Friday, September 02, 2011

Bible Study: Encouragement For The Misinformed - 2 Thessalonians - Chapter 1

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on Paul’s second 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 2 Thessalonians Chapter 1. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

Written during Paul’s 2nd missionary journey, 49-51 AD.

This second letter to the Thessalonians was a response to the fearful statements made by the people when Timothy delivered the first letter to the Thessalonians. This letter sought to refute the false teaching that they heard indicating that the Day of the Lord had already come. When you think of the Day of the Lord, what do you think of? The rapture? Think again. Let’s learn something new in our study.

1:1 – Paul and Silas were partnered by the Jerusalem Council. See Acts 15:22. Timothy joined them in Acts 16:1 in Derbe. See Acts 7:1-9 for an illustration of the trouble encountered in Thessalonica.

1:3 – How do you express love and thanks for the people in your life?

1:4 – Do you boast about the strengths of others under your care? See 1 Thessalonians 1:3 for a list of the Thessalonians’ strengths. One of their greatest strengths was perseverance in the face of suffering.

Between November 2007 and December 2008, I was unemployed. I would share weekly with my Sunday school class my struggles and leaps of faith, my prayer requests for good interviews and positive response to applications. Several times, one lady in that class told me that watching me go through this trial was encouraging and inspiring to her. I had no idea that my reaction to suffering was having such a beneficial impact on someone else!

1:5-10 – This is a call to prayer! We must pray for those who persecute us. We must witness to them. Verses 8-10 describe a horrifying fate. As Christians called to love others in the name of Christ, we should have a burning desire to save every person from this fate!

1:5 – the evidence of worthiness is endurance, perseverance, going through trials with God!

1:6 – DO NOT exact revenge for offenses against you! Romans 12:19 says we should "leave room for God’s wrath”. Allow your Father to defend you!

1:7 – Luke 17:28-30 says that the day of judgment will be similar to the day Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Check out Genesis 19:1-29 for the full story of Lot’s escape.

Blazing fire, powerful angels: the day of judgment will not be quiet! The blazing fire is even one of God’s attributes. According to Hebrews 12:29, God is a consuming fire.

1:8 – Judgment day will be a pouring out of God’s wrath on unbelievers. See Psalm 79:6. Isaiah says that His anger will come down with flames. Romans 2:8 says that those who are self-seeking, reject truth and follow evil will incur God’s wrath.

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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