2 Thessalonians 1:1-2:11
Second Thessalonians is a follow up letter to the believers who were still struggling with the return of Jesus and the judgement to come. Paul was not in Thessalonica long enough to establish a firm foundation of teaching and knowledge. They kept growing in abundant faith and increasing love for each other, but their lack of information made them vulnerable to incorrect teaching. Paul affirmed their faith and love before correcting the disinformation that alarmed them. The return of Jesus will not happen until a powerful leader sets himself up as god, demanding obeisance and worship of himself alone. That has yet to happen. Even when it does, the time of the Lord’s return is in the Father’s hands alone.
Knowing the Scripture matters. Sitting under the teaching of God-fearing, Jesus-following, Spirit-filled leaders is an important element to walking in faith and love. Those who study the Word vocationally are instructed to preach the Word truthfully and completely. We who are under their instruction should check their words against Scripture AND build our own knowledge through the lessons they teach. When we know the Word, we will not be deceived.
Knowledge about God does not save us; only a relationship with Jesus can do that. Knowledge does make us more sure of our conviction so that we can faithfully work out (not for) our salvation with joy.
Some teachers and churches I know and trust (not an exhaustive list by any means)
Hope Church Las Vegas; New Vision, TN; Passion City Church, Atlanta; Ravi Zacharias, GA; Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, CA