1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We see that the authors of 2 Thessalonians are the same as that of the first letter: Paul, Timothy, and Silvanus, those who had been involved in the ministry from its foundation. They write to the church in Thessalonica which is in God and in Christ, their Lord. There is no true church that is not indwelled by God and Christ. The standard greeting of grace and peace from God and Christ to the church is given, demonstrating a desire to see continued growth, faith, and love from the brothers and sisters there.
3We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;
4therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
They are proud of this church, and they tell others of their faithfulness and love. They have great thanksgiving in their hearts toward God because of the ever-growing faith and love of these believers. They suffer much persecution and affliction, but they have persevered and kept the faith. They are a tremendous testimony to all of the surrounding churches.
5This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
6For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
7and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,
8dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
Believers are allowed by God to suffer now for His sake, for we are blessed when we suffer for righteousness’ sake and the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:10, Luke 6:22). Our suffering shows that we are indeed worthy of the kingdom, for all who desire to live godly in Christ will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). Thus, an identifying mark of true believers is that we will suffer as a result of our allegiance to Christ. Yet our suffering points to the future suffering of those who do the persecuting. The ungodly will be repaid justly by God with affliction for their afflicting of the saints. This is why we do not need to take vengeance into our own hands, for God will deal justly with all people (Romans 12:19). One day Christ will come as King and Judge and will pour out His wrath upon the ungodly. We will find relief as we enter the presence of Christ and see His justice meted out. Those who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel will face God’s wrath. Some may know of God, but the final evaluation will be whether or not they were known by God as His children for having repented of their sins and having put their faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as the means of their righteousness (Matthew 7:23).
9These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
10when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed--for our testimony to you was believed.
The ungodly will suffer the wages of their sin (Romans 6:23), which is spiritual death and eternal destruction in the lake of fire. They will be forever alive in torment but apart from the presence of God, never able to bridge the gap. Those who have believed the gospel will experience the wonder, glory, majesty, and power of God firsthand in His presence forever in heaven. There is no glory to God found in the heart of the unbeliever, but in the saints, God will find great glory because Christ Himself indwells them. We are Christ’s inheritance (Ephesians 1:18).
11To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power,
12so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
They pray for the Thessalonians that every desire that they have for doing good would be fulfilled and every work that they do in faith would be backed with the power of God. Their desire is that God’s name would be lifted up and glorified through the lives that they live in Christ while yet on this earth. This will enable Christ to be glorified in them, and they will find their glory, worth, and joy in Him. This is all a result of the wonderful grace of God given to those who believe.