)
Refuting suggestions that the The Day of the Lord, in prophetic writing, is the day of judgment when God will intervene directly in world affairs. As described in Zephaniah, for instance, God will sweep everything away. In Matthew’s gospel God is described as gathering the elect on the day… More has already come or begun to be manifested, the letter asserts that Christ will return after a period of rebellion and lawlessness that will include the revealing of “the lawless one,” a figure referred to in some ancient copies of 2 Thessalonians as “the man of sin.”
3. Prayers and Appeals (2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5)
As they pray for the Thessalonians and ask for their prayers, the letter’s authors encourage their readers to stand firm in the teachings and traditions that they have previously received from Paul and his associates.
4. Strict Warnings against Idleness and Disobedience (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15)
The letter strongly criticizes believers who have stopped working or neglected responsible behavior and instructs other Christians to avoid them and their disruptive patterns of idleness.
5. Concluding Words and Benediction (2 Thessalonians 3:16-18)
The conclusion pronounces a Blessing is the asking for or the giving of God’s favor. Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his firstborn Esau. At the Last Supper Jesus offered a blessing over bread and wine. To be blessed is to be favored by God. More of the Lord’s peace and Grace is the unmerited gift of God’s love and acceptance. In Martin Luther’s favorite expression from the Apostle Paul, we are saved by grace through faith, which means that God showers grace upon us even though we do not deserve it. More, then offers a final greeting that claims to come directly from Paul’s own hand.