Day 10 p. 103-115
During the second missionary journey, Paul went to the city of Thessalonica after he was forced to leave Philippi. Many in Philippi had become followers of Jesus and this angered local officials. A similar outcome in Thessalonica resulted in Paul being sent to Athens, Greece. Paul was concerned that the new believers in Thessalonica might be tempted to stop following Jesus because of the opposition they were facing. Silas and Timothy were now reunited with him, so he sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to encourage the new Christians there. Timothy returned with good news and this prompted Paul to write these letters of encouragement, teaching, and correction.
Paul begins by literally bragging on these new Christians, but also reminding them that he, too, had been treated badly. His instructions in these letters is not complicated, it is simply instructing them in Christian living. I've always felt that this is what "Sunday School" should be. Why complicate something that isn't complicated?
Paul recognized that they already had love for one another, but he urged them to do even more; be an example by being a hard worker and not a busy body. Isn't this what we're to be about?
For some reason the people had thought that Christ would return immediately, so Paul assured them that their loved ones who had passed away would be raised up when Jesus returns. At the same time, we don't know the time and date of His return. So, let us now encourage each other and build each other up. This also sounds a little like "let your light so shine before men..."
Paul had to write a second letter to the Thessalonians shortly after the first. A false report had circulated saying that he'd said the day of the Lord had already come. He sets the record straight. Paul warns these new Christians that there are those who would try to deceive them. We have those in our world today, don't we? He assures them that the power of the Lord Jesus will prevail over the evil one. Many Bible students suggest that he is pointing to the Antichrist.
Paul finishes this second letter by encouraging them and thanking them for their stand. He warns them to distance themselves from idle believers and those that are disruptive and don't live as they ought.
Finally, he gives them his blessing and asks for the Lord's blessing on them.
About The Author
Marion Fowler and wife, Linda, have been members of Oakland Heights Baptist Church for 17 years. Linda retired from the State of Texas; Marion from the car business. He then began delivering medications for a local pharmacy a few hours a week.