First Place By Grant Phillips Do you remember when you were a youngster, now think…
Overview – 1 Thessalonians
By Dennis Huebshman
Thessalonica was a major city in Greece. Macedonia and Achaia which are mentioned are also cities in part of Greece. It should be noted that even during the time of this Epistle (probably around 51-52 AD) people were looking for the return of Jesus. However, much of the 2nd. Coming prophecy was yet to be fulfilled. Until the return of the Jews to Israel on May 14, 1948, it was very premature. The destruction of the temple in 70 AD was still about 18 years away.
Chapter 1 – Paul is giving a greeting to the Church in Thessalonica and acknowledging their receiving the Holy Spirit. He praises them for their faith and the reputation they have that is know by all around them. He especially is pleased they turned from idols to serve and worship the Living and True God.
Chapter 2 – Paul lets them know the word he presents is from God, not man. He didn’t try to put on a fancy presentation just to get their attention as some Churches do today, but presented the word as provided by the Lord. He says He taught them the word as a parent would teach a child, with honesty and patience so they would gain the full benefit from it. Churches today should take note of this chapter. All the “cool productions” in the world will not take the place of the plain living Word of the Lord.
After leaving Thessalonica, Paul was concerned about their dedication and worried that outside influences might draw them down.
Chapter 3 – Paul had sent Timothy to them to help strengthen and encourage them in their faith. Paul had told them earlier that when they accepted Jesus, they would be targets for satan and others who were trying to destroy his ministry.
Timothy reported back to Paul that they were strong in the faith. Paul asked the Father to provide them strength and endurance in all their trials.
Chapter 4 – Paul encourages them to continue in service to the Lord in order to please Him (the Lord, not Paul). He warns them to stay away from sexual immorality and put all evil behind them. He admonishes them to Love God and each other in mutual respect.
Half-way through this chapter, Paul starts his lesson on the Rapture (13-18).
Paul assures them that those who have died (fallen asleep) have not missed the coming of Jesus. He lets them know that those who were believers and died will be raised up FIRST when Jesus comes for His Church. Then those who are still alive will be taken next. All will be “caught up” (Raptured) to meet Jesus in the Clouds.
Chapter 5 – He lets them know there is no way to determine the actual day Jesus will return but admonishes them to stay alert and continue to serve the Lord as God has promised to keep them from the wrath (v.9). Whether they have died or are alive, all believers will be with Him when He calls.
He urges them to give support to those who work to keep the Word of the Lord going forward. He urges encouragement to those who are weaker in order to build them up and not tear them down. He urges prayer and thanksgiving to keep the “Spirit” alive.
We should be aware that Paul’s instructions are just as pertinent today as they were then. We need to keep ourselves about the “Father’s Business” and prepare ourselves for Jesus’ soon Return. It could be any day, hour or minute as all the necessary prophecies have been completed leading up to that event. Even if we pass away before He comes, we will be like Lazarus and not the rich man as our spiritual being will be with Jesus immediately. Please don’t take a chance of having to go into the wrath (Tribulation) by calling out to Jesus to be your Savior. For those who have accepted Jesus and await His return, we say MARANATHA – Come Lord Jesus!