1 Thessalonians, lesson 6

Lesson 6

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for divine insight, spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear, minds to interpret, wisdom to apply, and hearts to obey. We pray for the presence and appointing of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Thessalonians 5: 1-28, instructions, day of the Lord, doxology

VV 1-3, 1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 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.

Greek for time is “chronos”, which means chronological times. Greek for seasons is “kairos”, which means seasonal time. The day of the Lord is the day of the Lord’s second coming. This can be broken down into three parts. The rapture, the 7-year tribulation, and Christ’s final return with Christians to set up His millennial kingdom on earth. The day of the Lord is imminent and will come at a time when it is least expected. It may come in a peaceful time or turbulent time.

VV 4-7, 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.

Christians should not be ignorant over the second coming of Christ because we have Bible prophesies to guide us. We are to be vigilant, watchful, and updated with world events particularly in Israel and the Middle East. We are to interpret these events in the light of Bible prophecy.

VV 6-11, 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. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Paul encouraged his audience to be sober, to put on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of salvation. The heart is protected by the breastplate of righteousness through faith and love. The mind is protected by the helmet of salvation through justification by grace through faith in Christ. They were to comfort, encourage, and edify another other.

VV 11-13, 12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.

Paul encouraged his audience to submit to those in ministry leadership positions and uphold them with high esteem in love for the sake of the kingdom. They were to live in harmony with each other.

VV14-15, 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

Paul encouraged his audience to chastise those who behave badly, comfort and uphold the weak and be patient to all. They were not to repay evil by evil but do good to themselves and others.

VV 16-22, 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Paul encouraged his audience to rejoice always, pray persistently and give thanks to God for everything in prayer. Greek for quench is “sbennumi”, which means extinguish, or put out the fire. They were not to put out the fire of the Holy Spirit and not to despise Bible prophecies. They were to test all things, embraced good, and reject evil.

VV 23-28, 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. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

In doxology, Paul prayed for God’s sanctification, preservation of body, soul, and spirit at the second coming of the Lord. Paul encouraged his audience to pray for him and his co-workers. He greeted them with a holy kiss. He charged them to read out this epistle in front of the congregation. He pronounced a blessing of grace to them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Application:

Paul’s instruction to his audience also applies to us. We are to be aware of Bible prophesy, world events, keep vigilant, and be ready for the rapture. We are to intercede, rejoice, embrace good, test all things, uphold the weak, submit to leadership, live in harmony, and be patient to all.

We must keep abreast with the world news in Israel and the middle east as things are happening very fast. We are to interpret current world events in the light of Bible prophecy. We are to live every day in anticipation of the rapture.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for sanctification, protection, and preservation of our bodies, souls, and spirits in anticipation of the rapture. Help us to be alert, vigilant over current world events and know how to interpret them in the light of Bible prophecy, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Thessalonians, lesson 5

Lesson 5

Prayer:

1 Thessalonians 4: 1-18, instructions, rapture

VV 1-8, 1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

Paul encouraged his audience to walk worthy of their calling in good conduct that is pleasing to Him. God’s will was to sanctify them for holy living. There were to abstain from sexual immorality, lead holy lives, and transparent in their dealings with others. They were not to take vengeance by retaliating against their persecutors because vengeance belonged to God. Whoever rejected Paul’s instructions did not reject Paul but rejected God and the Holy Spirit.

VV 9-12, 9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

Paul encouraged his audience to love one another particularly the Christian brothers and sisters in Macedonia with brotherly love. Paul encouraged them to be more loving, lead quiet lives, not interfere with the affairs of others, work, and be gainfully employed.

VV 13-18, 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

The Thessalonian Christians were expecting Christ’s second coming but when many of them died and Christ had not returned, they began to worry. Paul assured them that there was hope for those who had died. Christians will be resurrected from the dead just as Christ was resurrected from the dead. The next prophetic event on God’s calendar is the rapture. Jesus Christ will return from heaven with the voice of Archangel Micheal, accompanied by a trumpet blow, and Christians will be resurrected into glorified bodies, caught up to meet the Lord in the air and be united with Him forever. Christians who had died will be resurrected first followed by those who are still alive, 1 Cor 15:51-54.

Greek for caught up is “harpazo”. Latin for caught up is ‘“rapturo”, or rapture. The rapture is different from the second coming of Christ. In the rapture, Christ comes to take Christians to heaven. In the second coming Christ comes with the Christians from heaven to earth to set up His millennial kingdom on earth. There are three positions on the timing of the rapture. Pre, before the 7-year tribulation, mid, in the middle of the 7-years tribulation, and post, at the end of the 7-year tribulation. This exposition is based on a pre-tribulation rapture. The rapture is imminent and can happen at any time.

1 Cor 15:51-54, Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

John 14:2-3, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Application:

Paul’s instructions to his audience also apply to us. We are to walk worthy of our calling, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and lead holy lives. We are to love others with brotherly love, lead quiet lives, minding our affairs, work, and be gainfully employed. .

The rapture is imminent. Those who are born again as Christians will have nothing to worry about. They will escape the 7 years of tribulation on earth, the wrath of God, the 666, etc.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for those who have not believed in You to turn from sin, believe in You, surrender to You, and return to You. We pray for Your mercy and grace. We thank You for salvation and justification by grace through faith in Christ, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Thessalonians, Lesson 2

Lesson 2

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the ministry of the word. We come before You with soft, receptive, hungry, teachable, and obedient hearts, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Thessalonians 1: 1-10, Salutation and prayer

V 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.

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy sent greetings to the Christians of the Thessalonians church. Silvanus is the Roman name for Silas. Paul pronounced a greeting of grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ. Grace precedes peace. Hebrews for peace us “shalom”. Justification by grace precedes reconciliation and peace with God. Greek for church is “ekklesia”, which means, congregation. Greek for Lord is “Kurios”, which means master. Greek for Jesus is “Joshua”, which means God saves. Geek for Christ is “Christo”. Hebrews for Christ is “Messiah”, which means Anointed One. Lord Jesus Christ means Master, God the Saviour, the Anointed One.

VV 2-3, 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 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,

Paul thanked God for his audience in prayer, mentioning them personally by name. He remembered unceasingly their work of faith, labor of love, and hope in God, the Father, and the Lord, Jesus Christ.

VV 4-5, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 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.

Greek for election is “eklektos”, which means chosen by God. The Thessalonians Christians are chosen by God. Paul preached the good news of the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit with honesty and integrity.

VV 6-8, And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. 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.

The Thessalonians Christians received the gospel of God with faith in the joy of the Holy Spirit despite persecutions by the hostile Jews. They were good role models in the faith and they evangelized the gospel throughout Macedonia, Achaia, and beyond.

VV 9-10, 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, 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.

The Thessalonian Christians turned from idolatry to the true and living God, who resurrected Jesus Christ, the Son from the dead, and delivered them from God’s wrath. They waited expectantly for the second coming of Christ.

Application:

We must pray for our Christian friends and associates personally upholding them in prayers before God by names unceasingly and remembering their ministry and personal needs.

The gospel is God’s power of God for the salvation of lost souls. We must practice communicating the gospel to non-believers faithfully, accurately, and correctly.

The Thessalonian Christians were good role models who received the gospel with joy and evangelized to others in their community. We should emulate the Thessalonians in their work of faith and labor of love for the gospel.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for walking with us through 1 Thessalonians on a verse-by-verse basis. We pray for an enriched and challenging spiritual journey of faith. We pray for the impartation of truth, maturity in faith, conviction of hearts, renewal of minds, and transformation of attitudes, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Thessalonians, lesson 3

Lesson 3

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for attention concentration and quietness of hearts. We pray for understanding and application. We pray for the presence and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for the ministry of Your Word, in Jesus’ name, Amen

1 Thessalonians 2: 1-20, encouragements

VV 1-3, 1 For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain. 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. 3 For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy’s visit to Thessalonica was a great success. Even though Paul, Silas, and Timothy were beaten, imprisoned, and manhandled by the hostile Jews at Philippi, they traveled to Thessalonica to share the gospel with them. The Thessalonians heard, received, and believed the gospel with joy, pure hearts, and clean motives.

VV 4-6, 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. 5 For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness, God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.

God had approved and entrusted Paul, Silas, and Timothy to share the gospel in Thessalonica not to please men but God. They conducted themselves above reproach, selflessly, honestly, transparently, and humbly, with integrity, pure motives, and clean hearts.

VV 7-9, 7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 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. 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, Silas, and Timothy were gentle as nursing mothers nursing their babies. They invested their lives in the Thessalonians through discipleship, training, teaching, preaching, and caring. They supported themselves financially by taking on secular jobs.

VV 10-12, 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy were earnest, just, honest, transparent, and blameless before God in all their dealings with the Thessalonians Christians. They were as caring as fathers for their children, comforting, encouraging, teaching, training, and discipleship.

V 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.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy thanked God for the Thessalonians Christians persistently. The Thessalonians Christians were honorable and faithful. They believed the truth of the gospel to be the word of God and not the word of men.

VV14-16, 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 Judeans, 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, 16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.

The hostile unbelieving Thessalonians Jews persecuted the Thessalonians Jewish Christians who imitated Paul just as they did to Jewish Christians in Judea. They persecuted Paul, killed the Lord Jesus Christ and the prophets. They opposed Paul’s evangelism outreach to the Gentiles.

VV 17-20, 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. 18 Therefore we wanted to come to you, even I, Paul, time and again, but Satan hindered us. 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? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

Paul longed to visit the Thessalonians Christians but satan hindered him. He rejoiced and hoped in the glory of the second coming of Christ.

Application:

You are to intercede for your co-workers, Christian friends, and associate daily, persistently mentioning them by name and upholding their ministry and needs in prayer before God.

You are to invest your lives in other Christians through teaching, preaching, mentoring, and discipleship.

You are to serve the Lord with integrity, honestly, and humbly out of a pure heart and a clear motive.

If you are mature in the faith, you should find a Timothy to mentor. If you are young in the faith, you should find a Paul to mentor you.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray that Your Word will not return to You empty but will cut into our hearts like a two-edged sword. We pray for wisdom to rightly divide the word of truth and apply them meaningfully, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Thessalonians, Lesson 4

Lesson 4

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for clear minds, undivided attention, undistracted concentration, wisdom, understanding, insight, conviction, correction, reproof, and training in righteousness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Thessalonians 3: 1-13, encouragements

VV 1-3, 1 Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, 3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.

In the face of persecution, Paul, Silas, and Timothy were forced out of Thessalonica to Berea. From there Paul traveled alone to Athens and from there to Corinth. Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to establish, encourage, and minister God’s grace to them. At this time, Timothy was only a young man but Paul had entrusted the gospel to him.

VV 4-5, 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. 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.

Paul predicted that the hostile Jews who persecuted him and his co-workers when they were in Thessalonica would turn to the Thessalonians Christians and persecute them when he was away.

VV 6-8, 6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you 7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.

After ministering to the Thessalonians Christians for some time, Timothy returned to Paul in Corinth and gave him a good report about the Thessalonians Christians. Encouraged and comforted by their faith, Paul and wrote 1 Thessalonians from Corinth to teach, instruct, encourage, and disciple them.

VV 9-10, 9, For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?

Paul thanked God for their faithfulness. He rejoiced, interceded, and upheld the Thessalonians Christians. bringing their personal and ministry needs before God every day.

VV 11-13, 11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 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.

In doxology and benediction, Paul prayed that God will allow him to visit Thessalonica. He prayed for the Thessalonians Christians to love one another, to live holy, blameless, and faithful lives before God in anticipation of the second coming of Christ.

Application:

Paul encouraged his audience and us to be faithful and stand firm in the face of persecution. The same people who persecuted Paul and Jesus will persecute us. Tribulations and persecutions are part and parcel of the Christian life. There will be no escape. We are to intercede and uphold each other in prayer, remembering and bringing all our needs before God every day.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for strength to endure and overcome trials, tribulations, and persecutions. We pray for love, holiness, blamelessness, and faithfulness in anticipation of Your second coming, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Thessalonians, lesson 1

1 Thessalonians

Lesson 1:

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for divine grace and enablement to tap into Your word of truth, wisdom, knowledge, and insight. We pray for soft, receptive, teachable hearts, spiritual eyes to see and ears to listen. We peay for the anointing and presence of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Introduction:

Author, Date, Recipients:

Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians from Corinth between 49 AD to 51 AD was to the church in Thessalonica, Acts 18:1-18.

Theme:

The theme of 1 Thessalonians is the return of Christ at the rapture, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. When Christ returns, Christians who had died and Christians are still alive will be resurrected into glorified bodies to meet Him in the air.

Setting:

In his second missionary journey, Paul and his workers Silas and Timothy established the church in Thessalonica. He was there only there for three weeks and many Gentiles believers came to know the Lord. Due to strong opposition and persecutions from the Jews, Paul had to flee Thessalonica to Berea. From there Paul went to Athens, and later to Corinth. At Berea, Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to assist and check on the church there. Timothy returned to Corinth and reported to Paul that the church in Thessalonica was thriving and the congregation there was very fervent for the Lord. On hearing this Paul wrote 1 Thessalonica to encourage the church.

In the first-century AD, Thessalonica was a flourishing seaport and capital of Macedonia, modern day northern Greece, and had a population of 200,000.

Purpose:

In his short time in Thessalonica, Paul had taught the believers about the second coming of Christ. However as time went by, many Christians in Thessalonica had died and they were that Christ had still not returned. Paul reassured them that Christians who had died before Christ’s return will not miss out on the resurrection.

Outline:

Greetings: 1:1 Opening

Prayer and Encouragements: 1:2-3:13

Instructions: 4:1-5:22

Doxology: 5: 23-28

Application:

Paul’s teaching on the rapture is laid out for us in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. The rapture precedes the second coming of Christ. Christians will be resurrected into glorified bodies to meet the Lord in the air. The rapture is imminent and could happen at any time. We will not miss the rapture if we confess of our sins, believe in the finish work of Christ on the cross, and surrendering our lives to Christ. Those who are left behind on earth will face the tribulations.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for salvation and justification by grace through faith in Christ. We confess that we are sinners saved by grace, we believe that You died on the cross as a substitionary atonement for sins, we surrender our lives to You, in Jesus’name, Amen.