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A church is born - (Revised)

Christ Coming For His Church   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:40
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Wonderful hope!

I think there is no greater hope that the hope in the promise of Christ’s return. The book of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians displays that throughout, but there is much we can learn, much we can apply along the way. Today we start that journey.
Hope, it is a good thing, and I hope that we can get some hope through the books that central focus is the return of Christ and living in light of His return. This is an introduction and it is a little lengthy, so, I hope, you can bear with me as we take a look at an overview and introduction of the letters to the the Thessalonians.
To understand a story, it helps to have some history so today we will do the history stuff, the background, but don’t worry there will be plenty of scripture to come along as we go.
It is about the summer of 49 and Paul, Timothy and Titus are thinking back as they travel of the promise Jesus made when He ascended (Act1:9-11); that makes me think of the reason behind the promise, besides the hope (2Pt3:10-14)
The promise given (Act1:9-11)
Acts 1:9–10 NASB95
9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.
Acts 1:11 NASB95
11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
(expand on what they saw, and what was promised)
The promise designed for, the reason (2Pt3:10-14)
2 Peter 3:10–11 NASB95
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
2 Peter 3:12–13 NASB95
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:14 NASB95
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
Look at the instructions from Peter on what we are to do as we wait for the Lord’s return for His church.
Be holy in conduct
Look for His return
Look for our heavenly home
Be diligent
Find peace, be spotless and blameless in Him!
So as we work our way through this series we will look at how we maybe ready for Christ’s return, what we should do while waiting for Christ’s return, but first let us look at the history and the characters in the book.

The Author

There is no dispute regarding the authorship of the letters, but what more can we know about the author and his companions from the opening of this book?
1 Thessalonians 1:1 NASB95
1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
Author Paul, formally Saul (Act9:1-2); Apostle to the Gentiles (Act9:15)
Acts 9:1–2 NASB95
1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Saul the murder, the persecutor of Christians now an Apostle
Acts 9:15 NASB95
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;
An Apostle sent on a mission from God to the unlikely people (Gentiles); kings and to the Jews.
_________________________________________________________
Joined by Silvanus (aka Silas)
Emissary, a person sent on a special mission, usually a diplomatic representative, from the apostles in Jerusalem (Act15:22, 27); Prophet (Act15:32); companion to Paul (Act15:34, 40-41)
Imprisoned with Paul in Philippi (Act16:19-25)
Helped to establish this young church at Thessalonica (Act17:1-4)
_______________________________________________________
Joined by Silvanus (aka Silas)
Emissary, from the apostles in Jerusalem (Act15:22, 27); Prophet (Act15:32); companion to Paul (Act15:34, 40-41)
Acts 15:22 NASB95
22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren,
Silas a leader, a leader who was sent to meet with Paul in Antioch.
Acts 15:27 NASB95
27 “Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth.
He was not alone in the sending from Jerusalem, but that is outside of our letter, but gives us a little information about Silas.
He was also known as a prophet
Acts 15:32 NASB95
32 Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message.
Prophet is a person with a message and an authority to proclaim for foretell, He was a prophet who forth told about Jesus Christ and the mystery of the gospel.
He was a companion to Paul
Acts 15:34 NASB95
34 But it seemed good to Silas to remain there.
and look at
Acts 15:40–41 NASB95
40 But Paul chose Silas and left, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Joined by Silvanus (aka Silas)
Emissary from the apostles in Jerusalem (Act15:22, 27); Prophet (Act15:32); companion to Paul (Act15:34, 40-41)
Imprisoned with Paul in Philippi (Act16:19-25)
Acts 16:19–20 NASB95
19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, 20 and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews,
Acts 16:21–22 NASB95
21 and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.” 22 The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods.
Acts 16:23–24 NASB95
23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Acts 16:25 NASB95
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
So, Paul is with Silas, Silas came from Jerusalem to be with Paul and ends up in prison not singing the blues but singing hymns and praising God.
Joined by Silvanus (aka Silas)
Emissary from the apostles in Jerusalem (Act15:22, 27); Prophet (Act15:32); companion to Paul (Act15:34, 40-41)
Imprisoned with Paul in Philippi (Act16:19-25)
Helped to establish this young church at Thessalonica (Act17:1-4)
Look at the results of their friendship, companionship as sent by the Lord.
Acts 17:1–2 NASB95
1 Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Acts 17:3–4 NASB95
3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women.
A church was formed, a body of believers that came from a Greek shipping area, trade route, who in just 3 sabbaths converted “a large number”
They were not alone, there was Timothy who was there too.
___________________________________________________
Timotheus (aka Timothy)
A young disciple who also travelled with Paul (Act16:1-3)
Paul references him several times in his writing (2Cor1:1, Php1:1)
Recipient of some of Paul’s letters (1Tim1:1-2; 2Tim2:1-2)
Who, like Paul was imprisoned (Heb13:23)
Was a traveller, an emissary to Thessolonica (1The3:1-2) and bearer of good news to Paul (1The3:6)
_________________________________________________________
Timotheus (aka Timothy)
A young disciple who also travelled with Paul (Act16:1-3)
Acts 16:1–2 NASB95
1 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, 2 and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium.
Acts 16:3 NASB95
3 Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
Timothy a 1/2 Jew; 1/2 Greek was well thought of and spoken of in the area. Timothy who because of the ministry work to be done with Paul was circumcised. Why, not for salvation, or for proof of salvation, but for the comfort and identity to those he was ministering too.
Timotheus (aka Timothy)
A young disciple who also travelled with Paul (Act16:1-3)
Paul references him several times in his writing (2Cor1:1, Php1:1)
2 Corinthians 1:1 NASB95
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia:
And then you can see it again
Philippians 1:1 NASB95
1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:
A young disciple who also travelled with Paul (Act16:1-3)
Paul references him several times in his writing (2Cor1:1, Php1:1)
Recipient of some of Paul’s letters (1Tim1:1-2; 2Tim2:1-2)
1 Timothy 1:1–2 NASB95
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
And then there is
2 Timothy 1:1–2 NASB95
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
A young disciple who also travelled with Paul (Act16:1-3)
Paul references him several times in his writing (2Cor1:1, Php1:1)
Recipient of some of Paul’s letters (1Tim1:1; 2Tim2:1)
Who, like Paul was imprisoned (Heb13:23)
Hebrews 13:23 NASB95
23 Take notice that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom, if he comes soon, I will see you.
On a quick side note, this verse is why some believe that Paul was the author of Hebrews too, but that is another study for another series for another time.
A young disciple who also travelled with Paul (Act16:1-3)
Paul references him several times in his writing (2Cor1:1, Php1:1)
Recipient of some of Paul’s letters (1Tim1:1; 2Tim2:1)
Who, like Paul was imprisoned (Heb13:13)
Was a traveller, an emissary to Thessolonica (1The3:1-2) and bearer of good news to Paul (1The3:6)
1 Thessalonians 3:1–2 NASB95
1 Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith,
Timothy was sent to Thessolonica to get word on them and to encourage them
1 Thessalonians 3:6 NASB95
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you,
And to bring back word from them to Paul to encourage Paul too.
What a mission team they were and from them a church was born. This is a young church that was being rooted after 3 short Sabbaths with Paul, Silas and Timothy and Paul is writing to them shortly thereafter, believed in Spring of 50-51.

The Recipients

How about some facts about the recipients. Who does not like getting a letter and from Paul, their friend, they must have been excited to hear from him.
1 Thessalonians 1:1 NASB95
1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
(Thessolonica map)
Some facts
It was the capital and largest city (about 200,000) in Roman providence of Macedonia
Located on the Egnatian way, a major thoroughfare between Rome and the Eastern Roman providences
Known today as Thessaloniki, and formally Salonica, it changed to Thessalonica in 315BC.
So the recipients were a church located in Thessalonica who Paul loved and wished for grace and peace to be upon them.
Church established on Paul’s second missionary trip (Act17:1-9)
This happen shortly after being beaten, imprisoned and released in Philippi (you can look up Act16:22-40)
Now maybe we better look at the section of scripture mentioned to see how it was established.
Acts 17:1–2 NASB95
1 Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Acts 17:3–4 NASB95
3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women.
Acts 17:5–6 NASB95
5 But the Jews, becoming jealous and taking along some wicked men from the market place, formed a mob and set the city in an uproar; and attacking the house of Jason, they were seeking to bring them out to the people. 6 When they did not find them, they began dragging Jason and some brethren before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here also;
Acts 17:7–8 NASB95
7 and Jason has welcomed them, and they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8 They stirred up the crowd and the city authorities who heard these things.
Paul started where he always started in the Synagogue and used their Sabbath day gathering for evangelism. But hey, in Philippi he was thrown in jail, in Thessalonica he was chased out of town. But still the church was born and it had a good reputation
A church of good reputation (1The1:8)
1 Thessalonians 1:8 NASB95
8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.
Look what was known, they were known throughout all Macedonia and Achaia
A church comprised of mostly Gentiles (1The1:9)
1 Thessalonians 1:9 NASB95
9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,
Gentiles with Gentile idols that are gotten rid of to serve the living and true God.
Some prominent members too (Act17:9; Act20:4)
Acts 17:9 NASB95
9 And when they had received a pledge from Jason and the others, they released them.
oh, Jason who had been dragged out because of them, helped orchestrate them being able to leave
Acts 20:4 NASB95
4 And he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.
Aristarchus whose name means (best ruler) became a companion with Paul and was persecuted with Paul and Gaius and Demetrius in Ephesus during 3rd missionary trip, He accompanied Paul to Rome.
Secundus became a companion of Paul and traveled with him into Asia and was part of carrying the love offering back to the church in Jerusalem.
It is remarkable about this church and its reputation especially taking into account the age of it (it was very new) - God can do much regardless of age.

Place of the writing

We still have more to gain in our preparing for our study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians so let’s press on to the place and time of the writing.
___________________________________________________________
Written a short time after the departure (1The2:17-18)
Paul sends Timothy back to them from Athens (1The3:1-6)
It is believed written from Corinth after his short stop in Athens (Act17:16-18:1)
Another reason believed is that Timothy returned from there to Corinth (Act18:5)
It was believed written Spring of 50 or as late as 52
____________________________________________________
Written a short time after the departure (1The2:17-18)
1 Thessalonians 2:17–18 NASB95
17 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while—in person, not in spirit—were all the more eager with great desire to see your face. 18 For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us.
Written a short time after the departure (1The2:17-18)
Paul sends Timothy back to them from Athens (1The3:1-6)
We have already read that passage previously today; And if you want to get out of here sometime today I better press on.
Written a short time after the departure (1The2:17-18)
Paul sends Timothy back to them from Athens (1The3:1-6)
It is believed written from Corinth after his short stop in Athens (Act17:16-18:1)
The Act17 passage has the history of Paul’s time in Athens and a great message, preaching on Mar’s hill, but I’m going to encourage you to read it on your own, take special note vv23-28
Another reason believed is that Timothy returned from there to Corinth (Act18:5)
Acts 18:5 NASB95
5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.
It was believed written Spring of 50 or as late as 52
Interesting fact, due to the date attributed to the letter this would be one of the first, if not the first of Paul’s writings.

Purpose of the letter

Every book in the bible has a purpose for the writing. This book has a purpose, intent to it and it is applicable for us.
2 Thessalonians 2:1–2 NASB95
1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
2 Thessalonians 2:3–4 NASB95
3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
Again, this series is about Christ coming for His church, living in light of His return.
Due to the length of this message today, introductions normally are a little longer, I will reference scriptures and they are on your outline, but please take the time to take your outline home, look up the scriptures
Paul was anxious about the young church, he wanted to return there but was hindered (Act17:10; 1The2:17-18)
Paul sent Timothy to encourage them, but he too got encouragement back (1The3:1-8)
Encouragement of their work of faith, labor of love and steadfastness of hope (1The1:3)
Many references to the coming of Christ, so it is to prepare them encourage them about the coming of Christ (1The1:10, 1The2:19, 1The3:13; 1The4:13-18 and 1The5:23)
Paul will reflect on
Their condition (1:1-10)
His conduct (2:1-12)
His concern (2:13-3:13)
He will also give some instructions to them
To walk in holiness (4:1-8)
To walk in love (4:9-10)
To walk in diligence (4:11-12)
To walk in hope (4:13-18)
To walk in light (5:1-11)
and, walk in obedience (5:12-28)
(invitation slide - living in light of His return)
So as we journey through the book may we glean some great truth, great application about how we are to live in light of Christ’s return for His church. For He is coming and may we be ready, may we be anticipating and may we be living in a manner pleasing to Him as we wait!
(Invitation slide 2) song (exit slide)
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