Michael returns to his series The Big Book: Cover to Cover with the book of 2 Thessalonians.
1-2 Thessalonians are generally considered the earliest canonical Pauline letters. 2 Thessalonians is only 47 verses long, but it’s a very practical book in many ways, and very applicable in our current situation.
“Paul’s first letter evidently left some Thess. believers unconvinced. They still questioned whether the Day of the Lord had already come and gone, they may have been confused by other issues wrongly attributed to Paul’s teaching (2 Thessalonians 2:1–2). 2 Thessalonians is the apostle’s further clarification regarding the return of Christ. (In a way, this gives me solace; even under Paul’s teaching, people were confused about the eschaton!) Beware of deception.
As to this “confusion”, we read in 2:1–12 the apostle clarification on Christ’s return, warning the Thessalonian believers should not be too easily swayed by any rumor that Christ has already returned. This event, he explains, will be preceded by a rebellion (v. 3), by the exposure of “the man of lawlessness” who is presently restrained but will proclaim himself divine (vv. 3–7), and finally by Christ’s destruction of this person (v. 8).Paul again confronts certain believers who continued their refusal to work because they felt that the imminent return of Christ rendered labor unnecessary. Citing his own ministry among them as an example to be followed (3:7–9), Paul repeats the command he had given in person that anyone refusing to work not be sustained by the others (v. 10). He then urges the idle believers to earn their living (v. 12).
2 Thessalonians may be less affectionate in tone than its predecessor, but its corrective comments on Christ’s return have admirably comforted believers through the centuries.” (From Allen C. Myers, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary)