Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


First Thessalonians
First Thessalonians was taught by Dr. James Modlish

Lesson One


THE CITY: You can find the modern city Soloniki on your map, and when you do, you have the site of the ancient city Thessalonica. It had originally been named Therma, from the hot springs in the area; but 300 years before Christ, Cassander, king of Macedon, renamed it in honor of the sister of Alexander the Great. It was a free city, with its own government; and it was the capital city of Macedonia. Thessalonica stood on the important Egnation Way, Rome's greatest highway.

THE CHURCH: The record is found in Acts 17:1-15. Paul, Silas, and Timothy, left Philippi and traveled to Thessalonica, where Paul ministered in the synagogue for at least three weeks and saw a number of people converted. There appeared to have been a large group of Gentile proselytes ("devout Greeks" Acts 17:4) in the synagogue, and they responded enthusiastically, along with some of the Jews. This kind of success enraged the strict Jews, of course, and they engineered a mob scene to embarrass the Christians and hinder Paul's ministry. The believers thought it best for Paul and his party to leave, which they did, going first to Berea. Paul left his associates at Berea and went alone to Athens. When Timothy joined Paul at Athens, the apostle promptly sent him back to Thessalonica - encourage the new church (I Thess. 3:1-3). The men finally met together at Corinth (Acts 18:5), Timothy reporting on the state of the infant church. It was from Corinth, about the year 52, that Paul wrote I Thessalonians, Second Thessalonians was written just a few months later.

I. They were an elect people 1:1-5

(vs. 1) The church is not a social organization; it is a spiritual organism composed of people whom God has "called out of darkness into His marvellous light" (I Peter 2:9). This calling is purely of grace (Eph. 1:3ff). Though we are in the world physically, we are not of the world (John 15:19). These saints were at Thessalonica but in Christ.

The fact they were in God is important and verified in (Col. 2:9,10 and Jn. 17:21).

(vs. 3) Your work should be of faith (Rom. 14:23).

The proper motive for your labour should be love.
The patience of hope rest in the fact that Christ is coming again (Rom. 5:2).

(vs. 4) Election always takes place in time and not in eternity (Rom. 9:11,12; 2 Pet. 2:1).
Election took place at Calvary, not before (Gen. 1:1; I Peter 1:1,2).
Only possible exception to this is (Eph. 1:4); but notice here that you are chosen in Him! When did you get in Him? When you were saved, exercised your free will and repented of your sin.

Why do men seek to get rid of free will in the Bible? Because they are lazy and no good rascals who will let the world go to Hell.


II. They were an exemplary people - 1:6-7

It is wonderful when "hearers" become "followers"! These people heard the Word, welcomed it, believed it, and suffered for receiving it into their lives! The Word imparts faith (Rom. 10:17) and always brings joy (Acts 8:8,39; Jer. 15:16). Having believed, these new Christians followed Paul, associated themselves into the local fellowship, and became examples to all around them. They were not only followers of Paul, but also of the churches (2:14) for in the New Testament, no Christian is expected to stay away from the local fellowship. Their testimony reached throughout the whole area, and because of their exemplary lives, they led others to Christ.


III. They were an enthusiastic people - 1:8

These people had been saved just a few months, and were not instructed as fully as most saints today; yet they were enthusiastic in their witness for Christ. They witnessed by their walk (examples'' vs. 7), their talk (vs. 8). example - a small dose of the real thing.


IV. They were an expectant people - 1:9,10

The second coming of Christ is the basic theme of this book. Each chapter relates Christ's return to a basic Christian truth. In this chapter we see that Christ's coming is the blessed hope of the saved. While the lost are blindly worshiping and serving their idols (And how many idols men have today!), the saved are serving the living God and rejoicing in the living hope that Christ will come again.

Notice when you turn to God there is an automatic turning from idols.

Sam Jones said, "to stop is conviction, to turn is repentance, to walk is conversion."

Paul had instructed these people concerning the return of Christ and the time of tribulation that God has promised would come on a Christ-rejecting world. But he is careful to point out that the Church will NOT share in that tribulation. The Church will not go through the Tribulation period. Read 2:16 and 5:1-9, as well as 11 Thess. 1 and 2. The next event on God's calendar is the return of Christ in the air, at which time the Church will be caught up to meet Him. Then will follow seven years of tribulation on earth. When the cup of iniquity reaches overflowing, Christ and the Church will return to earth to defeat Satan and His hosts and usher in the 1000 year reign of Christ (see Rev. 19:11-20:5).

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