Paul closed his first letter to the Thessalonians with the glorious promise that Christ would soon be returning. So, he called the Christians at Thessalonica to stay awake and remain alert in view of the second coming of Jesus.
The problem was that they misinterpreted what he has said, and many of the Thessalonians became so focused on the return of Jesus that they had embraced a lifestyle of waiting without working. They reasoned that since Christ’s coming could happen any day, that there was really no point in working or dealing with their daily burdens. Many actually quit their jobs and used the teaching about prophecy as an excuse to be irresponsible, not earning a living themselves, but subsisting on the generosity of others. They weren’t working. They were just waiting.
Paul sought to correct the thinking of these believers by highlighting the need to continue live responsibly.
Paul sought to correct the thinking of these believers by highlighting the need to continue live responsibly. That it should inspire us to keep moving forward, not cause us to shirk our everyday duties. As God’s kingdom people, the best way we can prepare, Paul suggested, is by living our lives in the light of Christ’s return. It should not be an excuse to rest, but a challenge to redouble our efforts for His kingdom.
In 2 Thessalonians, we are reminded that there’s nothing wrong with having an interest in the events that are prophesied and still have yet to come. But this always should be balanced by a commitment to living kingdom-centered lives today. We should keep our feet firmly planted in the present as we look toward the future.
We should keep our feet firmly planted in the present as we look toward the future.
Here’s a short video that highlights five key themes in the book of 2 Thessalonians. May you be blessed by it!