Why is 2 Thessalonians in the Bible?

This is the first lesson in a series of lessons on the book of 2 Thessalonians. In this lesson I am going to talk about why 2 Thessalonians was written and why it is in the Bible.

Watch the video or scroll down to read a transcript.


Thanks for visiting Bible Mountain. This is the first lesson in a series of lessons on the book of 2 Thessalonians. In this lesson I am going to talk about why 2 Thessalonians was written and why it is in the Bible.

Let’s start by skimming through and summarizing the book of 2 Thessalonians. 

The first verse is typical of Paul’s letters. He identified the sender and recipient of the letter. 2 Thessalonians was from Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy. It was addressed to the church in Thessalonica. 

In chapter one verse three Paul wrote about being thankful for the Thessalonians because of the love they had for each other. In verse 4 he mentioned the persecutions and afflictions which they were enduring.

The rest of chapter one is about retribution. Paul wrote about Jesus dealing out retribution to those who were afflicting the Thessalonians and to those who do not know God nor obey Him.

In chapter two Paul wrote about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He told the Thessalonians that the apostasy has to come and the man of lawlessness has to be revealed before the day of the Lord comes. 

Towards the end of chapter two, starting in verse 13, Paul mentioned again his need to be thankful for the Thessalonians.

The first word of chapter three is finally. This indicates Paul was wrapping up his letter. He had a couple prayer requests for the Thessalonians. He wanted the Thessalonians to pray that the word of the Lord would spread and that Paul and his companions would be rescued from perverse and evil men. 

Paul gave a command to the Thessalonians. He told them if a man does not work, he should not eat. Paul reminded them that he had been an example to them when he was with them. When Paul had been with the Thessalonians, he had worked and earned his own bread so that he wasn’t a burden to anyone. 

In chapter three verses 16 and 17 Paul wrapped up his letter. He concluded by writing the greeting in his own hand. 

I believe chapter two contains the main teaching Paul wanted to communicate. It also tells us what prompted Paul to write this letter. Let’s read the first four verses of chapter two. 

2Th. 2:1   Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 

What we see in these verses is that, apparently, the Thessalonians had received a message, supposedly from Paul, saying that the day of the Lord had already come. This message understandably shook them. Paul wrote this letter to assure them that the day of the Lord had not come yet. Paul also gave them some markers to look for. He said the apostasy had to come first and the man of lawlessness had to be revealed before the day of the Lord would come. I believe the fact that the Thessalonians were disturbed was the impetus that prompted Paul to write this letter and give them this information about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now that we have talked about why 2 Thessalonians was written, let’s talk about why it is in the Bible.

Let’s think about the Bible as a whole. There are many different types of literature in the Bible. The Bible contains a lot of history. History is valuable to us because we can learn from it. We can read about mistakes that people made in the past and learn from them so that we don’t make the same mistakes. We can read about the good things people did in the past and emulate and imitate good actions.

Many books of the Bible contain commands that we need to obey. While it is natural to think that commands are restrictive, and they are, obeying God’s commands is how we love God. If there were no commands in the Bible, we would not be able to love God.

The Bible contains a lot of poetry, proverbs, and wisdom literature. 

In addition, throughout the Bible, within the prose and poetry, there are passages that tell us about the future. These passages tell us how life here on earth will come to an end. These passages are valuable for two reasons. 

First, they serve as a warning to us. The Bible tells us there is going to be judgment in the future. People who do not believe in Jesus will spend eternity in hell. Even believers will give an account of everything they have done in the body, whether good or bad. Knowing about these judgments gives us the opportunity to live our lives in such a way as to minimize any negative repercussions.

Second, these passages about future events give us hope. We live in a very uncertain world. It is a dangerous and evil world. It’s very easy to get discouraged by all the sin and rebellion we see around us. The passages in the Bible about future events remind us that God is in control. They tell us that, at some point in the future, God is going to bring all this sin and suffering to an end. That is encouraging to us and gives us hope because it teaches us there are better days ahead. 

There are multiple passages throughout the Bible that tell us about future events, that serve to warn us and give us hope. 2 Thessalonians is one of the books that contains information about the future. There’s not a lot of information in 2 Thessalonians about the future, and if we did not have 2 Thessalonians, we would not suffer a great loss of information. However, the information is there. There are also some commands in this book we need to be aware of. For these reasons, we should read, study, and know the book of 2 Thessalonians so that we know everything the Bible has to tell us about the future, and how we should live our lives as Christians. 

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“All Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org)