The Keys To Understanding The Book Of First Thessalonians

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Key Studies In First Thessalonians

 1.  THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL

The founding of the church at Thessalonica is recorded in Acts 17:1-9.  Paul's stay there was only for three or four weeks (verse 2), but God blessed his teaching and preaching ministry.  Many were saved, being baptized and the newly organized church of the Thessalonians was greatly used of the Lord.

After Paul left Thessalonica he sent Timothy back to investigate what was taking place.  The news that Timothy brought back was most heartwarming.  Paul's response was to write this letter of thanksgiving and praise to the church for their encouragement.

At this time there was also much opposition.  You can be sure of one thing: if God works, so does the devil.  And the devil is working overtime today in the churches causing discouragement, divisions, and deadness.  First, Paul's enemies started a whispering campaign against him to undermine his character (I Thess, 2:5-&, 9, 11).  Second, some had lost their loved ones and were concerned about their future well-being (I Thess, 4:13-18).  Third, there was the threat that some of the Christians might relapse into their old pagan ways (I Thess, 4:3-8).  Four, there was a hint that a division might develop in the church (I Thess, 4:9; 5-13).

In Chapter 1, we have the introduction (I Thess, 1-4); the reception of the gospel - faith (I Thess, 1:5-2:12); the fruit of the gospel - love (I Thess, 2:13-4:12); the anticipation of the gospel - hope (I Thess, 4:13-5:11);and then the conclusion.

In the Introduction (Chapter 1:1-4), we find five things:

1.   The formation of the church.  The church is not the building but it is men and women who are reconciled to God through the death of His dear Son.  These believers lived physically in Thessalonica but spiritually they were in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 2.   The foundation of the church is grace and peace.  Salvation is provided through the Grace of God, through the obedience of our faith, to the Holy Word of God (Romans 1:5-6), without any special ever repeating religious rituals or good works or traditions of men, aside from obedience to the commandments of God, without any special man made sacraments, without self-effort, except for each individual's required works of a true genuine Faith, a true genuine Repentance and a genuine Biblical Baptism. (Acts 2:37-39) Jesus Christ was God's manifestation of grace, and praise God, the church is founded on Christ alone.

3.   The main support of the true church is the prayers of God's people (vs. 2) and their work of faith (vs. 3).

4.   The true ministry of the church is serving the Lord as the outward manifestation of our faith.  Paul praised God for their labour of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (vs. 3).

5.   The true security of the church - "your election of God" (vs. 4).  Now election does not mean that God elects some to Heaven and some to Hell.  God desires all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4).  An old country preacher gave a good definition of election when he said: "God votes for you to go to heaven; the devil votes for you to go to hell; you have the deciding vote and whichever way you vote, you are elected to either heaven or hell"  The Thessalonian church members voted for God and therefore they were a part of the heavenly elect.  For whom have you voted.  Christ or the devil?

In verses 5-10 we see the power of the gospel.  Paul calls it "our gospel" because Silas and Timothy and he had received it, and having experienced its transforming power they now proclaimed it before men.  The greatest need of our age is the preaching of the gospel in the power of the True Holy Spirit.  This alone will bring men to forgiveness of sins and a new life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 Notice in verse 6 that they received the message in much affliction. It cost something in those days to be a Christian.  It doesn't cost much today and there is very little suffering for the cause of Christ.  Luther used to say that they gave our Master a crown of thorns and he wondered why we should hope for a crown of roses.  The Thessalonians were followers or imitators of the Apostles and of their Lord.

Verse 7 tells us that they became examples to believers in both provinces of Greece because of the joy they manifested in spite of the persecution they suffered.  A new convert went to spend two nights in a godly Christian home.  Afterward he said,  "Now I know how Christianity works in the home and from now on their standards will be my standards."  Would you be happy for a young Christian to imitate your standard of living?

These Thessalonians embraced the gospel as soon as it was preached to them and verse 8 tells us that they "sounded out the word of the Lord ... in every place."  How Christians need to witness today to the truth of the gospel.  The nation needs the true gospel, not psychology, not secular programs, not business, not politics, not economics, not technology,  not worldly pleasures, not entertainment, not a social gospel, and not "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof"(2 Tim. 3:5).

God wants us to extend our faith in every place both at home and abroad.  Jesus said:  "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).  Sad to say, many professing Christians live only "for me, myself, and I."  They do not seem to care that multitudes, are dying without Christ and are doomed to an eternal Hell. These Apostates, these professing Christians don't realize that they have condemned themselves to the same fate. May the Lord stir us to genuine repentence and a greater effort in reaching the world with the gospel.

Notice verse 9:  "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."  Here was real conversion.  They turned to God and in so doing they turned from idols.  So often we try to get people to give up their walk with the world, their worldly desires and idols before they turn to God.  But when a person is really truly born again and turns to God he will give up his idols.

"Kneel at the Cross, give your idols up,  Look unto realms above; Turn not away to life's sparkling cup, Trust only in His love.  Kneel at the Cross, leave ev'ry care; Kneel at the Cross.  Jesus will meet you there."

After turning to God they yielded themselves wholly to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.  God looks for the same response from His people today.  Perhaps you are thinking, "Pastor, what can I do, in my circumstances, for the Lord?"  There are many ways to serve the Lord.

The greatest service we can render for the cause of christ and the glory of God is prayer.  Every believer can pray.  You can also share the Gospel with others.  You can give out Gospel tracts and literature.  There is power in the Word of God.

The Thessalonians gave themselves to serve the true Lord.  Verse 10:  "And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." The only hope for this world is the Lord's coming.  Present day events point to the immanency of His return.  In the light of the world-shaking events presently taking place in Europe, the Middle-East, and with the characteristics of the days of Noah and Sodom before our eyes, and with the formation of the "whore" church of Revelation 17 taking shape, we know that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.  Our eyes look upward.  How about you?  Are you living in the expectancy of our Lord's soon return?  Are you ready to meet Him?  Are you laying up treasures in Heaven?

2.  FAITHFUL PREACHING

In 1 Thessalonians 2:1-9 we have the faithful preaching of the Apostle Paul set before us.  The key word here is "bold", verse 2: "But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention."  Paul was bold because he had been called of the Lord to preach to sinners.  When we really believe that men and women without Christ are on the way to Hell, we cannot but be "bold in our God" to preach the gospel unto them.

Notice that Paul preached with much contention.  The sad part of preaching now-a-days is that there is so little contention.  Paul and Silas suffered much at Philippi but that did not stop them from coming to Thessalonica to fearlessly preach the same message.  Today, with so little preaching on sin, Hell, repentance, restitution, and judgment to come, there is little opposition, and indeed, the world ignores the average church.

The motivating force behind Paul's preaching was the full assurance that he was preaching the truth of God's Word.  He was not double-tongued.  Paul meant what he said and said what he meant. There was no deceit.  There was no desire to please men, but to please only God.  Today there are more men-pleasers than God-pleasers.

We Should not compromise the true Word of God for any reason - not for salary, benefits, pensions, or popularity and reputation.  Many True and Faithful Bible Believing Pastors have resigned from the compromising, worldly, liberal, Apostate church and  have promised the Lord that they would never again take a salary, benefits, or a pension plan or even try to develop a popular reputation that would please men.  Their life's verse has been Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

1 Thessalonians 2:8:  "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."  How Paul loved these Christians.  His care for them was like that of a nurse who cherishes her children, and in his concern for their spiritual well-being he was willing even to impart unto them his own soul.

Verse 9: "For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God."  He gave his whole life in ministering to these dear believers.

I wonder what God would do today in the churches if we as preachers could say with Paul in verse 10: "Ye are witnesses (by seeing our everyday life), and God also (who sees the heart), how holily (in our devotion to God) and justly (by being honest and paying our bills) and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe."  My earnest desire in this ministry is for a life that is consistent, based on the truth of God's Word, quickened by the Holy Spirit, and given on behalf of others.  Every Christian should live, as becomes, those called with such a high and holy calling, making it our great commission to serve and please Him.

Paul had a fatherly concern for his converts.  Verse 11:  "As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children."  Exhortation leads one to do a thing willingly; consolation gives encouragement to do it cheerfully. The behaviour of the preacher and the Christian ought to match the truth they profess.

Verse 13 tells us that the message is inspired of God.  All we preachers are called to do is deliver it; we are but courier boys for the Lord.  When Paul preached to the Thessalonians they received the message "not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."  It is not man that does the work, but it is God working in the believer by His one true Holy Spirit.  We need to get back to the authority of the Scriptures and to preaching the gospel in the power of the true Holy Spirit.

You will remember that in Chapter 1:1-5 the Word of God came unto them.  In verse 1:8 they sounded it out in every place and spread its message abroad.  Here in I Thess. 2:13 we read that it worked effectually in them.  Oh that the Lord would so increase our love for Him and confidence in His Word, that we would give ourselves wholly to reaching the perishing multitudes who are on the way to judgment and separation from God in Hell.

Chapter 2:14:  "For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews." The Christians of Thessalonica suffered for the Word of God.  There always will be opposition to Spirit-filled preaching.  But they rejoiced that they were in Christ and counted it a privilege to represent Him before the unsaved world.

Verse 15: "Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men."  Paul points out how the Jews, instead of receiving Jesus as their Messiah, killed Him, and were now opposing the preaching of the Word to others.

Verse 16:"Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost."  Praise God there is coming a day when Israel shall turn unto the Lord and worship Jesus as their Messiah.  On the Cross Jesus prayed for them: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34)).

 Although Paul could not remain with the dear brethren in Thessalonica they were constantly in his heart.  Verse 17:  "But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire."  He pictures himself as a parent separated from his children and tells them of his longing to see them again.

Verse 18: "Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us."  Satan put obstacles in the apostle's way.  We must not forget that we have an enemy who will do all he can to obstruct the work of the Lord.  It is Satan who often causes divisions in the church, and who hinders Christians from reading the Bible and spending time in prayer.  There are failures of the flesh also, but so often we overlook the fact that the devil can hinder any work for God.  Praise God, there is victory over the devil, as recorded in Ephesians, by taking on the whole armour of God and praying earnestly with prayers and supplications.

Verses 19-20: "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?  For ye are our glory and joy."

Here Paul speaks of the blessed hope of the Lord's return and expresses his joy at the thought that he would then meet his converts, and rejoice over them in the Lord's Presence.  Every conversion provides fellowship with the saints here, and one day, in the Lord's Presence, we will all rejoice together in Heaven.  Paul says that his converts will be his joy and crown in that great and glorious day. When we are saved our names (Luke 10:20), not our social security numbers, are written in Heaven.

But there is only One who can get us into Heaven and that One is the Lord Jesus Christ.  He alone is the way for He said:  "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).  Friend, how about you?  Will you go to Heaven when you die?  If you have not yet trusted Christ as your Saviour, do so now.

3.  CONCERNING YOUR FAITH

 In Chapter 3 we find the words "your faith" mentioned five times in the first ten verses.  Paul was not concerned about their physical health or material prosperity, but their spiritual faith was of the utmost importance. He therefore sent Timothy to encourage them in the persecutions they were going through and to establish them in the faith.  His message was:  "That no man should be moved by these afflictions" (v. 3).

Trials and tribulations are the common lot of all True Christians and we must realize that the road to Heaven is not an easy one. Having True Faith takes a lot of work and effort. Paul did not use flattery.  He forewarned them that they must count upon trouble in the flesh so that they would be kept from being moved away by any devices of the tempter.  And Christians need the same warning today. The devil never gives up.  He will try to discourage you all along the way.  He wants you to stay away from Bible reading and prayer.

The Devil wants you to take it easy and to make no sacrifices for God.  He also wants you to lower your standards, to drink a little, to dabble with the business of the world, to break up your marriage, to get a divorce and remarry, to spend hours on TV and Video and seconds in fellowship with the Lord.  Beloved, this is the sad state of many believers today and then we wonder why the world is antagonistic to the Christian faith.  It is no wonder Paul said to the church of the Thessalonians:  "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"(v. 5).

When Timothy returned he brought good news to Paul of their abounding love and steadfast faith.  They greatly desired to see Paul even as he did them.  Verses 6-7:  "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." This report cheered and comforted Paul, and it is the encouragement we need today.  Christians ought to be steadfast in the Lord.  Far too many are up and down because they are living according to circumstances instead of by faith in the promises of God's Word.

As your internet Pastor my desire for you is that, in the face of all opposition and difficulty, you will remain faithful to the Saviour until He comes.  Let me now share a victorious letter with you from internetland:  "How thankful I am for your plain preaching.  I was brought up in a Christian home, received Jesus as my own Saviour, and for a while lived for His glory.  Then the devil made an entrance and I have been living far from God.  I would tell the Lord I was going to stop my wicked ways but just kept on repeating them.  But while you were teaching here today I decided to come back to Jesus and back home to my family.  I know the Lord has done something for me today."  This is what Paul looked for in the church at Thessalonica.

Verses 9-11: "For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?  Now God Himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you." Paul's main desire was to have fellowship with the believers around the True Word of God.  He knew they were trying to relate its message to their personal lives and to the life of the church.  Yet, he was aware that something was lacking in their faith and he desired that this might be perfected.  He realized that when they became established in the True Word they would not be moved by temptation, error or persecution.

For this reason there must always be the teaching of the True Word of God. In these days, far too much time is spent on music and entertainment rather than on the strong meat of the Bible.  It is important that Christians be taught of their position in Christ, of the power that is available to them in their new life, and of the standard of perfection to which they are to aspire.

Verse 12:  "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you."

A little boy was once asked what a saint was.  Thinking about the church's stained glass windows he replied.  "A saint is someone whom the light shines through." Every  True Christian is a saint (Rom. 1:7).  This means he is to let the light of God's love shine through to his fellow man.  Such love is the fulfilment of the law (Rom. 13:10).  The one Biblical standard for the Christian life is love.  The believer is not under law but the one who acts according to love fulfils the law.  Love brings about honesty, integrity, purity, and loyalty.  The law is summarized in the two commandments:  "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart...and they neighbour as thyself" (Luke 10:27-28).  love, according to 1 Thessalonians 3:12, is to motivate our thoughts, words and actions.  This love radiates from the love of Christ in the believer's heart.

The result of this love is seen in 1 Thessalonians 3:13: "To the end He may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints." Holiness is required of all who would go to Heaven; and we must act so that we do not contradict that which we profess.  Holiness is imputed to the believer through faith in the righteousness of Christ, but it is imparted to the believer through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  God's Spirit works this holiness in us.  And we are to consider all of this in the view of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If we really believe the Lord is coming it will make a difference in our lives.  In 1 John 3:3 we read:  "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure."  The hope of every believer is the coming of the Lord. Surely you do not believe that the church is here to bring in the Kingdom or to convert the world or even to change the world.  No, in the midst of these perilous days our hope is in the coming of the Lord.  As we wait for Him, we are to purify our lives, "even as He is pure."  Of course it is the Holy Spirit who does the purifying, but we must obediently yield to Him.  We must put away all sin.

We must be free from evil company and companionship.

Dr. R. A. Torrey told of the purifying effect that the hope of Christ's coming had upon his life: "The truth of the second coming of Christ transformed my whole idea of life.  It broke the power of the world and its ambition over me.  It filled my life with the most radiant optimism even under the most discouraging circumstances." During a question period at a Bible conference, Dr. Torrey was asked:  "Is not the doctrine of Christ's personal and near coming one of practical power and helpfulness?"  He replied, "It is transforming the lives of more men and women than almost any doctrine I know of."

How are we to purify our lives?  By reading and obeying the Word of God.  If you are sick and tired of living a second-best life, of trying to walk with God and the devil, of pretending to be in fellowship with the church and with the business of the world, there is one way back right now.  Tell the Lord all about it.  Confess your sins.  "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).  Say "goodbye" to the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Dedicate your life anew to the Lord.  He loved you and He loves you still.  He alone can satisfy the heart.

 4.  THE BLESSED HOPE - The Rapture.

The 4th Chapter of 1 Thessalonians presents teaching on how Christians ought to walk and behave before the Lord:  "Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.  For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus" (vss. 1,2).  The desire of every believer ought to be to please God.

Christians are also to practice holiness.  Verses 3-6:  "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:  That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel (body) in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:  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."

The world specializes in "affairs", in common-law marriages and illicit sexual conduct.  Sad to say, even some preachers have allowed themselves to become mixed-up in these things.  The preacher should be master over his own body and should keep himself pure.  We are living in days like unto the days of Noah and of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Christians are exhorted not to copy the standards of the world.  Television, with its constant portrayal of violence and immorality, is a curse to the nation.

Verse 7: "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness."  Christians who disobey this teaching and indulge in the sins of the flesh think they can "get away with it", but they won't.  Verse 8 tells us that he who sets at naught this teaching and regards immorality lightly, sets aside the God who has given us the Holy Spirit that we may be holy.  God expects every redeemed child of His to be holy in word, thought, and deed.

Verses 9-12: goes on to speak of brotherly love. "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.  And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business (the business of God), and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."

Anyone who reads the Bible knows that the basis of the Christian faith is love toward other believers.  Paul rejoices that this love extends not just to their own assembly but to all Christians in the whole land.  There is always room for more love.  Christians, as individuals, are instructed to spend time quietly before the Lord, to work faithfully day by day in doing the Lord's work, and to have a consistent testimony by walking honestly before the world.  Often God's work has been hindered because Professing Christians have not been honest, have not lived a separate holy life, have not been obedient to the Holy Word of God and have not manifested a good Christian testimony before others.

Verse 13-14: Paul goes on to Say that he would not have us "be ignorant" concerning those Christians that had already died and were now "Asleep". He goes on to say that we should not "sorrow"or be "concerned" for them. Paul goes on to say that those that do "sorrow" will be the unsaved that "have No Hope" and that they - the saved, will "rise again" as Jesus did and that some day in the future, Jesus our God in resurrected, transformed flesh , would be bringing them back to earth with Him when He returns.

In the remaining verses of Chapter 4 we have the teaching of the Rapture which is the "Blessed Hope" of every True Christian believer.  Verses 15-17: "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 arch-angel, 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."

Our Lord in this Age of Grace is building His Spiritual Church, it is not a church of materialism and business or a physical church of buildings and property, it is not a church of sects or denominations. It is a Spiritual church of "The called Out ones" The very "Elect", that have been called out of the world and to separation from the things of the world and when the church is completed He will come again.  We are not looking for the Great Tribulation period, neither are we working to bring in the Kingdom of God.  We are not preaching in order to save the world or to change it. 

 We are obeying our Lord's command:  Mt:28:19-20: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.", that souls might be saved. 

Paul reminds us that this teaching is "by the word of the Lord."  It is the same as the teaching of Jesus in John 14:1-3:  "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  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 unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

1 Thessalonians 4:18:  "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."  What a comfort for the true believer amidst the pressures of life. What comfort for those who mourn.  What a challenge to the unbelievers who need to be born again in order to be ready for the Lord's return.

CHAPTER 5

In verses 1-5 Paul reminds them that while their present hope is in the Lord's return, the exact time is not revealed.  His coming will be like that of a thief in the night - sudden and unexpected.  People are hoping beyond hope for peace and safety now - without the Lord -but there can be no peace without righteousness.  Righteousness calls us to get right with God, to forsake sin, and to do that which is pleasing in His sight.

Dear Christian, we are not here for the sake of peace and safety, or to obtain material wealth, but to proclaim the gospel to every lost soul before they die and are forever lost in Hell.

Sudden destruction awaits this generation which is walking in rebellion and disobedience to the Word of God.  People may laugh at preaching on judgment and Hell, and preachers may not preach on the subject, but that doesn't change the facts.  There is a place called Hell for every rebellious, disobedient or unsaved - unbelieving soul who dies without Christ.  People may rejoice in the good life, in the material prosperity of our generation, in the pleasures of sin, in lawlessness, in immorality; but every living person will one day die and give an account of his life to God.  It is indeed sickening to find such wholesale immorality and pretentious professions of faith today.  But it is only a pretence before men, not before God.

In verses 4-10 we see that The True and Faithful Bible Believing Christians are not in darkness concerning these important truths.  They are not in intellectual darkness for they know God and understand what the Bible teaches about His plan for this life.  They are not in spiritual darkness for they are in daily contact with God through His Word and rely on His promises to see them through day by day.  Our authority for the blessed hope of our Lord's return is the Word of God.

Verse 6: "therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober."  This is not the hour to sleep.  It is the hour to rally around the banner of the Cross and to reach out to a lost world with the message of the gospel.  Time is fast running out and whatever we are going to do for our Lord, we must do now.  We are not to be drunken or drugged up, whether by wine or modern philosophy or new evangelicalism or the craze of modern perversions of the Bible.  God has provided salvation through the Cross-work of Christ and the shedding of His precious blood.  Once we are saved we should live in union with Him, in His strength, under His control, and for His glory.

In verses 11-13 we are taught to comfort and edify one another as we fellowship together.  We are also to recognize our divinely appointed spiritual leaders who labour among us and are over us in the Lord.  If your preacher is practising and preaching The True  Word of God, stand by Him.

We pray that every Christian reading this today will stand by The True Word Of God and those that  teach and preach The True Word Of God.  If your preacher or church is not preaching and practicing the True Word of God, then leave that church and preacher and move on to where the True Word of God is taught and practiced. Do not be partakers with them in their sins.

Verse 14 is an exhortation:  "...warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men."

The admonitions of verses 16-22 are sufficient in themselves: "Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In everything give thanks: . . . Quench not the Spirit.  Despise not prophesyings.  Prove all things...Abstain from all appearance of evil."

Paul concludes this helpful Book of 1 Thessalonians by praying that the believers there would live a holy life.  God sanctifies us and sets us apart for His glory.  He keeps our whole spirit, soul, and body sound.  His desire is that we be blameless before the world.

Those who know the power of prayer are always thankful for the prayers of others.  I value the prayers of God's people more than anything else in the world.  The last verse is a reminder that there is only one way to live a consistent Christian life and that is through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May the Lord help us to be faithful while we wait and watch for His coming.

Let us Pray Together--

PRAY: " God be merciful to me a sinner. Receive me now for Christ's sake. Cleanse me from my sin by your precious blood, shed on the cross for me; fill me with your Holy Spirit. Teach me to pray each day; to read Your will for my life from your word, the Bible; and help to worship and serve You in the fellowship of your church. I thank you Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN!

 Go To Lesson Two - Key Studies In Second Thessalonians


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