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Author and Audience
A. The city of Thessalonica (Macedonia, and gentiles)
B. Background (Acts 17:1-10): Paul and Silas's ministry in Thessalonica engenders a dispute with Jews
• Jews were under severe persecution
C. Paul stayed to reach out to the Gentiles
1. Lack of OT references and 1 Thess 1:9 emphasize the Gentile background
D. They accepted his messages in the midst of persecution
• 50-51 AD
• 1 Thess 3:6-10
A. The power of the word in Paul's ministry
• 1 Thess 1:4-5 - the word was not only preached, but it came with power from the Holy Spirit with conviction
• 1 Thess 2:13 - men spoke it, but it was received as the word of God; an active agency that convicts and converts
• 1 Thess 4:2-9 - the way God communicates is through the means of people; parallel between men's words and the Holy Spirit
B. The place of imitation in Paul's ministry
• 1 Thess 1:6 - imitators of us and the Lord
• 1 Thess 2:14 - imitators of God and Jesus Christ
• 2 Thess 3:7-9 - imitate us
*not only preaching the word, but living it! Mentorship process
C. Paul address working and idleness - encourages the Thessalonians to work, accusses them of being lazy
• 1 Thess 2:6-12; 1 Thess 5:14; 2 Thess 3:7-9
• ancient world worked like the mafia
D. Christ's return and the resurrection of the dead
• "fallen asleep" - dead
1. Sadness over those who have died (4:13-18)
2. The Parousia - the coming of Christ (2 Thess), when he comes back we will all be reunited (the rapture)
3. Two Events: Rebellion and Man of lawlessness
4. Day of the Lord
5. Caught up in the Clouds (1 Thess 4:13)
• we are not going to some other land in the sky, we will usher into the earth, or is it picture language?
o Josephus' description of the citizens of Rome receiving Vespasian:
Amidst such feelings of universal goodwill, those of higher rank, impatient of awaiting him, hastened to a great distance from Rome to be the first to greet him. Nor, indeed, could any of the rest endure the delay of meeting (Parousia), but all poured forth in such crowds—for to all it seems simpler and easier to go than to remain—that the very city then for the first time experienced with satisfaction a paucity of inhabitants; for those who went outnumbered those who remained. But when he was reported to be approaching and those who had gone ahead were telling of the affability of his reception of each party, the whole remaining population, with wives and children, were by now waiting at the road-sides to receive him; and each group as he passed, in their delight at the spectacle and moved by the blandness of his appearance, gave vent to all manner of cries, hailing him as "benefactor," "savior," and "only worthy emperor of Rome." The whole city, moreover, was filled, like a temple, with garlands and incense. Having reached the palace, though with difficulty, owing to the multitude that thronged around him, he offered sacrifices of thanksgiving for his arrival to the household gods.
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