Tag Archives: Thessalonians

SAINTS, TRIBULATION, AND WRATH

His disciples escape God’s “wrath” but endure “tribulation” to which they have been “appointed”1 Thessalonians 3:1-4.

In the New Testament, the terms “tribulation” and “wrath” are NOT synonymous. “Tribulation” is what disciples endure for the sake of Jesus, but “wrath” is the horrific fate awaiting the wicked at the “end of the age,” the “second death,” which unrepentant sinners and apostates endure on account of their iniquities and betrayals.

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SANCTIFIED WHOLLY

Considering the future arrival of Jesus, Paul summoned believers to become sanctified completely by that day 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

Paul concluded his first letter to the Thessalonians with a series of exhortations summoning believers to righteous living in the interim between their conversion and the “arrival” of Jesus “from heaven,” and ended with a call for their complete sanctification by that day. His final exhortation included verbal links to the preceding sections of the letter.

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SONS OF LIGHT

The Day of the Lord will mean salvation to the “sons of light” who remain ever vigilant and prepared for it 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.

Rather than provide a list of “signs” whereby believers can ascertain the imminence of the “Day of the Lord,” the Apostle Paul gave instructions on how they must live in anticipation of that day’s sudden and unexpected arrival. It would not overtake the Thessalonians because they “were not in darkness,” but instead, they were “sons of light” and “sons of the day.”

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SORROW NOT – RESURRECTION HOPE

Foundational to the hope of the church is the bodily resurrection of believers that will take place when Jesus arrives from heaven.

Paul’s description of the “coming” of Jesus in his first letter to the Thessalonians was written to comfort Christians concerning the fate of believers who die before that day. Disciples must not sorrow “like the others” BECAUSE dead Christians will be resurrected when the Lord “arrives,” and both the living and newly raised believers will “meet him” as he descends from heaven.

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THE DEAD IN CHRIST

Paul reassured believers concerning those who had died in Christ and their full participation in the future resurrection – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Paul addressed the concerns about the fate of fellow believers who die before Jesus will arrive “from heaven.” Apparently, some believers at Thessalonica were concerned that dead saints might not participate in the glories of that day. But he reassured them; not only will dead believers be resurrected on that day they will also precede those still alive, and all together will meet Jesus.

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BLAMELESS CONDUCT

If the Thessalonians emulate the apostolic example, they will receive the “crown of glory” at Christ’s return 1 Thessalonians 2:1-20.

Opposition from the local synagogue had compelled Paul to leave Thessalonica prematurely. Though initially, some members of that group had welcomed his message, they turned against him once large numbers of Gentiles began to embrace the gospel. And even after he left the city, some of the synagogue leaders pursued him as he preached elsewhere in Macedonia.

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