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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Already, Jesus is “rescuing” his people from the coming “wrath” that will befall the unrighteous when he arrives1 Thessalonians 1:10.

From its inception, the congregation at Thessalonica had experienced hostility. Out of concern for their welfare, Paul sent Timothy to determine how the church was faring under persecution. His letter to the Thessalonians begins with his thankfulness for their perseverance, and then he reassures them that Jesus will rescue his people from a far worse fate than any present “tribulation.”

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The Thessalonians received the gospel in tribulation but remained faithful in anticipation of the arrival of Jesus 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10.

Opposition to the new faith forced Paul to leave Thessalonica before his work was completed. When he attempted to return to the city, he was thwarted “by Satan.” Because of anxieties about the congregation, he sent Timothy to investigate. His first letter is his thankful response after receiving good news about the congregation’s faithfulness.

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The arrival of Jesus will mean vindication and “rest” for the righteous, but everlasting loss for the wicked – 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10.

Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians was written in the months following his departure from the city. The first epistle expressed joy at the good news that the Thessalonians were remaining faithful despite persecution. The second addressed three main issues: Persecution, believers who refused to work, and questions about the “arrival” of Jesus.

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Even now, the mystery of lawlessness is preparing the way for the appearance of the lawless one who will cause many Christians to apostatize.

According to the Apostle Paul, the “mystery of lawlessness” is working diligently in the world to prepare hearts and minds for the “arrival” of the “lawless one.” And it will continue to do so until the appointed time when this final deceiver will “come out of the midst” and appear in the “sanctuary of God.” Thereafter, he will employ “lying signs and wonders” to cause many saints to depart from the faith.

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