• What things happening in our world make things “cloudy”, gloomy, or discouraging?
  • What things in your life make things “cloudy”, gloomy, or discouraging? (Answer silently.)
  • How does clear thinking help in both situations?

The Thessalonian Church founded by Paul and his coworkers (Acts 17:1-10) had been suffering under persecution and some false teachers were saying that they were already in the tribulation period. Paul wrote this letter to clear up their cloudy thinking. In Chapter 1 Paul wants the Thessalonians and us to think clearly about the conditions that we are in.

ENCOURAGEMENT – 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5

  • 1 – We are in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are secure. John 10:27-30
  • 2 – They are also the source of our grace (Ephesians 2:8-9, 2 Peter 3:18) and our peace (Romans 5:1, John 14:27, Isaiah 26:3-4).
  • 3 – Paul was thankful for them because their faith and love for each other was growing. Why is it important that our faith and love grow? Hebrews 11:6, Philippians 1:9
  • 4 – As an “outsider looking in” Paul saw the progress the Thessalonians were making during their persecutions and trials. They were persevering and remaining faithful. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, 2 Timothy 3:10-12
  • 5 – Only faith in Christ makes us worthy of Heaven. Our proper reaction during persecutions proves we are worthy. James 1:2-5

EXPECTATION – 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10

  • 6 – There will be retribution for the wicked.
  • 7 – There will be rest for the righteous when Christ returns.
  • 7 – Being referred to here is the return of Christ to the earth (Matthew 25:31, Zechariah 14:1-9), not the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
  • 8-9 – This is not a pretty picture, but it does show that the unsaved are in danger of eternal punishment (Revelation 20:11-15). This should also be motivation for us to reach out to the unsaved. Luke 10:2, 1 Peter 3:15, 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
  • 10 – When Jesus returns to earth to establish His Kingdom, we will return with Him and share in His glory. Revelation 20:6

EXALTATION – 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

  • 11 (ESV) – 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,
  • We prove ourselves worthy when we do the things that please the Lord.
  • 12 – The goal is that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ be glorified (exalted) in us and us in Him.