II Thessalonians 2:11-17

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Text: II Thessalonians 2:11-17

We are in the process of looking at -

I. THE DAY OF THE LORD - 2:1-12

We have already seen the -

A. False teaching in Thessalonica - 2:1-2

II Thessalonians 2:1-2 - (1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

(2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

We are in the process of seeing -

B. Characteristics of the tribulation - 2:3-12

For anyone to be in the tribulation several things, which had not happened, would have to have taken place.

We have already seen that there will be -

1. Great apostasy - 2:3a

II Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first. . . .

We have already seen that there will also be -

2. The revelation of the man of sin - 2:3b-5

II Thessalonians 2:3 b-5 - (3b). . . And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

(5) Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

We have also already seen that there will be -

3. The removal of the restrainer - 2:6-7

The restrainer is the Holy Spirit.

II Thessalonians 2:6-7 - (6) And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

(7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

We have also already seen that there will then be -

4. The destruction of the man of sin - 2:8

II Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

Furthermore we have already seen -

5. The deception of the man of sin - 2:9-10

II Thessalonians 2:9-10 - (9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

(10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

We continue with -

6. The delusion of the unsaved - 2:11

II Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.

And for this cause is and because of this and refers to the fact that they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.

God (i.e. God the Father) shall send them strong delusion

Delusion is used in the sense of a wandering from the path of truth. Hence, it means error, deceit, or deception; and strong delusion is an influence of deception.

That they should believe (i.e. trust in) a lie (i.e. the lie or the falsehood) provides the reason God will send them strong delusion. They will believe the lie that the antichrist is God. As a result, they will worship him.

We also see -

7. The damnation of the unsaved - 2:12

II Thessalonians 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

That (i.e. in order that or for the purpose that) they all (i.e. all the ones who believed not (i.e. trusted not) the truth might be damned (i.e. might be judged).

What they did not believe (or trust) is the truth and implies the truth regarding the gospel, the truth that Christ died for their sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He rose from the dead the third day.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to their believing the truth.

Had pleasure in (i.e. were well pleased in, delighted in, liked, or approved) unrighteousness (i.e. wickedness or injustice).

This text does not say that someone who heard the gospel before the rapture will have no chance at salvation during the tribulation. Although it is often preached, it is not necessarily Scriptural.

It is certainly true that anytime someone hears the gospel and does not trust Christ as his Savior, it may be the last time he will ever have an opportunity to be saved. However, to state categorically that it will be the last time he will ever have an opportunity to be saved goes beyond what the Scripture says. We don't know this.

We close out this chapter with -

II. THANKSGIVING, EXHORTATION, AND PRAYER - 2:13-17

A. The Thessalonian believers were chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth - 2:13

II Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to what has preceded. It indicates a slight change of direction in the sense of now.

We (i.e. Paul) are bound to (i.e. we are obligated to or we must) give (i.e. be giving, be rendering, or be returning) thanks alway (i.e. always) to God (the Father) for you

Brethren (i.e. brothers) beloved of the Lord (i.e. dearly loved by the Lord Jesus).

Because God (the Father) hath from the beginning (before the creation of the world) chosen you to salvation.

Through (i.e. by means of) sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth indicates the means by which God the Father brought these Thessalonian believers to salvation. God's choosing them occurred first, their believing the truth of the gospel message occurred next, and immediately upon their believing the truth that Christ died for their sins and rose again from the dead, God the Holy Spirit sanctified them or set them apart in Christ.

This is reminiscent of I Peter 1:1-2 - (1) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

(2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Does the fact that God has chosen some to salvation exclude any whom He has not chosen from being saved?

Absolutely not!

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 6:37 - All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Yes, God has chosen some, and God has not chosen everyone; but those whom God has not chosen can still be saved. When you speak to someone about his salvation, unless he has already committed the unpardonable sin, it is possible for him to be saved, even if God has not chosen him.

B. Called by Paul's gospel - 2:14a

II Thessalonians 2:14 a - Whereunto he called you by our gospel. . . .

Whereunto is unto which and refers to salvation by means of the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

He (i.e. God the Father) called you refers to the effectual call whereby God calls a person to Himself in salvation. It is reminiscent of John 6:44 - No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

By (i.e. by means of) our gospel, i.e. the good news we are proclaiming about Christ's death on the cross for the sins of all humanity, His burial, and His resurrection.

C. Glorified with the Lord Jesus Christ - 2:14b

II Thessalonians 2:14 b - . . . to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ indicates God's purpose in calling people by the gospel.

To the obtaining means for gaining or for obtaining.

What they will obtain is the glory (i.e. the brightness, the splendor, or the majesty) of our Lord Jesus Christ. They will attain complete Christlikeness in their glorification.

God the Father draws one to Himself when the gospel is proclaimed. This is done in anticipation of the eventual glorification of believers. To the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ indicates God's purpose in calling people by the gospel. It is to bring them to complete Christlikeness when He glorifies them at the rapture.

Verses 13-14 are parallel in meaning to Romans 8:29-30 . Here in verses 13-14 it is seen that God has chosen these believers to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and through belief of the truth. He has called people to salvation by the gospel in order that they might eventually obtain complete Christlikeness.

Romans 8:29-30 - (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

(30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

This glorification in Romans 8 is the completion of salvation when believers will be made completely Christlike. It is the same thing referred to in II Thessalonians 2:14 as the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. John said it differently in I John 3:2 - . . . We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

D. Stand fast and hold fast to Paul's teachings - 2:15

II Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Therefore, brethren (i.e. so then, brothers) introduces an inference regarding how these Thessalonian believers should react to the fact that God has from the beginning chosen them to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth and will eventually make them completely Christlike in light of the false teaching which had made its way to Thessalonica.

Stand fast is be (i.e. continue or keep on) standing fast.

And hold the traditions which ye have been taught

Hold is be (i.e. continue or keep on) holding or (holding fast).

The traditions (i.e. the teachings) which ye (i.e. you Thessalonian believers) have been taught.

Whether by word is whether (these teachings were) by means of (or through) word, implying that Paul had taught them by word of mouth while he was with them in Thessalonica and had sent Timothy to teach them some additional things.

Or our epistle is or through our epistle, meaning through I Thessalonians as well as through II Thessalonians which Paul was at this time writing.

What Paul is telling them is to remain steadfast and to continue to believe what they have been taught and not to be allowing themselves to be deceived by some false teachers who have come along and have suggested that they are now living in the tribulation and that the persecutions they are undergoing are the result of their being in the tribulation.

E. Paul's prayer that the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father comfort and establish the Thessalonian believers - 2:16-17

II Thessalonians 2:16-17 - (16) Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

(17) Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God, even our Father is connected with both comfort and stablish in the next verse. May should be supplied after now to indicate that this is Paul's desire or prayer for the Thessalonian believers. It is then understood as Now (may) our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God, even our Father . . . comfort your hearts and stablish you in every good word and work.

Which hath loved us is the One Who loved us. Grammatically it may refer either to the Lord Jesus Christ or to God the Father; but inasmuch as it is closer in the text to God the Father, it is better understood as referring to God the Father.

And hath given (i.e. the One Who gave) us everlasting (i.e. eternal) consolation (i.e. comfort or encouragement).

And good hope (i.e. a definite expectation rather than mere wishful thinking).

Through grace (i.e. undeserved or unmerited favor).

This everlasting consolation and good hope refers to the eternal salvation which God has given believers by grace.

II Thessalonians 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Comfort (i.e. encourage or cheer up) your hearts (i.e. you - an example of a part representing the whole).

And stablish (i.e. establish or support) you in every good word (i.e. in everything said) and work (i.e. in every deed or task).