The apostle Paul is the author of this second epistle. Some think it was written in response to the encouraging report which came as a result of his first letter. The Thessalonian believers were troubled with a word which had been given to them, that because of the troubles they were having it was evident that the day of Christ was at hand. This epistle was written to prove that this was not so.
We may divide the book into three parts as follows:
1. Chapter 1. Comfort in persecution.
2. Chapter 2:1-12. The day of the Lord and the man of sin.
3. Chapter 2:13 to Ch.3. Exhortation and instruction.
COMFORT IN PERSECUTION.
After a few words of kindly salutation in which Paul commended the Thessalonians because of their increase of faith and love and patience, Ch.1:3-4, Paul showed how God was not unmindful of the persecutions which they endured for Him. A recompense will surely be meted out to the enemies of the Lordís people someday. The saints suffer now, but in the day when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven the judgment of the people of this earth will be a very real thing, vs.6-9.
THE DAY OF THE LORD AND THE MAN OF SIN.
A few words of simple explanation were given by Paul to allay the fears of the believers in Thessalonica. At the present time the mystery of iniquity is at work but the full manifestation of this is held back. It will be preceded by a falling away of the church, and then the man of sin who is the antichrist will eventually declare himself by sitting in the temple of God and demanding worship as God, Ch.2:3-4.
This will come about by the removal of the restraining hand of God. Antichrist will then work his wonders in the earth but with a short-lived triumph. The Lord shall come forth out of heaven and slay the man of sin, vs.7-9. No one need be deceived except those who refuse to love the truth. They will receive strong delusions and believe the worst lie that shall ever be thrust upon this world, that antichrist is THE CHRIST, vs.10-12.
EXHORTATIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS.
The apostle exhorted them to hold fast the traditions which he had taught them, Ch.2:15. It pays to absorb the teaching of the Word, so that we may be kept from the snare of false teaching which will be so prevalent in the last days.
Paul felt the need of prayer fellowship in his own ministry. He realized that the great need was that the Word of the Lord should penetrate hearts and bring forth fruit unto God. Some would not believe and opposed this way, but the apostle felt that with a good prayer backing he could accomplish great things in the will of God, Ch.3:1-2.
Paul was much against false discipleship. If any would not work they should not be fed, vs.10-12. He by no means favored those who love to gad about and live upon the good nature of other people who are foolish enough to encourage such laziness and deception. We should all thank God for such teaching and do all we can to keep the church above reproach, for the sake of the testimony of Christ in this needy world.