Summary: The Apostle Paul first came to Thessalonica on his second missionary journey. There a Christian church was formed in the midst of strong opposition. Paul was forced to move on due to danger to his life. Later he wrote this epistle to teach and encourage t
Intro: (Background of Thessalonica.) The Apostle Paul first came to Thessalonica on his second missionary journey. There a Christian church was formed in the midst of strong opposition (Acts 17:1-15). Paul was forced to move on due to danger to his life. Later he wrote this epistle to teach and encourage the new believers. In this epistle we will observe some things the Thessalonians did – seven attitudes which should characterize every real Christian. We read of them —
1. Receiving the word of God (2:13). This is the first great necessity. Receiving the word of God, not as the word of men, but as it is in truth the very word of God. It is by the word of truth that God by His will has begotten us (Jas. 1:18). The word is often sown in affliction (1:6). This is the result of the plowing of the Holy Spirit—preparing the soil of the heart to plant the seed of God’s word (I Pet. 1:23).
2. Turning to God (1:9b). These idols of their making represent the desires of their own carnal minds. They turned FROM them TO God. The living God now takes the place of sinful self. If the heart would be satisfied with God, it must be turned entirely to Him. We shall never know the depth of the love of God until we repent and do away with our idols.
3. Dwelling in God (1:1a). Having received the word of truth, and turned to God, they found their abode and resting place in God. Those who turn to God with all their heart will never seek to turn away from Him. In Him we find our life and strength, as the branch in the vine. In Him we are planted by the rivers of water, so that the roots of our will and desire are abundantly satisfied (Jer. 17:8).
4. Serving God (1:9b). Their service is a good pattern for us. Notice the 5-fold character of it: (a) It was the work of faith. (b) It was a labour of love. (c) It was in patience of hope. (d) It was in the Lord Jesus Christ. (e) It was in the sight of God (1:3). This was no mere eye service. One is our true Lord and Master, even Christ. Let us please Him!
5. Waiting for the Son of God (1:10). Jesus promised He would come again, and they believed Him, and looked for the glorious appearing of their great God and Saviour (Tit. 2:13). Active and whole-hearted service of God is most compatible with patient waiting. They served the Lord while joyfully waiting for Him. Those whose expectation is only from the Lord will wait ON Him and FOR Him. Blessed are all they that wait upon the Lord (Isa. 40:31).
6. Learning of God (4:9). They never leave the high school who sit at Jesus’ feet. They are wise who are taught by the great teacher come from God. Those who have the Holy Spirit have the holy anointing, and need not that any man teach them (I John 2:27). The chief lesson taught by our Divine Master is to “love one another” (4:9). "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples" (John 13:35). Jesus said, "learn of me..." (Matt. 11:29).
7. Walking Worthy of God (2:12). To this holy occupation are we called (Col. 1:10). Are we walking as befitting the sons of God – worthy of His love, His grace, His holiness, and His power? If our life is dissatisfied, powerless, and fruitless, it only shows that our life is not worthy of God. All worthiness comes from Himself. It is by His mighty indwelling Spirit alone that we are made to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called (Eph. 4:1). Brethren, let us walk even as He walked on this earth.
Conclusion: Friend, how is your attitude towards God? Is He the only Lord and Saviour of your life? Are you walking and living in the light of His perfect word and will? Aside from going to church once a week, how do you serve Him with the rest of your time, talents and possessions? Are you waiting for the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, are you honestly prepared to meet Him face to face? Perhaps even today? Dear friend, prepare to meet your God!