Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ September 23, 2007
:2 Thessalonians 1:1 ~ Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
:MAP X2 Lystra, Iconium, Antioch, Perga, Colossae, Nicaea, Miletus, Patmos, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Troas, Samothrace, Neapolis, Philippi, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Thessalonica, Pella, Berea, Athens, Corinth, Sparta
Thessalonica was a free city with a strategic location on the Via Egnatia (Egnatian Way). Thessalonica was the largest city of Macedonia with a population of 200,000. In 1938, about half of Salonika was Jewish, (descended from Spanish Jews, expelled by Ferdinand and Isabella in about 1475) of whom 96% [60,000 plus] were exterminated by the Nazis. Today over 1 million people live in Thessaloniki of which only 1,000 are Jewish. It is second only to Athens in size.
In 315 B.C. Cassander, married to Alexander’s sister, gathered and organized the area villages into a new metropolis, Thessalonica. He gave the city its name in honor of his wife after murdering Alexander’s mom, wife and only son.
:PHOTO OF CITY
In 42 B.C. Thessalonica was made a “free city” by Anthony and Octavian, as a reward for the help given in the struggle against Brutus and Cassius in Philippi.
As a free city, Thessalonica was ruled by politarchs (cf. Luke’s accurate reporting in Acts 16:6). This political privilege was jealously guarded by the people. It was because of this that the charge framed against Paul and his companions was one of treason and this was the most dangerous charge that could have been leveled against them in a city like Thessalonica (Acts 17:7).
Galatians, Spring 49 A.D.
Jerusalem Council, Fall 49 A.D.
Paul & Silas 50 A.D.
Shah-ool - King Saul of Benjamin.
Pau~lov = little
Silas Si>lav (here: Silouano>v,) was a Greek form of Silvanus and may represent the Aramaic form of the Hebrew name Saul. Silas was a Jewish Christian and Roman citizen. Along with Judas called Barsabbas, Silas was a leading member, emissary, and prophet of the Jerusalem church, sent to Antioch with the Council’s decree - now taking decree with Paul to the Galatian churches.
Picked up Tim in Lystra:
Paul had Timothy circumcised, thus making him fully acceptable and more effective as Paul’s co-worker to the Jews of his native area and elsewhere.
Written from: Corinth during an 18 month stay
Written in: 51 A.D., 2nd Missionary Journey
Not only is 2 Thessalonians found in Marcion’s canon and the Muratorian canon, but it is also quoted by name by Irenaeus, and was apparently known to Ignatius, Justin Martyr, and Polycarp. Further, it is found in the most ancient MSS (including the old Latin, old Syriac, and 46), suggesting its full acceptance from a very early period.
The second letter was occasioned by an entirely different set of circumstances.
:2 Thessalonians 2:2 ~ 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.
(1) Timothy, unknown to the Thessalonian believers by sight, is sent by Paul to confirm their faith.
(2) Paul then sends 1 Thessalonians to the young flock—probably by way of another messenger (note that Timothy’s name is mentioned in the salutation, indicating that he was probably not the letter-bearer)—so as not to raise the suspicions too much of Paul’s enemies in Thessalonica.
(3) The enemies of Paul, probably from the synagogue in Thessalonica, infiltrate the church and take note of Paul’s modus operandi
(3a) Perhaps, these enemies forge a letter as though from Paul which includes a message which subtly discredits Paul’s eschatology, hoping to dislodge the faith of the Thessalonians (and thus, perhaps, bring them back to the synagogue). They send the letter by someone unknown by sight to the believers.
(4) Paul sends someone to check up on the Thessalonians and he finds out the present despair. Paul writes the second letter.
The apostle concludes the letter with a final greeting in which he reminds the Thessalonians of a built-in safeguard: he writes a note in all his letters
2 Thessalonians 3:17 ~ I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write.
:2 Thessalonians 1:2 ~ Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
:2 Thessalonians 1:3-5 ~ 3We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; 4therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. 5This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
To make the issue of our constant indebtedness to God perfectly clear, Paul not only employed the present tense twice, but added the adverb pa>ntote, “always.” “Ought” is ojfei>lw, which implies a special, personal and moral obligation as distinct from purely a logical necessity, even though it is fit and logical. Then, “and rightly so.” is a]xiov, “worthy, fit, in keeping with what deserves to be done.”
Word + Suffering = Faith
Godly faith is evidenced by Love
Love proves salvation and thus produces unwavering hope!
Hope leads us home because we have the correct perspective
5This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
Anyone can act like a Christian/Marine until combat.
:1 Peter 4:12,17a&19 ~ 12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you…
17aFor it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God…
19Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
Christian Judgment is now… If we pass this test we are judged righteous!
How do we pass?
Understand God’s Word and obey it through trial!
:Hebrews 2:10 ~ For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
teleio>w = make perfect; make genuine; complete; finish; end; accomplish; succeed fully; make happen; bring to fruition; attain.
Philippians 2:8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Hebrews 5:9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”