2 Thessalonians 2

2Th 2:1         What three terms does Paul use as referring to the same event in this verse and the next?  Note: recall that the “coming” of the Lord is from the Greek “parousia” which refers to His coming to be present; see Mat 24:3, 1 Thess 3:13, 4:15, 5:23.  What event does our “gathering together” to Him refer?  See Mat 24:31, 1 Thess 4:17.

2Th 2:2          What had shaken the Thessalonians from their composure?  How had such happened?  See 2Th 3:17.  Notice that Jesus had warned His disciples similarly: see Mat 24:6, Luke 21:26.  What would lead someone to surmise that the day of the Lord had already arrived?  See 1 Thess 3:3.

2Th 2:3          When the Bible says, “Let no one in any way deceive you”, is it possible we could be deceived?  See 1 Cor 6:9, Gal 6:7, Eph 5:6, Jam 1:16, 1 Jn 3:7.  What is always the nature and end result of such deception?  See Gen 3:4,13, 2 Cor 11:3.  What must first occur before the day of the Lord?  See 1 Tim 4:1-3, 2 Tim 3:1-5, 4:3-4.  What is the connection between the man of lawlessness being revealed and an apostasy or falling away from the faith?  See Rom 6:15, Jude 1:4.  Which comes first?  See 2Th 2:6-7.

2Th 2:4          Where is the temple of God today?  See 1 Cor 3:16, 6:19.  To deceive the people, by what name do you suppose such a man of lawlessness will be called?  See Mat 24:5,11-12,24, 2 Cor 11:4.  Is there a parallel between the spiritual rebellion and falling away described here and that which happened when Moses ascended mount Sinai and the children of Israel made for themselves a golden calf?  See Ex 32:1,4-5,8.  People bow down in churches all over the world to worship Christ; how does one know he is not actually worshiping the man of lawlessness?  See Luke 6:44.

2Th 2:5          Considering that Paul was only with the Thessalonians a short time before being driven out by the Jews, what does this verse teach us about the amount and depth of teaching Paul must have done with his new converts?  See 3:10, 1 Thess 2:11, 3:4.  How is this different from so many today?

2Th 2:6-7     In these two verses the restrainer is described as both an impersonal thing (neuter gender in verse 6) and a person (masculine gender in verse 7).  What/who is it that restrains lawlessness?  See 2Th 2:3, Mat 5:13-14, Rev 9:13-15, 16:12-16, 11:7, Jer 5:21-23.  Note: “until he is taken out of the way” is literally, “until he may be/become out of the midst”.  What is the mystery of godliness?  See 1 Tim 3:16, Col 1:27.  What is the mystery of lawlessness?  See Mat 23:28, 24:12, 7:23, 13:41.  Note: For everything that God has which is true, Satan has a counterfeit which is like the real thing in outward appearance, but false in true substance.  Satan himself is a counterfeit god (2 Cor 4:4); he wants to be like the Most High and appears as an angel of light.  He has a counterfeit Christ, the antichrist (1 Jn 2:18, Rev 13:1-9), with a  counterfeit coming (2Th 2:9); a counterfeit spirit (Rev 13:11-15), a counterfeit gospel with counterfeit promises (see 2 Cor 11:4); and a counterfeit church with counterfeit apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (2 Cor 11:13-15).  As the mystery of godliness is Christ in you, the hope of glory, the mystery of lawlessness is a false Christ in you, a false hope of glory.

2Th 2:8          Notice that Paul has 3 times mentioned the revelation of the man of lawlessness (2Th 2:3, 6 and here).  What slays the man of lawlessness?  See Is 11:4, Hos 6:5, Rev 2:16, 19:21.  What brings to an end (nullifies, renders ineffective, brings to nothing) the man of lawlessness’ reign?

2Th 2:9          What marks the coming (parousia) of the man of lawlessness?  See Mat 24:24.  What is a “false wonder”?

2Th 2:10        What is the deception of wickedness?  See Gen 3:4-6, 2 Cor 11:15, 2 Pet 2:18-19.  Why will people succumb to the deception and perish in it?  See 2Th 2:12, Prov 2:1-6, Jn 3:19-21.

2Th 2:11-12 Who gives men over to believe a lie?  See Rom 1:24-26,28, 1 Kings 22:19-23, Jer 8:14, 9:12-15, 23:14-15, Num 5:16-28, James 4:4, Ex 32:20,35.  How does He give men over to believe a lie?  See again 2 Pet 2:18-19 and Prov 5:1-4, 27:7.  See also Rev 8:10-11.  Why does 2Th 2:12 say that He gives men over to believe a lie?  See Rom 1:32, 2:7-8, 2 Tim 3:1-5.  What is the great warning this gives us?

2Th 2:13        Notice Paul’s great thankfulness for the Thessalonians; see 1:3, 1 Thess 1:2, 2:13, 3:9.  For what was Paul thankful in regard to the Thessalonians?  See 1 Thess 1:2-4 and recall Mat 22:14.  How is one chosen for salvation?  See also 1 Pet 1:1-2, Eph 1:4, Col 3:12, 2 Jn 1:1,13, Rev 17:14.  In light of 2Th 2:10 and 12, what is the significance of “faith/belief in the truth”?  [Note: “chosen you from the beginning” may perhaps also be “chosen you as first fruits” (see text note), the difference arising from a single Greek letter.  See Rom 8:23, 11:16, 16:5, 1 Cor 15:20,23, 16:15 which illustrate “first fruits” as more characteristic of Paul, but see also Eph 1:4, 2 Tim 1:9 for similar idea of being chosen from the beginning.]

2Th 2:14        For what ultimate purpose is one called through the gospel?  See also 1:11-12, 1 Thess 2:12.  How is such purpose attained?  See 2Th 2:13, 2 Cor 3:18.  In 1 Thess 5:9 Paul spoke of obtaining salvation through Jesus and here uses the same word for obtaining the glory of Jesus.  Is there a connection?

2Th 2:15        In light of that to which God has called the Thessalonians through the gospel and the deception that had already been hoisted upon them regarding the coming of the Lord, what practical conclusion does Paul expect them to apply?  Are all traditions one is taught good and to be held fast?  See Mark 7:1-13, Gal 1:14, Col 2:8.  Are traditions, even oral traditions, necessarily bad?  See 2Th 3:6, 1 Cor 11:2.  What responsibility does the Christian therefore have in judging the worth of a tradition?  See Eph 5:10, Phil 1:9-10, 1 Thess 5:21.  On what basis is he to judge?  See Acts 17:11.  “The worth of a tradition lies not in the form, but in the source and quality of the content”.

2Th 2:16-17 What two things does Paul say God has given us by His grace?  How would reminding the Thessalonians of these be an encouragement to them in their present circumstances?  See Lk 16:25, Rom 5:2-5, Heb 6:18-19.  For what two things does Paul ask of God for the Thessalonians?  See 2Th 3:3, 2 Cor 1:3-5, 1 Pet 5:10.

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