Putting God's Word into Practice…

1 Thessalonians Introduction

on January 5, 2013

Guess who wrote this letter to the church in Thessolonica????  If you said, “Paul,” you win!

A little history:

Acts 17 records the starting of the church in Thessolonica.  After departing from Philippi, Paul, Silas and Timothy departed for the thriving capital of the Roman province of Macedonia.  Thessolonica was a great center of trade and a real melting pot of people.  Paul went into the synagogue three Sabbaths in a row reasoning with the people about Jesus’ suffering in the crucifixion and the validity of His resurrection.  Jews, Greeks, men and women alike all came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  This angered some devout followers of Judaism and they started a riot.  Dragging out Jason, the host of the missionaries, and taking him before the authorities, they condemned the men for having, “turned the world upside down.”  (What a great accusation!  I only wish that could be said of  my life!)  The authorities gave Jason a shake down for some money and sent him on his way, while the newfound believers secretly escorted Paul, Silas and Timothy to assumed safety in Berea.

In 17:11 we learn that the Jewish Thessolonians resorted to violence and accusations because they were unwilling to seek the Scriptures to see if what Paul was teaching held any water.  Sounds a lot like our culture today–tolerance for everything except Christian beliefs because of an unwillingness to seek absolute truth.  Boycotting and defaming are much easier.  These same Thessolonians who caused trouble followed Paul to Berea and started trouble there as well.  He was swiftly ushered on to Athens, leaving behind “baby” believers.

Timothy was sent back to Thessolonica to be the pastor to the new church.   After some time, he returned to Paul while he was tent-making in Corinth with Aquila and Priscilla with a message of their growth, but also seeking wisdom for some problems there regarding the second coming of Jesus, persecution, and some selfishness and laziness that had crept into the church.

So 1 Thessalonians is Paul’s letter addressing these thing in the church–all the people there who had put their faith in Jesus Christ.


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