THIS LETTER corrected the idea that Christ was going to return immediately. He would come, but first there would be a ‘rebellion’ (or apostasy) from the true teachings of Christ and his apostles (2:3). This apostasy, referred to as the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ and the ‘son of destruction’ (2:3–12), would continue down the ages until Christ comes to end it (verse 8).
Since the time of Christ and his apostles, error has crept into the Christian religion. The following are some widely held beliefs which the Bible does not support:
- God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit form a Trinity.
- Man has an immortal soul.
- Evil and temptation are the work of a supernatural devil.
- The kingdom of God is in heaven.
- The wicked will be punished in eternal hell-fire.
- God has no further purpose with Israel.
- Interpretation of Christian faith must be left to priests.
- Holy Spirit gifts help believers to understand the Bible.
- Infant sprinkling will suffice for baptism.
- Believers can fight for their country.
These topics are covered periodically in this magazine—you can search for past articles on our web site, or write in with questions.
Only the second coming of Christ can end this situation! In the meantime, the Thessalonians were encouraged to hold fast. This letter emphasises not only Christ’s coming, but also the judgement: he comes ‘to be glorified in his saints’, and also to take ’vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus’ (1:8–10).
Believers can expect to suffer, but they must maintain the true Faith (beliefs) and Hope (in the coming kingdom) and show true Love, as followers of Jesus Christ (1:3; 3:5). Paul is confident that the Thessalonians will ‘not grow weary in doing good’; this will bring them peace (3:13, 16).
By kind permission of ‘The Christadelphian’
Some interesting links with other parts of the Bible:
- 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10—see Romans 2:8–9.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 13—see 1 Timothy 2:4; John 17:17.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:6—see Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10.