Appendix I

Outlines of First and Second Thessalonians

Making an outline was one major tool the Holy Spirit used to open up my understanding. It was a lot of hard work, but it helped me to see what the passage was really saying, not just what I thought it said.

Try making an outline of your favorite book. The procedure in brief is: first, mark off the divisions; second, organize the divisions into an outline. Let the outline reflect the actual thought pattern of the author rather than forcing an artificial outline from the outside. This requires much meditation and hard concentration, but I would like you to experience the thrill and satisfaction of slicing the meat of the Word for yourself.




I.A SUCCESSFUL BEGINNING (Thanksgiving to God) (1:1–2:16)
A.Thanksgiving for God's calling (1:1–10)
1.The people–Thessalonians (1:1–2)
2.The content—faith, love, hope (1:3)
3.The reason—God's calling (1:4–10)
a.As evidenced by powerful preaching (1:5)
(Explained further in 2:1–12.)
b.As evidenced by joyous reception (1:6–10)
(Explained further in 2:13–16.)
1)The exemplary result (1:7)
2)The far-reaching result (1:8–10)
a)Widely known is Paul's entrance (1:9a)
(Explained further in 2:1–12.)
b)Widely known is their conversion (1:9b-10)
(Explained further in 2:13–16.)
1]To serve God (1:9b)
(Explained further in 4:1–12.)
2]To wait for His Son (1:10)
a]Who rose from the dead
(Explained further in 4:13–18.)
b]Who delivers from wrath
(Explained further in 5:1–11.)
B.Presentation of God's calling (2:1–12)
1.The portrayal (2:1–8)
a.Bold preaching in affliction (2:2)
b.God-pleasing preaching (2:3–4)
c.Unselfish preaching (2:5–8)
1)Not throwing our weight around (2:5–6)
2)Gentle (2:7)
3)Sharing our very souls (2:8)
2.The proof (2:9–12)
a.Your remember our labor (2:9)
b.You witnessed our holy lives (2:10)
c.You witnessed our tender exhortations (2:11–12)
C.Reception of God's calling (2:13–16)
1.By belief (2:13)
2.By suffering (2:14–16)
a.The example of the sufferers (2:14–15)
b.The deserved doom of the persecutors (2:16)
(Not only did you begin well, but you have also evidenced a ...)
II.A STEADFAST CONTINUATION (Encouragement from them) (2:17–3:13)
A.Paul's previous attempts to visit (2:17–20)
1.His strong desire (2:17)
2.His Satanic hindrances (2:18)
3.His "selfish" reason—joyous reward (2:19–20)
B.Timothy's preparatory visit (3:1–10)
1.The purpose of the visit (3:1–5)
a.To represent Paul in his absence (3:1)
b.To strengthen them in affliction (3:2–4)
1)Unmovable in affliction (3:3a)
2)Appointed to affliction (3:3b)
3)Forewarned of affliction (3:4)
c.To make sure they had not fallen (3:5)
2.The result of the visit (3:6–8)
a.The reported faithfulness (3:6)
b.The resulting encouragement (3:7–8)
c.The renewed prayer (3:9–10)
1)Of thanks (3:9)
2)Of request (3:10)
a)To visit
b)To perfect
C.Paul's plan to visit (3:11–13)
1.His desire for God's direction (3:11)
2.His desire for their growth (3:12)
3.His desire for their establishment (3:13)
a.In holiness
b.At the Lord's coming
(May your great beginning and steadfast continuation extend into ...)
III.A SANCTIFIED FUTURE (Exhortation to them) (4:1–5:28)
A.Serving God (4:1–12)
1.Bodily sanctification (4:1–8)
a.What God wills (4:1–6)
1)No fornication (4:3)
2)No heathen lusts (4:5)
3)No defrauding (4:6)
b.Why God wills (4:7–8)
1)His righteous character
2)His holy call
a)Disobeying means rejecting God
b)Disobeying means rejecting His Holy Spirit
2.Brotherly love (4:9–10)
a.I do not need to teach you (4:9a)
b.God teaches you (4:9b)
c.You are already doing it well (4:10)
3.Busily working (4:11–12)
a.The exhortation (4:11)
b.The purpose (4:12)
1)For no criticism without
2)For no needs within
B.Waiting for His Son (4:13–5:11)
1.Who rose again—comfort (4:13–18)
a.The desire of Paul (4:13–14)
1)Not for hopelessness (4:13)
a)In ignorance
b)In sorrow
2)But for hopefulness (4:14)
a)Based on the resurrection of Christ
b)Focused on the resurrection of their dead
b.The new revelation from Paul (4:15–18)
1)Its content (4:15–17)
a)The dead have not lost any advantage (4:15–17a)
1]The descent of the Lord (4:16a)
2]The ascension of believers (4:16b-17a)
a]The dead rise first (4:16b)
b]The living join them (4:17a)
b)All are destined to the same place (4:17b)
2)Its comfort (4:18)
2.Who delivers from wrath—edification (5:1–11)
a.A reminder concerning the day of the Lord (5:1–3)
1)It comes as a thief in the night (manner) (5:1–2)
2)It comes with sudden destruction (result) (5:3)
b.Our relation to the day of the Lord (5:4–10)
1)Our identity—we have no part in it (5:4–5)
2)Our consequent duty—be wide awake and sober (5:6–8)
3)The reason for our duty—we are delivered (5:9–10)
a)Appointed not to wrath (5:9a)
b)Appointed to salvation (5:9b)
c)Appointed to live with Him (5:10)
c.The result of our relation to the day of the Lord (5:11)
(Explained further in 4:13–18.)
(Explained further in 5:1–10.)
C.Concluding exhortations to holiness (5:12–22)
1.Honoring church leadership (5:12–13)
2.Helping church members (5:14–15)
3.Personal exhortations (5:16–22)
a.On rejoicing in prayer (5:16–18)
b.On good and evil (5:19–22)
Salutation (5:23–28)
 God Himself secures our holiness
Greet with an holy kiss




(Patience is worth it) (1:1–12)
A.The rejoicing of Paul for their patience (1:1–4)
B.The result of persecution (1:5–12)
1.Result introduced (1:5)
a.Justice will come in due time (1:5a)
(Explained further in 1:6–9.)
b.In the meantime, patience produces worthiness (1:5b)
(Explained further in 1:11–12.)
2.Result explained (1:6–12)
a.God's righteous judgment (1:6–9)
1)Judgment introduced (1:6–7)
a)For unbelievers: tribulation (1:6)
(Explained further in 1:8–9.)
b)For believers: rest (1:7)
(Explained further in 1:10.)
2)Judgment explained (1:8–10)
a)Fiery vengeance on the disobedient (tribulation) (1:8–9)
b)Glory given to believers (rest) (1:10)
b.Paul's prayer for their worthiness (1:11–12)
(Even though God's judgment is fair, that does not mean it will come right away. I want to give you ...)
(Patience is necessary) (2:1–17)
A.The plea introduced (2:1–2)
1.Its basis—both aspects of the coming of Christ (2:1)
(Explained further in 2:13–14.)
2.Its object—a patient and worthy attitude (2:2a)
(Explained further in 2:15–17.)
3.Its substance—the day of the Lord is not near (2:2b)
(Explained further in 2:3–12.)
B.The plea explained (2:3–17)
1.The destiny of unbelievers is delayed but certain (2:3–12)
a.Their destruction is delayed (proof) (2:3–7)
1)Two preceding events introduced (2:3)
a)The removal
(Explained further in 2:6–7.)
b)The revealing
(Explained further in 2:4.)
2)Two preceding events explained (2:4–7)
a)The revealing of the man of sin (2:4)
b)(No excuse for not already knowing these two events) (2:5)
c)The removal of the Holy Spirit who withholds (2:6–7)
(Lest you think, "If destruction is delayed, how can we be certain it will happen at all?" I want to tell you that ...)
b.Their destruction is still certain (reassurance) (2:8–9)
1)Destruction of the man of sin is certain. Why? The coming of Christ consumes him (2:8–9)
2)Destruction of the followers of the man of sin is certain. Why? They follow the deception of the man of sin (2:9–12)
a)Satan: immediate reason for deception—lying wonders (2:9)
b)Self: personal reason for deception—chose unrighteousness over truth (2:10)
c)God: ultimate reason for deception—God gives Satan power to deceive so that all will see His justice when He punishes them for their personal choice (2:11–12)
(In contrast to unbelievers ...)
2.The destiny of believers is salvation and glory (2:13–14)
(In light of the destruction of unbelievers and the reward of believers ...)
3.Live worthy of your destiny (2:15–17)
a.Live according to Paul's teaching (2:15)
(Explained further in 3:6–15.)
1)By personal word
2)By letter
b.Live according to God's power
(Explained further in 3:1–5.)


(Patience is commanded) (3:1–18)
A.According to God's power (3:1–5)
1.In their prayers (3:1–3)
2.In their lives (3:4–5)
B.According to Paul's teaching (3:6–15)
1.Teachings introduced (3:6)
a.By letter: "withdraw from the disorderly"
(Explained further in 3:11–15.)
b.In person: "traditions ye have received"
(Explained further in 3:7–10.)
2.Teachings explained (3:7–15)
a.In person (3:7–10)
1)Paul's example: I worked hard (3:7–9)
2)Paul's words: you work hard (3:10)
b.By letter (3:11–15)
Withdraw from those who will not work
Salutation (3:16–18)