These two letters to the Thessalonians demonstrate how the Thessalonian church was a model church in the things that really matter. It was a very young church that made a quick impact on their region. Their labors were motivated by love and stemmed from their faith. What a sweet and mighty church this was. The Thessalonian church was visited by men who were turning the world upside down and they turned their world upside down. These are very personal, grateful, and tender letters. Paul wrote this letter to provide the Thessalonian church with the encouragement to stand fast and stay the course.
In Thessalonians, God is glorifying Himself through the Thessalonian’s steadfastness, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people, for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.
“Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy…”
1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1
“Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us”
1 Thessalonians 2:18
“The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write”
2 Thessalonians 3:17
“To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”
1 Thessalonians 1:1–2, Thessalonians 1:1
“Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
1 Thessalonians 1:8–10
“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.”
2 Thessalonians 2:13–15
“But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.”
2 Thessalonians 3:6–9
What was the result of the Thessalonians believing the gospel?
They turned from idols to worship the true God (1 Thess. 1:9).
How should those who preach the gospel behave?
With boldness (1 Thess. 2:2), with honesty and integrity (v. 3), with the desire to please God not men (vv. 5–6), and with gentleness and affection (vv. 7–8).
How should the Christian react to affliction and persecution?
The Christian should remain steadfast in the faith and encourage one another, knowing God is in control (1 Thess. 3:2–4).
What two things does Paul tell them to do in order to please God?
Flee sexual immorality (1 Thess. 4:3–8) and love one another (vv. 9–12).
What is the believer’s destiny?
To obtain salvation, not wrath (1 Thess. 5:9).
What will happen when Jesus returns?
He will punish those who persecute the church and give His people rest (2 Thess. 1:6–9).
What does Paul say will happen before the return of Jesus?
A great apostasy and the revealing of the “man of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2:3).
What is the Christian view of work?
It is irresponsible to refuse to work (2 Thess. 3:7–9) and believers should work if they are able (vv. 10–12).