“Effective Witness”  1 Thessalonians 1
Paul had visited Thessalonica for a short time and established a church there. Even though he had to leave quickly, their faith had grown and had become a very effective witness beyond their own region. Paul wrote to encourage them and to correct some problems. 
Vss. 1-3
1.Paul said he and his helpers constantly prayed for the Thessalonian believers in their work of faith, their labor of love, and their endurance through Christ.
Vss. 4-5
2.They had responded to Paul’s testimony and his teaching that Jesus is the Messiah.
Vs. 6
3.They had begun to allow the Holy Spirit to use them just like Paul in spite of severe persecution.
Vss. 7-9
4.Their testimony had spread beyond Greece, that they had turned to God from idols.
5.Their testimony spread the message that Christ was risen, and was coming again to save us from the coming wrath.
So then, the Thessalonian believers had become an effective witness because they believed the Gospel and 
yielded to the Holy Spirit.

“Mindset Method” 1Thessalonians 2
 While showing his warm affection for the Thessalonian believers, Paul explained his mindset method.
1.Paul’s initial visit to Thessalonica was successful in spite of strong opposition.1 Thess. 2:1-2
2.Paul & his partners did not use flattery or deceit
and did not want their money or their praise.
1 Thess. 2:3-6
3.Paul & his partners not only preached the Gospel to the Thessalonians but worked hard to help meet their needs as well.1 Thess. 2:7-10
4.They had urged the Thessalonians to give their lives to God. Paul was thankful that they had received that message as the Word of God.1 Thess. 2:11-13
5.Now the Thessalonians were also the objects of 
persecution like Paul & the others. Those persecutors who persist, will bring judgment on themselves. 1 Thess. 2: 14-16
6.Paul wanted to see them again but also rejoiced that he could present them to Christ when He returns.1 Thess. 2:17-20

Paul’s mindset method is a good pattern for us to follow: 
1-Disregard opposition, 
2-Testify for Christ in love, 
3-Work hard, and meet needs
4-Look to the Future.

“Facing Persecution” 1 Thessalonians 3
Now that Paul has demonstrated his missionary mindset method to the Thessalonians, he tells them how to deal with trouble and persecution. It is interesting that it has nothing to do with the persecution itself.
Vss. 1-2
1. Paul sent Timothy, his right hand man, to encourage the Thessalonians in their faith, while he was experiencing persecution.
Vss. 3-5
2. He taught them to expect persecution.
John 16:33
Vss. 6-10
3. Paul and his co-workers focused on the Thessalonians believers and prayed for them.
Phil 2:3,4
Vss. 11-12
4. He wanted God’s love to grow in them and overflow to others.1 Cor. 13:7,13
Vs. 13
5. He prayed they would be living pure lives when Christ returned.

So then, Paul’s way of dealing with hardships and persecution was to focus on God’s love and the welfare of others, not his troubles.

“ These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation,
but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

“Getting Ready for the Trumpet Call” 1 Thess. 4
We, as believers, look forward to the Lord’s return. However, as Paul explains, there are some things we must be doing to get ready for that trumpet! There are some things we must know, 
so that we are not deceived.
Vss. 1-8
1.To please God, our lives must be self-controlled and sanctified (i.e. separated ) from the way the heathen live. To reject this teaching is to reject God.  
Vss. 9-12
2.God expects believers to love each other, work hard, and treat unbelievers kindly.  
Vss. 14-15
3.Because Christ rose, He will bring the Christians who have already died with Him when He returns.
Vs. 16
4.The Lord, Himself, will give a loud command, with an archangel’s voice and one of God’s trumpets, and He will descend. 1 Cor. 15:51-58
Vss. 17-18
5.Christians who died, followed by those who are still alive will receive their eternal condition at that time. Be encouraged. 1 Thess. 4:17-18

Only those who are obedient and looking for Christ’s return  will be ready for it!

“Don’t Be Surprised” 1 Thessalonians 5
1.That day will be a surprise to everyone except those who are saved and looking for it. Vss. 1-8
2.God has not destined us for wrath but for salvation through Christ.Vs. 5:9
3.We should encourage each other because whether we are alive or dead at that time, we will live with Him because of what He did for us.Vss. 5:10-11 
4.In the mean time: respect your spiritual leaders and build up the body. Vss. 12-15
5.Always: rejoice, pray and be thankful. Vss. 16-18
6.Don’t: quench the Spirit, or reject God’s message.Vss. 19-20
7.Examine everything & live right. Vss. 21-22 
8.Allow God to make you holy for His Son’s return. Vss. 23-28

So then, Paul’s point is not when  the Lord Jesus will come back for us but that
He will come back and that we should be ready. Acts 1:7-11

“Return Reality” 2 Thessalonians 1
Paul learned that some Thessalonians had misunderstood some things he said in his first letter and were creating some problems as a result. So he wrote 
to them again just a few months later. He started by assuring them again that the Lord Jesus will come back.
Vss. 1-5
1.The Thessalonian believers had a widespread testimony of love, faith, and perseverance.
Vss. 6-7a
2.God will punish the persecutors and relieve the persecuted.
3.This will happen when the Lord Jesus returns with blazing fire and His angels.
Vss. 8-9
4.He will send unbelievers into eternal punishment, separated from God.
Vs. 10
5.All believers will be united with Him and we will be awestruck when we see Him.

6.Knowing this we should live in God’s power in order to glorify the Lord Jesus.

So then, before discussing when Jesus will return,  Paul makes clear that what is more important is the 
fact that Jesus will return and bring all humanity to their final destiny.

Study to resume on May 21st