Those who travel for a living know the burden of long-distance parenting. Thanks to modern technology, we can still read to our kids or talk to them at bedtime. But it’s hard to be away from our children when they need us.
That’s how Paul felt about the church of the Thessalonians. In Acts 17, he had arrived in this city with the Gospel, but persecution had driven him away before he had adequately instructed his converts.
In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Paul was providing long-distance parenting to his children in the faith.
Both these letters focus on the return of Christ and on the way we ought to live while anticipating that day.
In 1 Thessalonians Paul answered some questions about the Second Coming. But afterward some unknown person, apparently pretending to be Paul, had written that the return of Christ had already occurred.
The Thessalonians were understandably confused, so Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to clear up the issue.
- The 1st chapter of this letter expresses Paul’s thanksgiving and prayer for the church.
- The 2nd chapter deals with the events leading up to the Day of the Lord.
- The last chapter commands us to be busy and productive as we await His coming.
Paul’s teaching on the End Times should motivate us to be hopeful toward the future and diligent in the present.
The purpose of the teaching about the coming of Christ is not for our speculation but for our sanctification as we grow up in Christ.
The return of Christ is a future event that will be swift, certain, and glorious.
“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work”
(2 Thess 2:16-17).
The Second Coming shouldn’t provoke idleness among believers, but action; not speculation, but sanctification.