Searchlights from the Word by G. Campbell Morgan: 2 Thessalonians

Helpful outline sermon suggestion from every chapter from the Book of 2 Thessalonians

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The Book of 2 Thessalonians - "Searchlights from the Word" by G. Campbell Morgan.

Chapter 1

He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed ... in that day.
2 Thessalonians 1:10

The coming of the Lord to which the Apostle was referring in these words, is that which he had already described as "the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven, with the angels of His power in flaming fire" (see verses 7 and 8). This is the Apocalypse or Unveiling aspect of that Parousia or Presence of the Lord, which is to consummate the age commenced by His first Advent. It will be the Day of the Lord, in all the fullness of the great prophetic phrase. One aspect of it he has already described, that, namely, of punitive judgment. In these words another aspect is named, that, namely, of His vindication in His saints, that is, in those who have believed. In them He will be glorified; in them He will be marvelled at. While this implicates the fact of their close identification with Him in that great day of His triumph, its chief value is that it reveals how absolutely perfect His work will be in them. Then they will be "without blemish in exceeding joy"; then their spiritual being will be perfected, their minds completely conformed to His mind; the very bodies of their humiliation will be "fashioned anew and conformed to the body of His glory." The wondrous perfection of the saints will be the central glory of the unveiled One, the Lord Jesus Himself; and their very glory will be such as to direct attention to Him rather than to themselves, for it is He Who will "be marvelled at in that day." While that is a radiantly beautiful description of the goal toward which we travel, should it not also be the ideal for our present life: that we should so live that He may be glorified in us daily; and He be marvelled at as the One to Whom we owe everything?

Chapter 2

The mystery of lawlessness doth already work; only there is One that restraineth now.
2 Thessalonians 2:7

Many opinions have been held concerning what Paul meant here by "the mystery of lawlessness," and to whom he referred when he wrote of "One that restraineth." The difficulty has been largely created by the view that he was thinking of something and someone peculiar to the times in which he wrote. The context shows that he was looking forward to the day of the Lord at the consummation of the present age, to the Parousia, or Presence of Christ, and especially to the Apocalypse aspect of it, in which the "Man of sin" having been also revealed, should be slain. With that in view, he wrote these words, and they naturally apply to the whole age to be so consummated. During that age - this age in which we live, "the mystery of lawlessness," the principle of evil, which at last will be unveiled in the person of the Man of Sin, is already working. But it is also true that, during the same age, there is One Who restrains that working, holds it in check, prevents its final development, and He will continue to do so, until He is taken out of the way. The reference unquestionably is to the Holy Spirit, Who by His work of convincing the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgment, makes impossible the outworking of lawlessness to its final issues. The time will come when the restraining influence will be removed, so that the mystery of lawlessness may be wrought out to its final expression, and that, in order that it may be destroyed by the unveiling of the Lord.

Chapter 3

The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:5

That is the true attitude toward life, both with regard to its trials, and its one blessed hope. Our trials are ever likely to produce restlessness; and unless we are careful our very watching for our absent Lord may degenerate into impatience. Therefore it was that Paul expressed this desire for the sorely tried Thessalonians, to whom he had been writing in this letter very specially about future things, and the Lord's Return. I think the very method he adopted in stating his desire is in itself instructive. Let us glance at the desire, beginning where the Apostle ended. What a wonderful thing "the patience of Christ" was, and may we not say is, as He still waits in long-suffering love for the final victory! How He bore with men! How He still bears with them! That we may have His patience, is surely one of the greatest needs of life. What, then, was the secret of their patience? Surely "the love of God." Christ wrought and waited, secure in His knowledge of His Father's love for Him, and in His love for His Father. That is still the secret of patience. The measure in which we are sure of the love of God is the measure in which, amid all the afflictions of the little while, we shall rejoice in His tarrying, as surely as in the hope of His Coming. Finally, for our meditation, notice the Apostle's first words: "The Lord direct your hearts." This also must be His work. Only let us not hinder Him.