The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians has three main themes. The first is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and included also is a long portion on the identity of the Antichrist. The second is about intercessory prayer when Paul treats us to examples of different types of prayer. From his prayers we learn what kind of subject matter there should be in the prayers of Christians when making intercession. Thirdly, the important theme of local Church discipline is the second longest section in the epistle. It is evident that it is a topic that needed to be aired among Paul’s correspondents for his previous exhortation in 1 Thessalonians had not produced the desired effect. At first sight there seems very little about suffering in this epistle, but Chapter 1: 4-5 opens this theme for us and gives helpful insights into this most perplexing and controversial subject. Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians is as relevant for us today as it was for the first-century Thessalonian believers to whom he wrote. Its three main themes—the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, intercessory prayer and local church discipline—were addressed to a young church experiencing trouble, discrimination and harassment because of their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. Here Ian McNaughton unpacks these themes, demonstrating the timeless importance of each one in encouraging strong and assured hope in the midst of suffering.
Ian McNaughton was converted at nineteen years of age, studied theology at the Free Church of Scotland College, Edinburgh, and gained his Master of Theology degree in Historical Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania, USA. He has served as a Pastor in FIEC churches for almost thirty years and now represents Day One Christian Ministries as their Scottish Secretary. He and his wife, Violet, have one adult son, Mark.
There is much more in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians than many Bible readers imagine and Ian McNaughton is to be thanked for providing here a brief commentary which gives the reader a sound and solid exposition. The themes handled here include: the Second Coming of Christ, Election, the Application of Redemption, the Man of Sin, the spiritual nature of prayer and Church Discipline. I wish this short commentary a wide readership.
—Rev Maurice Roberts, Free Church (Continuing) Inverness
‘A small commentary packed with good theology, sound exposition, and instructive and challenging study and group discussion items. It does not avoid some of the hard parts of the book and certainly ‘opens up’ 2 Thessalonians – and more.’
—Brian H Edwards