And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
In reading the book of 2 Thessalonians, you will find an uncanny similarity to the subjects of Paul's first letter: Jesus' second coming, spiritual growth, idleness among certain non-workers. Obviously, they failed to listen well the first time, so a a sterner, more formal approach replaces the warm tenderness of Paul's first letter.
The controversy in Thessalonica actually traces back to a portion of Paul's first letter that answered his readers' questions about the afterlife. Will people who have already died miss out on the resurrection from the dead? That is more than an idle question for the Thessalonians, who live with the constant danger of persecution and the risk of martyrdom.
In his first letter, Paul assured them that people still living when Jesus returns to the earth will rejoin those who have died before them. Since receiving that letter, however, the Thessalonians have gone several steps beyond Paul's advice.
The expectation of Jesus' return evidently prompted some to quit their jobs and do nothing but sit around in anticipation of that day. They are becoming, in Paul's words, "idle...busy-bodies" (3:11). So, Paul writes mainly to correct this imbalance. In chapter 2 he tells of certain obscure events that must precede the second coming of Jesus. He also strongly warns against idleness. Some verses may prove confusing; indeed, no one can be certain of Paul's meaning in exact detail because he is building on a teaching he earlier gave the Thessalonians in private.
In preparing for Jesus' second coming, we should all take Paul's advice as he cautions us to be patient and steady. He urges us to simply trust the fact that Jesus will return and finally bring justice to earth. In the meantime, we need to live worthily for that day and to not tolerate idleness...but live our our lives as Christ would have us.