ABOUT THE BOOK OF 1ST THESSALONIANS
PURPOSE: To strengthen the Thessalonian Christians in their faith and give them assurance of Christ’s return .
ORIGINAL AUDIENCE: The church in Thessalonica
Paul established the church in Thessalonica during his second missionary journey (in about AD 51).
SETTING: The church in Thessalonica was very young, established only two or three months before this letter was written. These Christians needed to mature in their faith. In addition, there was a misunderstanding concerning Christ’s second coming— some thought he would return immediately and thus were confused when their loved ones died before he did. Meanwhile, the believers were being persecuted.
KEY VERSE: “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (4: 14)
SPECIAL FEATURES: First Thessalonians was one of Paul’s earliest letters. Paul had received a favorable report from Timothy about the Thessalonians, but he wrote this letter to correct their misconceptions about the resurrection of the dead and the second coming of Christ.
1Persecution Explanation: Paul and the new Christians at Thessalonica were experiencing persecution because of their faith in Christ. We can expect trials and troubles too. We need to stand firm in our faith amid adversity, being strengthened by the Holy Spirit, who helps us to remain strong in faith, show genuine love to others, and maintain godly character even when we are being persecuted, slandered, or oppressed.
2 Paul’s Ministry Explanation: Paul expressed his concern for this church even while he was being slandered. Paul’s commitment to sharing the gospel despite difficult circumstances is a model we should follow. Paul not only delivered his message but also gave of himself. In our ministries, we must become like Paul— faithful and bold, yet sensitive and self-sacrificing.
3Hope:One day all believers, both those who are alive and those who have died, will be united with Christ. Christians who die before Christ’s return have hope— the hope of the resurrection of the body. If we believe in Christ, we have this hope. All who belong to Jesus Christ— from throughout history— will be present with him at his second coming. We can be confident that we will be with loved ones who have trusted in Christ.
4Being Prepared Explanation: No one knows the time of Christ’s return. We are to live virtuous and holy lives, ever watchful for his coming. Believers must not neglect daily responsibilities but always work and live to please the Lord. The gospel is not only what we believe but also what we must live. The Holy Spirit leads us in faithfulness so that we can avoid living unfaithful lives. Live as though you expect Christ to return at any time. Don’t be caught unprepared.Tyndale. NIV Life Application Study Bible.
ON THE WAY HOME WALK WITH JESUS and tomorrow we will start the scripture in 1st THESSALONIANS.
onthewayhomeministries.org by RICHARD DEAN BROOKS