2 Thessalonians 2:1-2

In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 Paul addresses some questions that resulted from his first letter to the church in Thessalonica. The challenge in understanding this chapter comes from the fact that it is a supplement to what Paul has already taught the Thessalonians verbally along with his first letter, and we don’t know exactly what Paul said to the them. Yet the ideas are clear enough if carefully pieced together. “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.”

Guzik explains “Paul clearly wrote of the return of Jesus, but the wording here implies a difference between the coming and our gathering. This strongly suggests that there are essentially two comings of Jesus. One coming is for His church (as described clearly in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), and the other coming is with His church, to judge a rebellious world.” Morris simply said “They are two parts of one great event.” Jesus is coming again – that is certain. And Paul differentiates how that will happen here and in his other teaching which aligns with scripture in other places.

Paul asks them to not be shaken or troubled about the coming of Jesus. Paul used strong wording, speaking of both a sudden jolt (shaken in mind) and a continuing state of upset (troubled). Their fears centered on the idea that the day of Christ had [already] come. Some were afraid they had missed Jesus’ coming somehow. Clarke explained “The word to be shaken, signifies to be agitated as a ship at sea in a storm, and strongly marks the confusion and distress which the Thessalonians had felt in their false apprehension of this coming of Christ.” Paul assures them that they are fine and hadn’t missed His coming.

The Thessalonians were not afraid that the day of Christ was coming, but that they were in it. Perhaps the troubling word had come through a misguided prophecy (spirit or by word). Or perhaps some other leader wrote the Thessalonians a letter teaching that they were already in the day of Christ. Either way, they were upset at the idea that they had somehow missed the rapture. Alford wrote “The teaching of the Apostles was, and of the Holy Spirit in all ages has been, that the day of the Lord is at hand. But these Thessalonians imagined it to be already come.” He has not come, but He is coming soon. Are you ready to meet Jesus the King?

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