Outline of 2 Thessalonians

It is our sincere desire that this outline of 2 Thessalonians will assist you in your investigation of God’s holy Word — His personal letter to you.

The book of 2 Thessalonians was written shortly after the book of 1 Thessalonians, probably within a few months. The same three, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy sent the letter. The letter is more focused on problems in the church and may reflect the receipt of later news from the Thessalonians. Apparently, the persecution mentioned in 1 Thessalonians continued with even greater force, threatening the church. Further, someone may have circulated a spurious letter, allegedly from Paul, stating that the believers were in the Great Tribulation (the day of Christ). Others, because of the imminency of Christ’s return, apparently had stopped working.

Paul addresses these great concerns in this short book of 47 verses. Again, the main subject of the book is Jesus Christ, who is mentioned 30 times in 47 verses. God is mentioned 19 times. The book focuses on the second advent of Christ, with 16 verses addressing the subject. The book also sets forth the highest Scriptural view of Scripture (3:1), as well as great models for prayer (1:11-12; 2:16-17; 3:3-5) and work (1:11; 2:17; 3:8-12).

The book sets forth the Southern leanings of Paul with 3:16 (y’all).

Date: 50 A.D.

This book divides into two main thoughts: encouragement in relation to Christ’s return (1-2) and exhortation on living (3).

I. Introduction 1:1-2

II. Encouragement in Relation to Christ’s Return 1-2

  1. Paul’s Thankfulness 1:1-10
    1. For their faith and love 1:3-4
    2. In the midst of suffering 1:4-5
    3. God will repay 1:6-8
    4. When He comes 1:9-10
  2. Paul’s Prayer 1:11-12
    1. That God would count you worthy 1:11
    2. That the name of Jesus Christ may be glorified
  3. Paul’s Exhortation 2:1-12
    1. The problem 2:1-2
    2. First, there must be a falling away and the man of sin 2:3-5
    3. Before this, the restrainer must be removed 2:6-8
    4. Then the lawless one 2:9-10
    5. And God’s delusion 2:11-12 (Is. 29:10)
  4. Paul’s Affirmation of Truth 2:13-17
    1. With respect to salvation 2:13-14
    2. With respect to holy living 2:15
    3. With respect to God’s presence 2:16-17

III. Exhortation on Living 3:1-15

  1. Pray 3:1-2
    1. That the word of the LORD may run and be glorified
    2. That we may be delivered
  2. Confidence in God 3:3-5
    1. The LORD is faithful 3:3
    2. You will do what is commanded 3:4
    3. Love of God and patience of Christ 3:5
  3. Against Idleness 3:6-15
    1. Withdraw from disorderly persons 3:6
    2. We were examples 3:7-9
    3. If you don’t work, you don’t eat 3:10
    4. We hear of non-workers 3:11
    5. Work and eat your own bread 3:12
    6. Don’t grow weary in doing good 3:13 (see Gal. 6:9; Heb. 10:36)
    7. Don’t keep company but admonish him 3:14-15

IV. Closing 3:16-18

  1. Benediction 3:16
  2. Salutation 3:17
  3. Blessing 3:18

Key Idea: Don’t Be Troubled

Key Passage: 3:16

Key Lesson: Work

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