Friday, August 26, 2011

Bible Study: Encouragement For The Persecuted - 1 Thessalonians - Chapter 5

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. At the time of its writing, early 2009, things are looking pretty bleak with the economy and unemployment among other things. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. Stay strong. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

5:1-11 – How are you preparing for Christ’s return?

5:1 – We don’t need lessons about times and seasons because we’ve witnessed changes and outcomes, and we’ve drawn conclusions that have led to correct interpretations about those events. Besides, Acts 1:7 says it’s not for us to know the Father’s timing.

5:2 – There will be no telling when Jesus will return! Like a thief’s break-in at a house, it will be a total shock for those who have rejected Him! Disbelief, even.

5:3-6 – The believers’ anticipation of this event is like the pregnant woman. A woman approaching the birth of her child is EXPECTING labor to come. She doesn’t know exactly when it’s coming, but she looks forward to it and dreads it. But, by then, it’s too late to decide you don’t want children.

5:3 – the people spoken of here are Christians’ enemies. Their destruction will come suddenly. See Psalm 55:15 and Isaiah 47:9-11.

5:4 – That day should not surprise us because we should be expecting it.

5:5 – We belong to Jesus, the Light of the world.

5:6 – Christians should be set apart, noticeable. Our light should shine for all men to see. We should not behave as those who belong to the darkness, but we should emulate Jesus!

5:7 – Those who belong to the darkness will hide in the darkness. It is easier to conceal bad behavior in the night than in the light of day.

5:8 – The armor of God is our protection. See Ephesians 6:10-18 for the complete outfitting.

5:9 – 1:10 says that Jesus saves us from the coming wrath.

5:10 – awake or asleep = living or dead.

5:11 – Are you encouraging your fellow Christians? If not, start. If you are, keep it up and do more.

5:12 – Those who work hard and are over you and admonish (instruct) you are church leadership.

5:13 – We are to love and respect our leaders. But we can’t always agree. What are some of the ways to live at peace with leaders you don’t agree with?

5:14-15 – This is how we are to care for each other.

How do you warn idle or lazy siblings in Christ to get moving?

How do you encourage the timid/discouraged/fainthearted/wounded members of the Body?

How do you help the weak/spiritually immature?

How are you patient with everyone?

Do you make sure that no one repays evil for evil? We’re not supposed to exact revenge. Trust God to handle it!

How are you kind to everyone?

5:16-22 – These are guidelines for how to be right with God. Pay close attention to them.

5:16-18 – see Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 5:20

5:16 – Do people usually find you smiling or with a frown imbedded in your face? We are told to be joyful always. Remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength.

5:17 – Since we are instructed to pray continually, what are you praying about right now?

5:18 – Do you give thanks in ALL circumstances? You don’t necessarily have to be thankful FOR the circumstances, but you should be thankful that God hasn’t abandoned you in the midst of them.

5:19 – Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. According to Isaiah 63:10, we do this by rebelling against God.

5:20 – Prophecy is one of the spiritual gifts. See Romans 12:6, 1 Corinthians 12:10, 13:2, 14, Ephesians 4:11.

5:21 – Test everything against the Word of God!

5:22 – How do you avoid evil? RUN FROM IT!

5:23-28 – Paul’s closing prayer.

5:23 – Paul prayed that these people would be completely (spiritually and physically) ready for the coming of Christ. Then they would be reunited for eternity.

5:24 – God is faithful and will prepare you to be with Him for eternity if you allow Him to do so.

5:25 – Pray for those who are sharing the gospel and making disciples.

5:26 – holy kiss – philema – brotherly affection, not a statement of permission for homosexual behavior.

Each chapter of these letters to the Thessalonians teaches much about how to pray for yourself and others. How have you learned to pray today?

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