1&2 Thessalonians

GET EXCITED: HE IS COMING BACK!

Sometimes we need a wake-up call that one day Jesus is coming back and when the final trumpet sounds, it is all over. If you need that stirring again, 1 & 2 Thessalonians are for you. They are full of End Times teaching about the Second Coming of Christ and the Antichrist, but don’t be scared off! Paul is stirring us again to take up the cause and remember the importance of knowing the truth. Jesus is coming back, and our mission is to be ready and active. These books will motivate you and stir you again for the gospel of Jesus. Read them and never be the same.

 

 

PART ONE|PART TWO|PART THREE|PART FOUR

 
 

 

Part One

FOR WE KNOW, BROTHERS AND SISTERS LOVED BY GOD, THAT HE HAS CHOSEN YOU.

1T 1:4

Welcome to our first part in the Books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians. These books are going to challenge and stir you in your faith. Watch as Katie teaches you where Thessalonica is and the process of birthing this incredible church.


DIVE

CAN OUR LEADERS BE TRUSTED?

As you study Thessalonians, you’ll realise how hard it must have been for Paul. The guy is trying to plant new churches, he’s been beaten, people are rioting against him and he’s having to move from area to area – not because he wants to, but because he is forced out. After facing so many attacks from the people, he discovers that there are people following behind him, going into the churches he’s just planted, and causing chaos. We know from the Snapshot video this week that false teachers had come in and were telling the people that Paul didn’t come back to visit them because he didn’t care, and putting doubts about Paul into the new convert’s minds.

 

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DEEP DIVE

A DEEP DIVE INTO THESSALONIANS PART 1 | DR ADAM WHITE

The story of Thessalonians is, from beginning to end, a story of inclusion and exclusion. In the ancient world, community was priority. People understood themselves in relation to the community to which they belonged, be it their family, their city, their local cultic group or trade guild, or whatever other group they might be a part of. There was no sense of the individual — as we understand it today — rather, your identity, and with it, your perceived character, was directly related to who you associated with. In this context, your social status could rise or fall on the status of the group with which you were identified. That is, an honourable group must surely consist of honourable individuals and vice versa for a dishonourable group. This meant that you had an obligation both to yourself and your group to uphold the values and honour of the group. Conversely, the group had a responsibility to deal with members according to how they behaved. Honour to those who brought the group honour, shame to those who brought the group shame. In the worst cases of a member’s dishonourable behaviour, shame through excommunication.

 

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Part Two

THEREFORE ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER AND BUILD EACH OTHER UP, JUST AS IN FACT YOU ARE DOING .

1T 5:11


DIVE

ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER WITH WHAT?

When you read the End Times details in 1 Thessalonians from 4:13-5:11, it can be quite overwhelming and confusing. Twice Paul says, ‘encourage one another’ with these words (Chapters 4:18, 5:11), and honestly, you want to respond, ‘I have no idea what you just said let alone being able to repeat it in an encouraging way’. So how do we take what Paul said so we can use it as an encouragement? Let’s try and simplify these verses so we can get the message of hope that Paul intended.

Paul is encouraging the Christians that the people in their world who had already died will rise from the dead when Jesus comes back. He is giving them hope that because Jesus died and rose from the dead, when Jesus comes back with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God, those who have already died will rise first. The people are worried about what has happened to their family members who have died, and Paul is clarifying that they will rise before us.

 

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DEEP DIVE

The deep dive into thessalonians continues | Dr ADAM WHITE

A few years ago, my young cousin was kidnapped for several days and eventually murdered by drug dealers with whom he had fallen in. It was a very dark time for our family, made worse by the fact that my own dad had been killed in a plane crash only two weeks prior. In those sorts of times, you really reflect on what could have been, should have been, and all the rest. But one of the prominent feelings is regret. Regret for all the things you never said, you never did; that if you only had the time back you would do it all very differently. For the parents of my cousin, they still, to this day, have one all-consuming thought: we should have been there for him.

 

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Part Three

MAY THE LORD DIRECT YOUR HEARTS INTO GOD’S LOVE AND CHRIST’S PERSEVERANCE.

2T 3:5


DIVE

WHAT YOU DO IN LIFE ECHOES IN ETERNITY

Sometimes I find myself feeling uncomfortable and convicted as I read the Bible and I wish the words that made me feel that way were simply not there. The Bible is my book of truth, it is the book that teaches me, informs my thinking, my behaviour, the way I see my life. But some things in the Bible offend my comfortable way of living and I don’t like it! I don’t like feeling convicted, I don’t like feeling like I have to do something, I don’t like feeling like there is no other option and so reading 2 Thessalonians is definitely a challenge!

1 & 2 Thessalonians will make you uncomfortable, they will push you to think about things that destroy your comfort zone and propel you into a world of thinking that will change your behaviour. These books will help you decide if having that awkward conversation of the gospel is worth getting out of your comfort zone, if that conviction of the Holy Spirit to go and talk to your neighbours or your family is really worth it!  

 

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DEEP DIVE

A DEEP DIVE INTO THESSALONIANS PART THREE | DR ADAM WHITE

I finished last week’d Deep Dive by describing the Thessalonians as a very young group of believers who had not been established in the Word. Paul wrote to encourage them to hold on to the faith in the face of serious opposition, but there were still some issues to clear up. He begins in Chapter 4 by reminding them of what they already heard from him, the ‘basics’ as it were.

Every preacher has a message or a set of teachings that they are particularly passionate about. For those of you who have been in the same church for long enough and have heard the same few speakers preaching week in and week out, you know what I mean. For Paul, there were some classic hits: be sanctified, avoid sexual immorality, learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable (unlike the pagans), don’t wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister, live a holy life, love one another as you have been taught by God to love each other and do so more and more (1 Thess 4:3–10). This is all classic Paul.

 

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Part Four

NOW MAY THE LORD OF PEACE HIMSELF GIVE YOU PEACE AT ALL TIMES AND IN EVERY WAY.

2T 3:16


DIVE

THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS

It’s difficult to get around the elephant in the room in 1 and 2 Thessalonians, so let’s face the challenge head on. Who is the man of lawlessness, and what is Paul talking about in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17?

As an End Times teacher, I realise that when you mention anything to do with End Times, the Antichrist or the Book of Revelation, most people start seeing beasts, burning cities, chaos, end times destruction and Armageddon. So, as you read 2 Thessalonians and you encounter the section on the man of lawlessness, don’t freak out!

The first thing I want you to remember when understanding the man of lawlessness is how he is defeated. Chapter 2:8 says, ‘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’.


 

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DEEP DIVE

A FINAL DEEP DIVE INTO THESSALONIANS | DR ADAM WHITE

It’s perhaps appropriate that I am writing this final piece while travelling from Thessalonica to Athens. In the last post, I drew your attention to two passages in 1 Thessalonians. In 4:11–12 Paul says the following

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

He then says in 5:12–14

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive.

 

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