Written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Thessalonica, the letter offers encouragement and praise for their faithfulness, practical instructions for living righteously and presents the hope of Jesus’ return for us.
Chapter 1 – Paul praises the Church for their good example in how they believed, turned from idols and lived in expectation of Jesus’ Return. He encourages them by telling them that he offers prayers “without ceasing” on their behalf.
Chapter 2 – Paul explains the circumstances that brought the to Thessalonica and points out his treatment of them. He likens himself to a “mother hen”. He points out how he worked hard to support himself so that no man could accuse him of ministering for profit, even though he was entitled to support if he chose to accept it.
He then talks about the genuineness of their conversion proven through their suffering for Christ. He condemns those who frustrate the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles. Paul wraps ups this chapter telling them how much he longs to see them.
Chapter 3 – Paul is concerned about their faith and whether they were standing firm. So he sent Timothy to check up on them. Paul longed to know how they were doing. Timothy returned with good news about the Thessalonian Church.
Chapter 4 – Paul now begins to teach them, and plead with them to live a holy life. He begins by urging them to be morally pure and to never take advantage of a brother in this area.
He then instructs them on leading a quiet, orderly, hard working life increasing in love towards one another.
Then Paul offers encouragement about our Future, about Christ’s return and the hope that it gives us.
Chapter 5 – Paul talks about the Day of the Lord, when it will come, the signs of its coming, and what events will occur. He offers these words for comfort.
He finishes the book urging with several instructions: honor those who are in authority over you in the Lord; exhort and rebuke those who need it; be patient and pursue good; don’t quench the Spirit, give thanks in everything, test all things, avoid evil.
• v.1 – The Church belongs to Jesus; grace and peace come from Jesus• v.2 – The activities of the Thessalonians (work of faith, labor of love, patience of hope) were ground in Christ• v.6 – They were followers of the Lord• v.8 – they proclaimed the Word of the Lord• v.10 – they were waiting for Jesus return to earth from heaven believing that He was God’s Son, raised from the dead
• v.6 – As Apostles of Jesus, they were entitled to be supported• v.14 – Commended for being imitators of churches that were in Christ• v.18-20 – Our hope is to be in the presence of Jesus when He returns
• v.2 – our labors are to be focused on and built around the Gospel of Christ• v.8 – comfort is derived from knowing that your spiritual children stand fast in Christ• v.11 – Jesus helps us in our petitions to Him• v.13 – Jesus will return with all the Saints
Chapter 4• v.1 – we can encourge, urge and exhort our brethren in the name of Jesus• v.6 – The Lord will avenge everyone who is defrauded by another through sexual immorality• v.13-14 – We are not to be without hope or to mourn as the lost because Jesus died and rose again; He will return and bring the Saints with Him.• v.15 – The Lord will return• v.16 – The dead in Christ will rise first• v.17 – Then we will be caught up in the clouds to meet Jesus in the air and be with Him forever
• v.1 – we don’t know the exact day and time• v.2 – that day comes as a “thief in the night”• v.9 – Jesus is the source of our salvation• v.10 – Jesus died for us that we could live together with Him• v.16 – It is Jesus will that we give thanks in all things• v.23 – Jesus is coming again• v.28 – Jesus’ grace is something to be desired
• v.1 – The God of grace and peace• v.2 – The Hearer of our prayers• v.3 – God is the Watcher of our lives and work; He sees…• v.9 – He is the one True and Living God who can be trusted to turn to
• v.2 – We can be bold in God’s name and work• v.4 – God is the Approver of our ministry; God tests our hearts• v.5 – God is the Witness of our actions, words and motives• v.10 – Again, God is our witness to our behavior• v.12 – God calls us into the Kingdom and into Glory• v.13 – God hears our ceaseless thanks and prayers if we offer them• v.15 – Pleasing God should be our objective
• v.2 – God appoints, approves and sustains His ministers• v.9 – God accepts and hears our thanks and rejoicing for our brethren• v.11 – God is the director of our paths
• v.1 – Our objective is to please God• v.3 – the revealed will of God is that we should be sexually pure• v.5 – People who live a life of passionate, unrestrained lust do not know God• v.7 – God did not call us to uncleanness but holiness• v.8 – rejecting purity is rejecting God• v.9 – God teaches us to love one another• v.14 – God will send those who are dead in Christ with Him when He returns• v.16 – God has a trumpet He will sound
• v.9 – God did not appoint us to wrath but to salvation• v.23 – God is peace and sanctification and will preserve us to the end
IV. Holy Spirit
• v.5 – The Gospel came in word, in power, in the Holy Spirit and was confirmed by what kind of men the Apostles were• v.6 – they became followers of the Apostles and the Lord even though they suffered; they became examples to all in the area who believed• v.9 – they turned from idols to serve the True and Living God• v.10 – Jesus delivers from the wrath to come
• v.4 – speak the truth of the gospel regardless of what men say or how you are treated; speak the plain truth, not with pleasing words• v.6-10 – when presenting the Gospel, don’t use flattery, be gentle, be a good example• v.13 – The Word was received as truth and it effectively worked in them• v.14 – they became imitators of other of Christ churches• v.16 – forbidding the Gospel to someone increases that measure of wrath that can be experienced• v.19 – The Gospel is our hope which results in being in the presence of Jesus
• v.2 – we labor together in the Gospel; its hard work
• v.8 – If you reject moral purity and sanctification, you reject God which is equal to rejecting the Gospel• v.14 – The Gospel in simple terms: Jesus died and rose again and will return for those who believe this
• v.8 – Salvation is our hope; life without hope is not worth living• v.9 Salvation is through Jesus alone and those who believe have been appointed to the blessings of salvation which are summed up by being “together with Him”• v.24 God is faithful to preserve our calling
VI. Practical Living
• v.2 Give thanks for your brothers, praying for them continually• v.7 Be an example of Christianity for all those around you• v.9 Turn from all idols in your life• v.10 Be expectant of heaven
• v.2 Be bold about proclaiming the Gospel• v.5 Avoid flattering words and covetousness; it will hurt your witness• v.7-8 Be gentle to those you are sharing the Gospel with• v.9 Work hard and don’t be a burden to others• v.16 Forbid the Gospel to no one; every person is worthy of hearing it
• v.2 Disciple those who respond to the Gospel; establish and encourage them• v.12 We should increase and abound in love for one another
• v.1-2 Abound more and more in your pleasing walk towards God which is summed up in obedience to His commandments• v.3 It is the will of God that we should be sexually pure, free of lust• v.6 do not defraud a brother in the area of sexually purity or face the Lord’s vengeance• v.7 God calls us to holiness• v.9 Love one another; increasing in love more and more• v.11-12 Lead a quiet life; mind your own business; work with your own hands; be a good example so that you may lack nothing• v.15-18 Expect Jesus return; live with the hope continually
• v.6 Live alert and sober concerning Jesus return; watch for it; live in the light• v.11 Comfort each other with talk of Jesus return• v.12 Honor those in spiritual authority over you• v.13 Be at peace among ourselves• v.14 Warn the unruly; comfort the fearful or faint hearted; uphold and support the weak brother; be patient with all• v.15 Never repay evil with evil; pursue what is good• v.16-21 Rejoice always; pray continually, have a prayerful attitude constantly; give thanks in EVERYTHING; don’t quench the Spirit; don’t despise teaching; test all teaching; hold fast and strong to good things; abstain from evil
Be a Good Example
The Thessalonians were commended for being a good example and having a good reputation around the entire region. Can the same be said about my life and my testimony? Their reputation was gained by joyfully enduring affliction, spreading the Gospel, turning from idols and looking for Jesus’ return. This is a summary of a good Christian life.
Everyone Deserves the Gospel
The Judeans were trying to hinder the Gospel being taught to the Gentiles and were storing up God’s wrath against them to its very fullest. Have I ever been guilty of judging that someone was beyond the reach of the Gospel or wasn’t worth sharing it to? Have I ever been guilty of only sharing it with those who I am comfortable with? Has race, poverty, lifestyle, politics or personal treatment caused me to avoid sharing the Gospel with someone?
A Life of Purity
It is the explicit revealed will of God that we live a sexually pure life and not defraud a fellow Christian in this area. God called us to a life of holiness and it is particularly egregious when we spread immorality (jokes, movies, conversation, etc.) to our brethren causing them to be impure due to our influence.
A Recipe for Godly Living
God gives us a very practical explanation of a Godly life: grow in love towards one another; lead a quiet life void of troublemaking or trying to get attention for ourselves; mind your own business; work hard; all this in order to be a good example for Christ.
Paul continues with instructions to honor those in spiritual authority; live in peace; warn the unruly; encourage the weak and be patient with everyone. Rejoice always; pray continually; don’t hinder the Holy Spirit; test all teaching; abstain from evil.
Very practical, easy to understand instructions for a Godly life.
A Life of Hope
Christ’s return for us offers us a daily and continual source of hope and excitement. Spend time thinking of Jesus coming back for us. We will be caught up in the clouds with Him and will spend eternity in unimaginable happiness and joy with our Lord. No suffering, no weariness, no heartache, no trouble should overcome us when we focus on the victory and reward God has already promised and says He will fulfill. Lord, return soon! Even now!