NYAKULO PETER, I & II THESSALONIANS, MKUSHI, CENTRAL PROVINCE, ZAMBIA   ...   peternyakulo@yahoo.com

 THessalonica was a large and prosperous city in Macedonia. It was located on the Aegean Sea. The great military highway from Rome to the East ran through the city. Thessalonica served as the capital of its district. Its population was made up of Romans, Greeks, and Jews in Paul’s day. The church in Thessalonica was established by Paul and Silas about A.D. 51 on Paul’s second missionary journey.

Ø  When Paul and Silas were asked to leave Philippi after they had been beaten and imprisoned, they passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica. They stopped to evangelize in Thessalonica because a synagogue of the Jews was there (Acts 17:1). The Gospel was to be preached to the Jews first (Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16). Synagogues were good places to start for the people who assembled there already believed in the one true God and the Old Testament Scriptures. They were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah (Christ). They would give visiting Jews such as Paul and Silas an opportunity to speak.

Ø  Paul and Silas preached the Gospel in the synagogue for three sabbaths. They showed that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies concerning the Messiah (Acts 17:2,3). Some of the Jews, many of the Greeks, and several of the leading women became believers in Christ (Acts 17:4). The unbelieving Jews were jealous of Paul’s success in winning converts. They gathered together a mob of evil men who caused an uproar in the city. They dragged Jason, a Christian, and some of the other brethren before the rulers of the city. They made false charges against the missionaries. They said, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too." They accused Paul and Silas of "acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king - Jesus" (Acts 17:6,7). The rulers of the city were troubled when they heard these things. They "took security" (a bond) from Jason and the other brethren. Then the brethren, for the sake of their safety, sent Paul and Silas away by night (Acts 17:9,10).

Ø  After preaching in Berea, Paul went on to Athens where he waited for the coming of Silas and Timothy who had remained behind in Berea (Acts 17:14). They eventually came to Paul after he had gone on to Corinth (Acts 17:15;18:5). Paul learned from them the persecution against the church in Thessalonica still continued. He also learned that some had misunderstood his teaching of the second coming of Christ. They thought Christ would return within their lifetime. When some of the Christians died, they feared these Christians would lose their reward since they would not be alive when Christ came. Paul wrote to them to correct this false idea and to encourage the saints to be steadfast in persecution.    3.          remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father, Joh 6:29; Ro 16:6; Ga 5:6; 1Th 2:13; 3:6; 2Th 1:3,11; Heb 6:10; Jas 2:17

    4.          Knowing, beloved brothers, your election of God. Col 3:12; 2Th 2:13

    5.          For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men, we were among you for your sake. Mr 16:20; 1Co 2:4; 4:16,20; 11:1; 2Co 6:6; Col 2:2; 1Th 2:1,5,10-11; 2Th 3:7; Heb 2:3

    6.          And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, welcoming the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, Ac 5:41; 1Co 4:16; 11:1; Php 3:17; 1Th 2:14; 2Th 3:9;

    7.          So that you were examples to all who believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

    8.          For from you the Word of the Lord sounded out, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to speak anything. Ro 1:8; 10:18; 2Th 1:4

     Explain the Scripture

 Ø  In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul reminded them on how they remembered them before our God and Father on how they put their faith into practice, how their love made them work so hard, and how their hope in our Lord Jesus Christ was firm. Joh 6:29; Ro 16:6; Ga 5:6; 1Th 2:13; 3:6; 2Th 1:3,11; Heb 6:10; Jas 2:17, Joh 6:29; Ro 16:6; Ga 5:6; 1Th 2:13; 3:6; 2Th 1:3,11; Heb 6:10; Jas 2:17

Ø  And that God loved them and had chosen them to be his own. Col 3:12; 2Th 2:13

Ø  And that he, Paul took to them the Good News, not with words only, but also with power and the Holy Spirit, and with complete conviction of its truth. And that they knew how Paul with his team lived when they were with them; that it was for their own good. Mr 16:20; 1Co 2:4; 4:16,20; 11:1; 2Co 6:6; Col 2:2; 1Th 2:1,5,10-11; 2Th 3:7; Heb 2:3

Ø  Also, that they imitated them and the Lord; and that even though they suffered much, they did receive the message with the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. Ac 5:41; 1Co 4:16;

Ø  And so, they became an example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

Ø  For not only did the message about the Lord went out from them throughout Macedonia and Achaia, but the news about their faith in God had gone everywhere. There was nothing, then, that Paul and his team could further say. Ro 1:8; 10:18; 2Th 1:4