Thessalonians: Hope for a Hopeless World

Paul teaches the New Christians in Thessalonica they had reason for living, they had purpose, and they had hope in the midst of the hopelessness around them because God is in control and knows what He’s doing.

Bible Studies in the Book of Thessalonians

Please click the heading above to see the messages in this series.

First Thessalonians

Changed Lives
1 Thess 1:1-10
Whatever became of Integrity?
1 Thess 2:1-12
The Mysterious Word
1 Thess 2:13-16
A Father's Joy
1 Thess 2:17 - 3:13
Handling your Sex Drive
1 Thess 4:1-8
Comfort at the Grave
1 Thess 4:9-18
The Fate of the Earth
1 Thess 5:1-11
Living Christianly
1 Thess 5:12-28

Second Thessalonians

The Fire next Time
2 Thess 1:1-12
The Man who Claims to be God
2 Thess 2:1-12
Stand Firm
2 Thess 2:13 - 3:5
Is Work a Curse?
2 Thess 3:6-18

Overview the Book of Thessalonians

from Adventuring Through the Bible

The first letter of Paul to the Thessalonians is also the first letter the apostle wrote. It was written to a struggling, yet vigorous church that was only a few months old, made up of Christians who had just come to Christ under Paul's ministry. This is a delightfully revealing letter, showing the heart of the apostle toward these new Christians, and also showing the struggles that were present in the early church.

We sometimes get very distorted conceptions of these early Christians; there's a tendency to regard them as always triumphant, always waging the battle with vigor, and always winning great victories in Christ's name. But they also had very severe problems, some of which are reflected in this letter. It was written about 50 A.D., and may well be the first part of our New Testament to be written. Most scholars feel that the gospels were written about this same time or shortly afterward, though some hold that the gospel of Matthew, and perhaps of Mark, appeared about 43 or 45 A.D. At any rate, this letter is at least one of the earliest Christian writings.

The account of Paul's founding of this church is recorded in the seventeenth chapter of Acts. After he and Silas were thrown into prison in Philippi because of their preaching of the Gospel, an earthquake shook down the prison doors and freed the prisoners. Paul was then freed by the Roman magistrates, and he left Philippi and went to Thessalonica. Many of the places where Paul preached have crumbled into ruin, but Thessalonica is still a thriving, bustling metropolis. It was then the capital of Macedonia, but it is now in Greece proper, and is called Salonika.

From the account in Acts, we learn that Paul had only been there about three weeks when persecution began and he had to leave the city for his own safety. He went down to Athens and from there he sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to see how these Christians were doing. He was very disturbed about them; he felt that perhaps the persecution they were undergoing would drive them from their faith.

He went on to Corinth where he founded a church after several months of difficult labor. After some time, Timothy returned to him at Corinth, bringing word of how the Thessalonians were doing, and of some of the problems they were facing. As we read this little letter through, we can recognize them as the kind of problems that we also face.