2 Thessalonians 1:1–12 (NKJV)
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.2 Thessalonians 1:1-2
In the opening to this second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul identifies his fellow writers, Silvanus and Timothy. He addresses the letter to the Thessalonians, fellow servants and relatives of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally, he offers grace and peace from those same sources, the Father and the Lord.
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; 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. 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.2 Thessalonians 1:3-12
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 begins the body of the letter with a compliment, much as he did the first letter. He says that his party almost have no choice but to compliment the church for their faith. That faith grows exceedingly, as does their love for one another. They also brag to the other churches of God about the endurance of the church at Thessalonica, accomplished by patience and faith. God sees their endurance and faith, and guarantees their entrance into the kingdom of God. God will exact vengeance on those who trouble the Christians in Thessalonica, and will deliver the brothers from their trouble and give them rest. Paul expounds a little on the horrible fate awaiting the enemies of God and the church, those who refuse the gospel of Christ. This punishment will be eternal. His terror will be shown to the unworthy and His glory will be revealed to His saints. God will be worshipped and praised at His coming.
Paul sums up the hope-giving section of this passage by reminding the Thessalonians that he and his partners pray always for them, that God would find them worthy at His coming. Paul stresses that the blessings of God are good and pleasant and powerful. In everything, God wants them to bring glory to Jesus Christ according to the grace of God. Paul encourages this group, seeming to have a special place in his heart for them. Both of the letters to them are complementary and hopeful, praising them as examples to other churches. We should strive to receive such accolades from our overseers and pastors. God help us to live in such a way that God would be pleased with us and glorified in us!
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