In this week's verses Paul is addressing false teaching regarding "the day of the Lord" that has taken root at the church at Thessalonica. Many at the church are have come to believe that the day of the Lord–that great day of judgment–is upon them. While the source of this teaching is unclear its effect is clear: Great distress throughout the church. What we will see in these verses is Paul’s attempt to comfort and reassure the church by refuting the false claim and reminding them of about the sequence of events that necessarily proceed the Lord’s return.
The Bible is full of commands to protect the vulnerable and defend the oppressed because God loves every single person made in his image and He is just. Hence, He commands his people to act justly and even to rescue others from oppression and death. His people are to do so in the strength of his might and to the glory of God.
The young church in Thessalonica is enduring significant affliction and persecution for their faith in Christ. And in their communication with Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, they ask, why are they having to suffer so much? Why doesn't God stop their persecution? Paul and his companions respond that God has good purposes even in their unjust suffering and they share with them the hope of Heaven.
Paul writes a second time to the church in Thessalonica to strengthen their faith in the midst of great suffering. He praises God that their faith is not failing, but growing. We learn from their example, that faith in Christ is not static, but dynamic. Furthermore, our faith can and should be growing no matter our earthly circumstances.
At the start of every new year, we focus on the vital role of prayer in our spiritual life and in advancing the Kingdom of God. Prayer is the means by which the gospel and the Kingdom of God advances in us and in the world. In other words, prayer is God’s appointed means by which His will is accomplished, gospel is advanced and his Kingdom grows and spreads.