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I Thessalonians
When Jesus will return, no-one knows.

I Thessalonians

The eighth of Paul's Epistles is I Thessalonians. It was written by Paul when he was in Corinth or Athens, approximately 51 AD, making it the oldest of the books in the New Testament.

Thessalonica was in Northern Greece, where Paul had spent some time. His message of salvation through Christ was popular amongst the Gentiles there, and this had aroused the anger of the Jewish population and they had turned against Paul. To escape the mob, Paul had to flee during the night.

Concerned for the Christians in Thessalonica, Paul had sent his friend Timothy there, to see how they were getting on. Timothy met up with Paul in Corinth, giving an encouraging report on the Thessalonian Church, to which this letter is a response.

All quotations from the Bible are taken from the Authorised King James Version.
If someone prophesies we should not despise what they say. How should we react to it?
We should reject it
We should test it to be sure it is true
We should accept it
We should write it down and preach it to others
We should only accept prophecies which are true to God's word, and reject them if they are evil.

I Thessalonians 5:18-22
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil"
When Jesus returns to Earth from Heaven He shall do so with a what?
With a shout
With a sword
With a scroll
With a fanfare
We will also hear the cry of an archangel and the trumpet of God.

I Thessalonians 4:15-18
"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words"
The letter opens with Paul expressing his joy at the Thessalonian Church. He says that the Gospel came to them, not only in words, but also in power, assurance and which other thing?
The Holy Spirit
The Thessalonians were an example to all the other Christians in Greece.

I Thessalonians 1:5-7
"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia"
Paul gives advice on how Christians should behave. Which two things does Paul say should always be done?
Singing and dancing
Teaching and learning
Rejoicing and praying
Rewarding and punishing
As well as rejoicing and praying, we should always do good, even to those who treat us badly.

I Thessalonians 5:14-17
"Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men"
Timothy was sent by Paul to see if the Thessalonians remained faithful. Paul says that he feared they may have succumbed to Satan. What name does Paul give to Satan?
The Devil
The Tempter
The Enemy
The Evil One
Paul need not have worried. The Thessalonians were as faithful as ever.

I Thessalonians 3:5-8
"For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
"But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: for now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord"
Paul praises the Thessalonians for turning to God and abandoning their idols. Now, he says, they wait for whom?
For Jesus
For Paul
For Timothy
For Peter
The Thessalonians, like all Christians, await the return of Jesus from Heaven.

I Thessalonians 1:8-10
"For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come"
Paul ends his letter with a prayer to God, asking Him to make the Thessalonians holy and blameless. Paul refers to God as the God of whom or what?
The God of Abraham
The God of love
The God of Israel
The God of peace
Our faith in Jesus makes us holy before God, if we live as we should.

I Thessalonians 5:23-28
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen"
Paul says that no-one should mistreat another, because God has not called us to uncleanliness but to what?
To cleanliness
To holiness
To goodness
To wisdom
What we do to others, we also do to God.

I Thessalonians 4:6-8
"that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit"
When Jesus will return, no-one knows. Paul says that the Day of the Lord will come like what?
Like a thief in the night
Like a wolf upon sheep
Like a knife in the dark
Like a fox amongst chickens
Christ's return will come without warning so we must be prepared.

I Thessalonians 5:1-4
"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief"
The time Paul spent in Thessalonica is recalled. Paul says that while there he was honest, not a burden and as gentle as what?
As gentle as a whisper
As gentle as a breeze
As gentle as a lamb
As gentle as a nurse
The Thessalonians were dear to Paul.

I Thessalonians 2:5-8
"For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: so being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us"


Author:  Graeme Haw

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