The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.
1:3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as it is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;
As we see other people grow in the faith, we should encourage them, and love them more and more. While I won't say how much my faith is increasing (not fast enough), it's nice when others show their love to me when I have an opportunity to visit with them. (DRM 8/20/2000)
Paul was proud of the church in Thessalonica. They were growing in faith and love despite the persecutions [verse 4] they were getting from others. I pray that God will love me as well as Paul loved this church when he wrote this! (DRM 7/27/03)
After we become Christians, generally our faith grows and our love for other Christians also. The Holy Spirit gives us (me) the desire to keep learning more from the Bible - and we (I) want to share more and more about all of this knowledge. It seems to me that society of today dissuades this practice. (DRM 7/30/06)
1:5 This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
In verses 3 and 4, Paul indicates that the church is persevering through various persecutions and afflictions which would probably be from the outside critics who oppose the gospel. Anyone who "stands up for Jesus" to this day will see the opposition and know the feeling. This verse shows us that God is aware of what is happening and will reward us in the end. (DRM 7/19/09)
1:6-7 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.
[re 1:6] While I personally do not ever want to hate anyone, I realize that when I "come out of my shell" that there will be people who will disagree with my beliefs. Those people will not feel any remorse at their initial criticisms, but God will judge them when their day comes. (DRM 3/18/87)
[re 1:6] God's vengeance is not immediate. If someone attacks a Christian in a physical or mental way, we don't always see an immediate attack from the Lord. We might not see it in our lifetime - but this verse assures us (me) that God knows every action and He will judge accordingly in His time. (DRM 7/31/06)
God=Jesus knows what is happening to us every
minute. He knows when we receive opposition in our proclamation of Him, and who
the opposers are. He will take care of those people - that's not our job.
1:8-9 . . . dealing out retribution to those
who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord
could have used this passage for some of his material! While most people don't
believe in Hell anymore, this verse clearly refers to eternal destruction for
those who don't know God.
God knows everything. He loves those who love Him, and also is just in dealing with those who do not know Him. Time is short - they must know the consequences of their [in] decision. Will God use me to tell them? (DRM 7/28/03)
2:1, 2 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together with Him, 2that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
Like Paul wrote here - there still are people
today that say the Lord Jesus has already come the second time. They usually
point to a false prophet today - and there is no evidence to back up their
claims. The spirit that Paul refers to is likely the spirit of a demon, who will
try to falsify our faith - that's their job.
2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [the coming day of the Lord Jesus] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
At first reading this seems that Christians will still be here when the man of lawlessness [Antichrist] is revealed. But this refers to Christ's return and that's after the rapture. These days appear to be so near to me. God, let me be ready! (DRM 8/22/2000)
This verse is referring to the "day of the Lord" [verse 2] and our gathering together with Him [verse 1] which seems like the rapture. If so, today's teaching is confusing, as we are taught Rapture, then revealing of the son of destruction. Being with God is most important. (DRM 7/29/03)
I think the Day of the Lord is the day the Lord Jesus comes back to earth. It's not the day of the rapture of the church. Most of the events in Revelation take place before Jesus comes back to earth. I believe that the believers in the church will leave (be raptured) seven years earlier. (DRM 8/1/06)
2:4 . . . who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
This is the second half of a complex two
verse sentence about the "man of lawlessness" who will come before "the day of
the Lord (v. 2). I would call this man the Antichrist. At the time this occurs a
whole series of diseases and disasters will commence - as told in Revelation.
2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
In Paul's day the spirit of the antichrist
was in the world. This satanic spirit was/is in the world since sin came with
Adam and Eve.
2:8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring an end by the appearance of His coming;
It seems clear to me that the "lawless one"
is the Antichrist - as he is directed by Satan (v. 9). No one knows who that
future leader is - and he won't be revealed until after 3½ years after the
Christians are raptured, when he appears in the new temple.
2:10 . . . and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
I can't explain why the Lord permits Satan to deceive people and allow them to go to hell. It could be that God had someone on earth offer people the truth of His gospel and they refused His gift, so He gave them over to Satan. (DRM 8/23/2000)
2:11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false.
It seems that the Holy Spirit is taken away in verse 7 with the rapture of the church. All of the unbelievers will be left and the antichrist/Satan will be the leader. Without the Holy Spirit, people will believe antichrist and not be convicted of their sins. I'm glad I'll be gone. (DRM 8/2/06)
2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
"God will send upon them a deluding influence" [verse 11]. . . and they will not believe. God knows when this will happen and to whom. We don't. I feel that the purpose for life here is to somehow tell the lost about the Savior. How? (DRM 7/30/03)
2:13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning of salvation through sanctification by the spirit and faith in the truth.
Sometimes I forget how the Lord chose me to be His servant. It seems that I chose Him, but the difference is that He knew all of this beforehand. I accepted His wonderful gift of salvation and hope to keep growing more spiritual through sanctification. (DRM 8/24/2000)
What's all the fighting about? Here it is - clearly "God has chosen you. . ." God knew before we did as to who would be His followers. It was only new to us. My only confusion on this verse is "salvation through sanctification" as I thought it was salvation first. (DRM 7/31/03) I think it's clear that salvation comes first. (DRM 7/3/05)
2:14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God chose us to be a part of His family;
quite often we think its the other way around. He knew we would grow in our
faith (sanctification v. 13) through the Holy Spirit that He would give us.
2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
When Paul wrote this, Christianity was new. There was no New Testament Bible. The only way to learn more about their faith was by preaching by true Christians like Paul or reading his letters. I believe that I should spend more time reading his letters (New Testament Bible) and less on commentaries which sometimes confuse the original meaning of the words. (DRM 8/3/06)
2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
At first this seems like a closing prayer, but I think there's a little more in this. Paul reminds me that the Lord loves me, as He created me. He is the One that is my Director - no matter how much other people may try. My source of direction is to be Him. (DRM 7/23/09)
3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;
This sounds like an "evangelism" verse to me. Paul is asking the church in
Thessalonica for prayer that his preaching and sharing of the gospel will
continue to bring converts to Christianity - as it did to create their church
3:2 and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith.
Paul asked for prayer - and this was included. As I mentally prepare to speak to others, only God, through the Holy Spirit, will give me words that can apply to all people. He is the One to protect me from the evil men. (DRM 8/1/03)
Paul had a concern that I also have - the thoughts and deeds of non-Christians. While I'm sure his culture was more vocal in their opposition, the same fear is in me today. Like in verse 3, I must remember that God=Jesus will strengthen and protect me as I go out into the world. (DRM 8/4/06)
3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
This is a transitional verse. In the first
two verses of the chapter, Paul was asking the Thessalonian church to pray for
him and his co-workers. Starting with this verse, he was writing to the members
of the church (plural you).
3:4 We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command.
Paul was the teacher and founder of the
church at Thessalonica. He wanted to clarify the teachings of Jesus in this
3:5 And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.
Keep growing in the Lord - seems to be a summary of this verse. After we become born-again, we desire to tell others, but when that "wears off," we need re-filling. May the Lord continuously re-fill me with His love! (DRM 8/25/2000)
3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.
I have a problem with this verse. After I became a Christian, I wanted to talk to non-Christians and tell them of my faith - and I still do. This verse seems to command otherwise. If we don't befriend people, how will they know? (DRM 8/26/2000) I think now that the word "aloof" is the problem, and it's not in my dictionary. The Lord Jesus, definitely wants us to proclaim the gospel to unbelievers, but He doesn't want us to take on their lifestyle, but to be "separate" from their ways; not stop talking to them . (DRM 12/5/04)
3:8 nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we might not be a burden to any of you.
Certainly this verse is clear - Paul worked to pay his expenses. I never read that he was diverted by the worldly things that I am. He made use of his time - when not at work - proclaiming Christ. That's an example to follow! (DRM 8/2/03)
Paul and his associates did not consider ministry to be work, so continued to labor - probably as tentmakers. I agree that the gift of salvation through Jesus should be free, but know that serving and teaching others requires a lot of time and preparation, thus should be paid from offerings received. . . (DRM 8/5/06)
3:14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame.
Why did Paul write this? Was he a strict overseer? I think that Paul knew this was a new "church" and wanted to protect them from false teachings. He knew what he wrote was/is true and didn't want anyone led astray. By following the instruction here they/we will stay on the "narrow path."