Danny and I just read 2 Thessalonians out loud together and are now reflecting on it.
- PJ: 2:11-12 – “For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false, so that all will be condemned – those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness”
- God sends the delusion with the ultimate end of condemnation. The means to this condemnation is continuing to believe what is false. The issue and responsibility for humanity is faith in God’s Words or a rejection of God’s Words (which is to believe what is false).
- God can send a delusion that causes people to sin and yet that act of sending the delusion is not sinful. Stick that in your theological pipe and smoke it.
- The contrast is not between believing what is true and what is false in verse 12, but between believing what is true and enjoying unrighteousness. What you believe in and what you enjoy are inseparable though not identical. But they can’t be separated to the point where you can contrast the beliefs on the one hand and the enjoyment on the other hand. It’s either belief in truth and enjoyment of righteousness OR belief in what is false and the enjoyment of unrighteousness.
- Dan – the flow of the letter. He’s very direct addressing 3 issues (persecution, man of lawlessness, and handling an irresponsible member) in the church, he teaches them theologically about how to look at the issues after mentioning them, then gives them an exhortation.
- PJ: What is the main point of 2 Thessalonians? My guess: 2:15 – “Stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught.” Standing firm means understanding persecution, the 2nd coming, the man of lawlessness, that brothers are praying for you, and entails reminding and reinforcing one’s beliefs in God’s truth, praying for others who are gospelizing and practicing corrective discipline in the gospel community.
- What is the apostasy? Dan: The appearance of godliness but they rebel against God. PJ: the little antichrists make way for the ultimate Antichrist and the little apostasies make way for the ultimate Apostasy.
- Are they not working because they think the Day of the Lord already came? Dan’s guess: maybe. PJ: I think there’s connection.
- PJ: Thank God for CrossViewers and pray for them that God will: consider them worthy (1:11), fulfill every desire for good and work of faith (1:11), for Jesus to be glorified (1:12), to stand firm (2:15), to encourage their hearts and strengthen them in works and words (2:17), and give them peace (3:16).
- Dan: Really believe and make much of my theology. I can know a lot of things and struggle to believe what you know. Have a true dependence on God and lean on his power because it’s what he does that enables and enacts what we are to do.
- PJ: He’s coming again [restoration] (1:10) and he’s encouraged us by his coming (2:16).
- Dan: 2:14 – “He called you to this through our gospel so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”