2 Thessalonians 1-12, Salutation and prayer
VV 1-2, 1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
This was Paul, the author, his co-workers Silas (Silvanus), and Timothy’s salutation to the predominantly Gentile Christians at Thessalonica. Thessalonica is presently known as Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece. Paul acknowledged God, their Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. God is their Father and our Father. Greek for Lord is “kurious”, which means master. Greek for Jesus is “Joshua”, which means God saves. Greek for Christ is “Christo”, which means Anointed One. Hebrews for Christ is Messiah. Paul pronounced a blessing of grace and peace to his audience. Grace precedes peace. Justification by grace through faith in Christ precedes reconciliation and peace with God.
VV 3-5, 3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer;
Paul thanked God for his audience for their rapidly growing faith and love for one another. Paul commended them for their patience, faith, endurance, and perseverance in the face of persecutions and tribulations by the hostile Jews. Paul prayed for God in His righteous judgment to vindicate them and count them worthy of the kingdom.
VV 6-8, 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ will make retribution for all injustice in His second coming. Those who persecuted others will be punished. Those who were persecuted by others will be given rest. Greek for reveal is “apokalupto”, which means uncover. Jesus will be revealed from heaven in power and glory, accompanied by mighty angels and flaming fire to punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel.
VV 9-10, 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
“That Day” is the day of the Lord’s second coming. On this day, unbelievers will be punished by destruction and eternal separation from the glory of the Lord. His Saints, Christians, will glorify and admire the glory of the Lord. Greek for saint is “hagios”, which separated, sanctified, or holy.
VV 11-12, 11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul prayed for God’s blessing and favor to his audience. He prayed for them to be counted worthy of God’s calling and to fulfill God’s will by faith. He prayed for the name of the Lord to be glorified in them according to God’s grace.
Paul’s instructions to the Thessalonians Christians also apply to us. We are to have patience, faith, endurance, and perseverance in the face of persecutions and tribulations. We are not to take vengeance into our own hands. We are to believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross as we anticipate the second coming of the Lord. The Lord’s second coming is a certainty just as His first coming was a certainty. The rapture is imminent and can happen at any time. We are to believe in Christ and surrender our lives to Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us through Holy Scripture. Thank You for Your Word of encouragement. We pray for strength and perseverance to undergo trials and tribulations in the face of this dreadful Coronavirus pandemic, in Jesus’ name, Amen.