v1-12 - The point of this second letter is to reassure the Thessalonians that Christ had not already returned and that they weren't somehow 'left behind.'
One of the final aspects preceding Christ's return will be the coming of this mysterious, but yet very public "man of lawlessness."
Currently, this man is being 'held back' (v6).
But the day will come where he's set free for a short period to lie and delude people who've already rejected God's truth.
You don't need to fear this man, because Jesus will overthrow him with a simple breath.
v13-16 - Paul completely shifts gears here, remind his readers of God's saving grace in their lives to give them further confidence that the Lord is still coming for them (and us).
Christ called you to this salvation;
and He continues to give you eternal encouragement.
Understanding that so many people have become enslaved to lies might cause you to feel a bit better about yourself because you cling to Truth. You may have a very firm grip on the Truth, but realize you're standing where others have fallen because of the Truth's grip on you. Look at the awesome theology in v13:
because God chose you
to be saved through
the sanctifying work of the Spirit
and through belief in the truth.
Your salvation comes by God's power alone: He chose you, not because of anything you've done or potential you had, but simply because of His mercy. The 'why' He chose those that He did will always be a mystery to us, but He does does give you lots of insight on 'how' He saved you, and both of them involve your efforts as well:
Through the work of the Spirit: Notice that the work that the Spirit does is continuous: He didn't instantly sanctify you (make you holy), rather this is an ongoing process that will last the rest of your life as you continue to practice your Spiritual Disciplines (reading God's Word, praying, attending church, etc).
Through discerning between truth and lies: Because you're being sanctified, you can more and more recognize the difference between the lies of the world and the truth of God's word.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL— When Paul speaks of those who are “perishing,” he mentions something which they would neither love nor believe. What is it? (See verses 10 and 12.)
Questions from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God our Father, who loved you and by His grace gave you eternal encouragement and good hope (v16)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to continue to encourage your heart and strengthen you in every good deed and word (v16)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: