Our Gathering Together unto Him

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

‘Now we beseech you, brethren …’ This is the 2nd and last New Testament prophecy in 2 Thessalonians that is unfulfilled.

‘By the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ This could refer to both comings – the coming in the air for the saints (1Thess. 3:13; 4:13-18), and the coming of the Lord to the earth with the saints (Matt. 24:3).

The Greek word Parousia means a personal visible presence or reappearing. Two appearances: [1] Rapture – personal coming in the air (not to the earth) for the saints (1Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:13-17; 5:23; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; 2Thess. 2:1, 7-8; Jas. 5:7-8; 1Jn. 2:28; John 14:1-3). [2] Second coming to earth with His saints to reign (Matt. 24:3, 27-51; 25:31-46; Jude 1:14; Rev. 19:11-21; Zech. 14:1-5).

‘Gathering together’ [Greek: episunagoge] is a gathering together in one place (2:1; Heb. 10:25; cp. the verb in Matt. 23:37; 24:31). Here is a gathering together to Him in the air (1Thess. 4:13-18). This could only refer to the rapture, not the second coming.

‘Neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us.’ Three things disturbed the Thessalonians: Spirit – spirit-communication, pretended revelation, or spirit demonstration. Word – teaching, preaching, discourse, reasoning, argument, fluent speaking. Letter as from us. False teachers had come to Thessalonica with a letter that had been forged in the name of Paul containing false doctrines about the day of the Lord being at hand (2:2-3).

Come to Be Glorified

2Thessalonians 1:10-12 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 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. 

‘When he shall come to be glorified in his saints.’ The judgment of the nations – At the second coming Christ will judge the living nations and send the goats of Matthew 25:31-46 to eternal punishment. This is not a general judgment or one of the wicked dead, so both passages refer primarily to the living people at the second coming (1:10; Matt. 25:31-46). Christ will not only judge the wicked living nations at that time but will be glorified in His saints and be admired by all who believe among those who are alive on earth.

‘Be glorified’ [Greek: endoxazo] to adorn with glory. It refers to His glory seen in the blessings conferred upon saints as the eternal rulers of the universe and as the heirs of all things (1:10, 12). Compare sundoxazo, glorified together (Rom. 8:17-18); endoxos, glorious and honourable (Luke 13:17; 2Cor. 4:10; Eph. 5:27); and doxazo, glorify, extol.

‘Be admired’ [Greek: thaumazo] Translated “admire” (1:10; Jude 1:16); “marvel at,” 30 times (Luke 7:9; John 5:28; Gal. 1:6; etc.); and “wonder at” 14 times (Luke 24:12; Acts 7:31; etc.). ‘Pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.’ Fourfold prayer for Thessalonians: That God would count them worthy of the eternal calling. That God would fulfil all His pleasure of goodness in them. That God would fulfil in them the work of faith with power. That Christ and saints may be glorified in each other by grace (1:12).

Taking Vengeance on Them – Part 2

2Thessalonians 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Thirty-four purposes of the Second Coming (continues): To restore all things (Acts 3:19-21). To bind satan and his angels (Rev. 20:1-10; Isa. 24:21-23). To punish the inhabitants of the earth for sins (Isa. 26:21; 27:1; Rev. 11:18). To give man one more probationary trial (Rev. 20:1-10; Isa. 11:1-16; 65:20-25). To fight the battle of Armageddon and restore man’s dominion (Rev. 19:11-21; Matt. 5:5; 25:31-46; Ps. 8:1-9). To establish a theocratic government (Ps. 2:1-12; Isa. 2:1-4; 4:1-3; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Zech. 14:9; Rev. 20:1-15). To gather together in one all things in heaven and on earth (Eph. 1:10). To heal everyone (Isa. 32:1-5; 33:24; 35:5). To fulfil the Abrahamic, Davidic, and other covenants with man (Gen. 12:1-3; 2Sam. 7:1-29; etc.). To be glorified in the saints (1:10, 12; Matt. 25:31-46). To be admired by believers (1:10). To prepare the earth for the eternal habitation of God (Isa. 35:1-10; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 20-22; 1Cor. 15:24-28). To purge man of all possibility of future rebellion, so that the original program with man can be finally and eternally realized (Gen. 1:26-31; 8:22; 9:12; Ps. 8:1-9; 1Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20-22).

‘Flaming fire’ [Greek: phlox] flame of fire (Luke 16:24; Acts 7:30; Heb. 1:7; Rev. 1:14; 2:18; 19:12).

‘On them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel.’ Two classes of people to be judged: They that know not God – that put forth no effort to know or understand Him (2Cor. 4:4; Matt. 13:19). They that obey not the gospel – that put forth no effort to obey it (John 3:17-20, 36; Acts 7:51; Rom. 1:21-32).

‘Punished with everlasting destruction.’ Eternal punishment [Greek: dike] penalty awarded by a judge; suffer punishment. Translated as punishment (1:9); judgment (Acts 25:15); and vengeance (Acts 28:4; Jude 1:7). The penalty here is eternal destruction. The Greek for destruction is olethros, ruin; undoing; that which causes destruction, a plague, pest. Translated as destruction (1:9; 2Cor. 5:5; 1Thess. 5:3; 1Tim. 6:9). Whatever it is that causes the destruction or ruin is eternal. It is not annihilation, for the destruction is eternal and the ones being so punished eternally are as eternal as the destruction itself. There will be no possibility of their ever being reconciled to God beyond this life, for they are eternally banished from the presence of God and the glory of His power (1:10; Heb. 9:27). This in itself would be dreadful punishment, but besides this, there will be the punishment in eternal hell (Matt. 8:12; 13:49-51; 25:41, 25:46; Mark 9:43-49; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:11-15; Isa. 66:22-24).

Taking Vengeance on Them – Part 1

2Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

‘In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Thirty-four purposes of the Second Coming: To take vengeance on rebels (1:7-10; Jude 1:14-15; Rev. 19:11-21). To judge living nations (Matt. 25:31-46; Ps. 67:4; 96:10-13; 98:9). To establish universal religion and civil government (Ps. 72:11; Isa. 2:1-4; Zech. 14:1-21; Mal. 1:11; Rev. 11:15; 20:1-10). To deliver Israel (Zech. 14:1-21; Rom. 11:25-29; Isa. 63:1-6; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 19:1-21). To destroy enemies (1:7-10; 2:8-12; Jude 1:14-15; Rev. 19:11-21; Zech. 14:1-21). To re-establish David’s throne and his kingdom (Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 30:7-11; Ezek. 37:20-26; Hos. 3:5-6; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 15:13-16). To deliver creation from bondage (Rom. 8:21-24; Isa. 11:1-2; 35:1-8; 65:20-25). To bring salvation (Isa. 11:9; 49:6; 52:7; 1Pet. 1:5-13; Rom. 11:25-29). To mete out justice to all (Isa. 11:1-9; 42:1-4; Jer. 23:5-6; 1Cor. 15:24-28). To reign over all nations (Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 11:15). To make resurrected saints eternal rulers of earth (Matt. 19:28; 1Cor. 6:1-3; Rev. 2:26; 5:10; 20:4-9; Dan. 7:18-27). To gather Israel (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 11:10-12; 66:19-21; Matt. 24:31). To put down all rebellion on earth (1Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 2:27; 11:15; 19:11-21). To rebuild the Jewish temple (Ezek. 43:7; Zech. 6:12-13). To manifest God’s glory (Isa. 4:2-6; 35:2; 40:5; 60:1-9; Ezek. 39:21; Matt. 16:27; 25:31). To remove the curse from the earth (Isa. 35:1-10; 65:20-25; Mic. 4:1-7; 1Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:3). To bring universal peace and prosperity (Isa. 2:1-4; 35:1-8; Mic. 4:1-7). To end the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24; Rom. 11:25; Zech. 14:1-21). To possess the earth (Ps. 2:1-12; Rev. 11:15). To build up Zion (Ps. 102:16; Ezek. 37:11-28; 40:4 – 48:35). To evangelize the world (Isa. 2:1-4; 11:9; 52:7; 66:19-24; Mal. 1:11; Zech. 8:23; 10:1; 14:16-21).

To be continued…

When the Lord Jesus Shall Be Revealed – Part 2

2Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels

Thirty testimonies proving the Second Coming: Enoch (Jude 1:14-15); Jacob (Gen. 49:10); Balaam (Num. 24:7, 17-19); Moses (Deut. 4:27-31; 30:1-11; 31:29); Job (Job 19:25-27); David (Ps. 22:26-31; 72:1-17); Ethan (Ps. 89:1-37); An unknown psalmist (Ps. 102:16); Isaiah (Isa. 9:6-7; 59:20; 63:1-6); Jeremiah (Jer. 3:14-25; 23:5-6); Ezekiel (Ezek. 38:19-23; 39:21; 43:7); Daniel (Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-27); Hosea (Hos. 3:4-5; 5:15; 11:9; 13:10); Joel (Joel 2:1-11; 3:1-21); Amos (Amos 1:2; 9:11-15); Obadiah (Oba. 1:15-21); Micah (Mic. 1:3-4; 4:1-7); Zephaniah (Zeph. 1:7-8, 14-18; 3:8-20); Haggai (Hag. 2:6-9, 21-23); Zechariah (Zech. 2:10-11; 8:3-8, 23; 12:1-14; 13:8-9; 14:1-21); Malachi (Mal. 3:2-5; 4:1-6); Jesus (Matt. 16:27; 19:28; 23:38-39; 24:1 – 25:46; 26:64; Luke 21:1-38); Peter (Acts 3:20-21; 1Pet. 1:7, 13; 2Pet. 1:16; 3:3-4); James (Acts 15:13-18); Paul (Rom. 11:25-27; 1Thess. 1:7-10; 2Thess. 2:1, 8-12; 1Tim. 6:14; 2Tim. 4:1, 8; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 9:28); John (John 14:28; Rev. 1:7; 11:15; 16:15; 19:11-21; 22:20); Angels (Acts 1:11; Luke 1:32-33); Lord’s Supper (1Cor. 11:26); Lord’s prayer (Matt. 6:10); Jude (Jude 1:14-15, 24).

‘Revealed from heaven.’ Tenfold manner of His Coming: As lightning (Matt. 24:27). With destruction (1:7-10; 2:8; Matt. 24:38-51; 25:31-46; 1Thess. 5:2; Jude 1:14-15; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 19:11-21). Visibly (Matt. 24:29-31; 2Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-21; Zech. 14:1-21). In brightness and fire (2Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8; Ezek. 38:17-21; Mal. 4:1-6). In vengeance and wrath (Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21; Jude 1:14-15; 2Thess. 1:7-10). With power and great glory (Matt. 16:27; 24:27-31; 25:31-46). With saints and angels (Zech. 14:5; Matt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46; 1Thess. 1:7-10; Jude 1:14; Rev. 17:14; 19:14). With clouds (Matt. 24:29-31; 26:64; Rev. 1:7; Dan. 7:13-14). As Judge and King (Rev. 19:11-21; Isa. 11:1-16; Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 25:31-46). As a thief (1Thess. 5:2-4; Rev. 16:15).

‘Mighty angels’ [Greek: dunamis] inherent power. The Greek reads, “the angels of His power,” indicating that angels are part of God’s power over the vast creations. God’s angels help Him maintain order over others who are now in rebellion (Eph. 3:9-10; 6:12; Rev. 12:7-12; Dan. 10:11-21).

When the Lord Jesus Shall Be Revealed – Part 1

2Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels

‘And to you who are troubled rest with us …’ This is the first New Testament prophecy in 2 Thessalonians and it is unfulfilled.

‘When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.’ The time of the Second Coming: Immediately after the tribulation (Matt. 24:29; 25:31; Rev. 11:1 – 19:21). At the beginning of the Millennium (Rev. 19:11-21; 20:1-10). After the Antichrist reigned 3½ years (Rev. 13:5; 19:11-21; 2Thess. 2:7-8). At the end of this age (Matt. 13:38-43, 47-50; 24:3, 29-31; 25:31-46). After ten kingdoms are formed inside the old Roman empire (Dan. 2:44-45; 7:23-24; Rev. 13:1-18; 19:11-21). In the days of terrible moral conditions as in the days of Lot and Noah (Matt. 24:37-51; Luke 17:22-27; 2Tim. 3:1-13; 4:1-4; 2Pet. 2:1-22; Jude 1:14-15). After the Congregational age (2:7-8; Acts 15:13-18; Jude 1:14; Zech. 14:5). When Jerusalem is surrounded by armies and half the city is taken (Zech. 14:1-5, 14-21; Joel 3:1-21). After the resurrection of the righteous dead and 1,000 years before the resurrection of the wicked (Rev. 20:1-15; Zech. 14:5; Jude 1:14). After all of Revelation 4-19 is fulfilled (Rev. 19:11-21; 20:1-10). At the time satan is bound before the Millennium (Rev. 20:1-7). When Israel is restored and converted and Christ takes the throne of David to begin His reign over Israel forever (Isa. 9:6-7; Hos. 3:4-5; Luke 1:32-33; Ezek. 36:23-28; 37:16-28).

‘Shall be revealed’ – The fact of the Second Coming: Eight things it is not: It is not the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This was another Comforter, not Jesus (John 14:16-26; 15:26; 16:7-15). Not conversion (Matt. 18:3; John 3:1-8; Acts 3:19; 26:18; Jas. 5:19-20). Not death which takes place among men every minute (Jas. 2:26; 1Cor. 15:26). Not the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Luke 21:20-24). Christ restores Jerusalem when He comes (Zech. 14:1-21). Not the preaching of the gospel. His coming is sudden and only once (Matt. 24:27-51; 25:31-46; 2Thess. 1:1-12; Rev. 19:1-21). Not a spiritual coming (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; 2Thess. 1:1-12; Rev. 19:1-21). Not the founding of the body of Christ which took place while Christ was here (Matt. 16:18; 2Cor. 3:11; Eph. 2:19-22; Acts 15:13-16). Not the rapture.

To be continued…

The Righteous Judgment of God

2Thessalonians 1:5-6 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you

‘Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God.’ Two effects of tribulation: A guarantee of the righteous judgment of God in punishing persecutors for their rebellion against Him and His people (1:5-6) and a guarantee of the rewards of those who endure persecution.

‘Righteous judgment of God.’ All God’s judgments are righteous and based upon the law of sowing and reaping (1:5-6; Gal. 6:7-8; Deut. 32:4). God demands justice of man in judgment (Lev. 19:15, 35; Deut. 1:17; 16:18-19; 24:17).

‘Counted worthy of the kingdom of God.’ From Luke 21:36; Acts 5:41 and Hebrews 3:3 we see that we must be worthy, that is to have or show the qualities that deserve the specified regard.

‘Righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you.’ Righteous for God to trouble troublemakers and give rest to the troubled when the Messiah comes (1:6-7). At this time all persecutors will be dealt with; all who are persecuted will be given rest and be allowed to enter the eternal kingdom (Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 19:1-21).

That Your Faith Grows – Part 2

2Thessalonians 1:3-4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches [congregations] of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure

Faith means (continues): Absolute dependence upon and reliance on the Word of God and Christ (Matt. 8:8-10; 15:28; Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:1 – 12:3). Full surrender, yieldedness, and obedience to all known truth (Rom. 1:5; 6:11-23; 16:26; Jas. 2:14-26; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Heb. 11:6). Trust wholly and unreservedly in the faithfulness of God (Matt. 6:25-34; 12:21; Luke 12:28-31; Eph. 1:13; 1Tim. 4:11; 6:17; 1Cor. 10:13). Give one’s self over to a new way of life (Rom. 1:17; 6:11-23; 8:1-16; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Gal. 5:16-26; Col. 3:5-10; Heb. 12:1-15; Tit. 2:11-14; 1Jn. 1:7; 2:6; 3:8-10; 4:17; 5:1-5, 18). The attribute of God and restored faculty of man whereby both can bring into unseen existence things (Rom. 4:17; Gal. 5:22; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; Luke 17:6; Heb. 11:1-40). The whole body of revealed truth (Luke 18:8; Jude 1:3; Rom. 10:17; 1Tim. 4:1, 6; 6:10; 2Tim. 3:16-17). Joyful faith in, and acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Savior whereby one receives salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; 10:43; Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31; Eph. 2:8-9); access into grace (Rom. 5:2); fulfilment of the promises (Heb. 6:12); the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14); righteousness (Rom. 4:1-25; 9:30, 32; 10:6; Php. 3:9); sonship (Gal. 3:26); healing (Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24); eternal life (John 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:47); and answers to every prayer (Matt. 7:7-11; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Luke 18:1-8; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16).

‘So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God.’ We hold you up as an example to other congregations to show what grace can do in honest and open hearts.

‘Glory’ [Greek: kauchaomai] to boast or vaunt oneself. Translated “glory” (1:4; Rom. 5:3; 1Cor. 1:29, 31; 3:21; 4:7; 2Cor. 5:12; 10:17; 11:12, 18, 30; 12:1, 5, 6, 9; Gal. 6:13-14); “glorying” (2Cor. 12:11); “rejoice” (Rom. 5:2; Php. 3:3; Jas. 1:9; 4:16); “joy” (Rom. 5:11); and “boast” (Rom. 2:17, 23; 2Cor. 7:14; 9:2; 10:8, 10:13-16; 11:16; Eph. 2:9).

‘Patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations.’ From Acts 17:5, 13 and 1Thessalonians 2:14 we learn that the Thessalonians had suffered much persecution from the Jews and their own countrymen, but being fully persuaded of the gospel, and having the actual power of it working in their lives, they would not turn aside from it. Persecution has never hurt true believers and never will.

That Your Faith Grows – Part 1

2Thessalonians 1:3-4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches [congregations] of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure

‘Bound to thank God always for you.’ – Christian obligation: [Greek: opheilo] be under an obligation to do a thing. Translated “bound” (1:3; 2:13); “be guilty” (Matt. 23:18); “behoved” (Heb. 2:17); “must needs” (1Cor. 5:10); “need so require” (1Cor. 7:36); “duty” (Luke 17:10; Rom. 15:27); “should” (1Cor. 9:10); “ought” (John 13:14; 19:7; Acts 17:29; Rom. 15:1; 1Cor. 11:7, 10; 2Cor. 12:11, 14; Eph. 5:28; Heb. 5:3, 12; 1Jn. 2:6; 3:16; 4:11; 2Jn. 1:8); “owe” (Matt. 18:28; Luke 7:41; 16:5, 7; Rom. 13:8; Phm. 1:18); “due” (Matt. 18:34; 1Cor. 7:3); “be indebted” (Luke 11:4); “debt” (Matt. 18:30); and “be a debtor” (Matt. 23:16). Most all these ideas could be understood here in 2Thessalonians 1:3.

‘Because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds.’ Fourfold praise for the Thessalonians: for growing in faith (1:3); abounding love; patience in troubles (1:4), steadfastness and faith in trouble.

‘Grows exceedingly’ [Greek: huperauxano] to abound beyond measure; to grow exceedingly healthy and fruitful, as a good tree planted in good soil. Faith is one of the seeds of grace that should grow normally in everyone until he has a genuine work of faith with power (1:11; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24).

‘Charity’ [Greek: agape] Not only a few of them had abounding love, but everyone had it (1:3; 1Thess. 3:12).

Faith – The word “believe” denotes the act and process of faith. It comes from the Greek verb pisteuo which occurs 248 times in the New Testament. This use of the present tense indicates that faith must be continued in to receive its benefits (Acts 14:22; Eph. 6:16; Col. 1:23; 2:5-7; 1Thess. 5:8; 1Tim. 2:15; 3:9; 6:12; 2Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Tit. 1:13; Heb. 10:23-38; 2Pet. 1:5-10). It can be lost (Luke 8:13; 1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:8, 12; 6:10, 21; 2Tim. 2:18; 3:8; Jude 1:3; Rev. 2:13).

Faith means: To be persuaded of (Rom. 4:17-22; 8:38-39; 2Tim. 1:12). Place confidence in (Eph. 3:12; Php. 1:6; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 10:35; 1Jn. 3:21; 5:14). The substance or conviction of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen (Heb. 10:19-38; 11:1, 6; Rom. 4:17; 8:24).

To be continued…

God Our Father

2Thessalonians 1:1-2 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church [congregations] of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

‘Paul’ – In all his epistles except 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians, Philippians and Philemon, Paul calls himself an apostle. It may be that he was held in such affection by these congregations that he did not need to assert his apostolic authority.

‘Silvanus’ – The same as Silas, Paul’s companion on his second missionary journey. He took part in the founding of the Macedonian congregations (Acts 15:40-18:18).

‘Timotheus’ – was called Timothy (2Cor. 1:1; 1Tim. 1:2, 18; 6:20; 2Tim. 1:2; Phm. 1; Heb. 13:23). Converted by Paul on his first trip (Acts 14:6-7 with 1Tim. 1:2). Part Jew and Greek, uncircumcised, but a true Christian (Acts 16:1-3). A miracle worker like Paul (1Cor. 16:10). Paul’s companion from here on (Acts 16:1-3; 17:14-15; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Rom. 16:21; 1Cor. 4:17; Php. 2:19). It is believed by some that he was Paul’s scribe in writing Hebrews and Galatians.

‘Unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ This and the second epistle are the only ones so addressed. Compare this with the other salutations in other epistles.

‘In God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ One in unity (John 10:30; 17:11, 21-23), not one in person or individuality (Dan. 7:9-14; 1Jn. 5:7; Acts 7:55; Rom. 8:34; 1Cor. 8:6; 11:3; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:1-6; 1Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 12:2; 1Pet. 3:22; Rev. 5:1-7).

‘God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Twice here it is made clear that the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are two separate and distinct persons. Believers are in both and the salutation is from both through Paul.