1 Thessalonians – Chapter 5

Description of the Day of the Lord

Verse 1 – But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.

Verse 2 – For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

Paul is talking about “End times.” The Day of the Lord signifies a time of God’s wrath and judgment poured out. Here the Day of the Lord refers specifically to the end-time period of God’s judgment on the unbelieving world known as the great tribulation. Just as no one knows when a thief is going to break in your house, neither does anyone know when that day is coming.

Verse 3 – For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

The wicked world will have false security thinking everything is fine. They will ignore warnings of coming judgment, just as they did when the great flood came.

Verse 4 – But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.

No Christian should be taken by surprise when this day comes. However, those without Christ, will be asleep and totally unaware.

Verse 5 – You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.

Verse 6 – Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

Verse 7 – For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.

Are you, as a Christian, expecting the coming of Jesus Christ any day now? The world, non-Christians, are morally lethargic. They have no idea a day is coming that there will be no escape. Just as someone who is drunk passes out, so this world will be when Christ comes for His church. We are to stay sober and alert.

Verse 8 – But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

Verse 9 – For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Verse 10 – who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

Whether we are found among the living or the dead when He comes, we live with Him.

Verse 11 – Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Instruction for Holy Living

Verse 12 – And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,

Verse 13 – and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.

Verse 14 – Now we exhort you, brethren warn those who are unruly, comfort the faint-hearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.

This is not only good advice for pastors and leaders, but every Christian should show sincerity to those who might be weak in their faith. Sometimes they just don’t understand Scripture. Be patient and loving when having to correct error.

Verse 15 – See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

We do not avenge ourselves, “eye for an eye!” Let God take care of what needs to be repaid.

Verse 16 – Rejoice always,

Verse 17 – pray without ceasing,

Verse 18 – in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Verse 19 – Do not quench the Spirit.

Don’t toss aside the gifts that the Holy Spirit has for you. We are not to extinguish the influence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Just as a fire has to be nourished to continue to burn, your spirit needs proper care and attention. Feed your spirit with the word of God and you won’t have to wonder, “Should I, or shouldn’t’ I.”

Verse 20 – Do not despise prophecies.

Verse 21 – Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Verse 22 – Abstain from every form of evil.

Verse 23 – Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 24 – He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

A believer’s sanctification depends on God and He has begun a work of grace in each believer, and we can depend on His faithfulness to complete it.

Verse 25 – Brethren, pray for us.

Verse 26 – Greet all brethren with a holy kiss.

Verse 27 – I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.

Verse 28 – The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

This letter was to be read aloud to a congregation, not just to an individual.

The richest blessing of heaven to mankind is the Bible. The sad thing though is few will read it for themselves and unlock the treasures that God has made available to every believer.

 

 

 

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1 Thessalonians – Chapter 3

Paul Sends Timothy

Verse 1 – Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone,

Paul couldn’t go to the Thessalonians, so he sent Timothy to them. It is not stated why Paul couldn’t go himself.

Verse 2 – and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow labor in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning faith,

Verse 3 – that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.

Verse 4 – For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.

Verse 5 – For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you,  and our labor might be in vain.

The Thessalonian believers were being persecuted by false teachers and the Jews, just as the other churches had been, but Paul referred to them as the “tempter” which is Satan. Satan can affect both the physical and spiritual world. Paul was afraid, because of this, that some might be tempted to stray. He wanted someone that was strong in their faith to teach and guide them.

Timothy’s Encouragement Report

Verse 7 – Therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith.

Just as Paul was concerned for the believers at Thessalonica, we should be that concerned about someone we lead to Christ. New believers always need to be encouraged. They need to know that, “yes” it’s not going to be easy but to stand fast, because the reward is so much greater than anything they might have to give up.

Verse 8 – For now we live , if you stand fast in the Lord.

There is that word “if” again. Believers bring joy to their pastors, ministers, and teachers, when they see a believer growing and maturing in their faith. We all should let that little word “if” sink in. “If you stand fast in your faith.” In other words, “If you maintain a close relationship with your God.”

Verse 9 – For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before God,

Verse 10 – night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?

Verse 11 – Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you.

Verse 12 – And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,

Verse 13 – so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

Holiness and blameless are a matter of the heart. Christians are to live their lives in such a way that accusations will merely fall to the ground. Our conduct and behavior does matter and it matters how we treat others. We are to let the Holy Spirit teach us how to love others and then we will watch it flow beyond borders.

 

 

1 Thessalonians – Chapter 2

Verse 1 – For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain.

Verse 2 – But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to Speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.

Paul and Silas had been beaten and imprisoned in Philippi for casting a demon out of a slave girl (Acts 16:16-40).

Verse 3 – For our exhortation did not come from deceit or uncleanness, nor was it in guile.

Verse 4 – But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

Paul never changed the message of the gospel to make it more acceptable, but he did tailor it to each audience. The message of the gospel must never be compromised.

Verse 5 – For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness – God is witness.

Flattery is phony, and it is a false cover-up for a person’s real intentions. Those who proclaim God’s truth have a special responsibility to be honest.

Verse 6 – Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.

Verse 7 – But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.

Verse 8 – So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.

Verse 9 – For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.

Paul reminded them that he worked every day as to not cost anyone anything. He had no intention of making himself rich at the expense of others.

Verse 10 – You are witness, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;

Verse 11 – as you know we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children,

Just as a father guides and looks out for his children, more mature Christians should take new believers under their counsel until they are strong enough to be an influence of faith, on their own.

Verse 12 – that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

Verse 13 – For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

Keep in mind, the word of God is not only Scripture, but Jesus Himself  whom lives in each believer which is the Word of God.

Verse 14 – For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Jews,

Verse 15 – who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men,

“They” refers to the Jews of verse 14. This is the only place in Paul’s writings where he identified those who were responsible for Jesus death. This pattern is obvious – rejection of the message of truth, and then persecute the messenger.

Verse 16 – forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.

Some Jews objected to offering the message of the gospel to the Gentiles. “Completing the measure of their sins,” is literally to “fill up their sins.” God will only tolerate a certain amount of sin before judgment falls, because He knows who will turn or not

Verse 17 – But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire.

Verse 18 – Therefore we wanted to come to you – even I, Paul time and again – but Satan hindered us.

Verse 19 – For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?

Verse 20 – For you are our glory and joy.

 

 

 

1 Thessalonians – Chapter 1

Introduction: In Paul’s time, Thessalonica was the prominent seaport and the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. Paul spent a very short time in the city of Thessalonica, but he was able to establish a church during that time.

Verse 1 – Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 2 – We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers,

Verse 3 – remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,

Verse 4 – knowing beloved brethren, your election by God.

Silas is the Greek name for Silvanus. Silas accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey, replacing Barnabas. Silas also helped Paul launched this church and was with him in Corinth when Paul wrote this letter to the Thessalonians.

While the Thessalonians were commended for their work, Paul reminded them that God was the One who had brought about their election and that they were loved by Him. Election carries the idea of God’s choice or selection.

Verse 5 – For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.

When the true gospel of Christ is preached there will be power to change lives. This is a power that changes the heart and not only that but there will be miracles evident of this power. This power comes from the Holy Spirit when people believe the gospel. Without the Holy Spirit, our words are meaningless.

Verse 6 – And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,

When the Thessalonians became believers, they began to imitate Paul, Silas, and Timothy, just as they followed Jesus life style. These people had tremendous opposition from others at that time.

Verse 7 – so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.

Macedonia and Achaia made up a large part of modern-day Greece. In New Testament times these provinces included major cities such as Philippi, Athens, and Corinth. These were mainly Gentiles and it seems as though Paul’s strategy worked in evangelizing these major cities.

Verse 8 – For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.

Verse 9 – 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,

Verse 10 – and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

We should all live our lives as waiting on Christ’s return. If we do, we will live our lives expecting His return any day now. Our conduct and behavior has to bear witness to what we believe!