Summary: Paul in Thessalonica

Reading: Acts chapter 17 verses 1-1:


• Several years ago, American Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man;

• Decided he wanted to see his locality from a new perspective.

• So he went down to the local army surplus store;

• And bought forty-five used weather balloons.

• That afternoon he strapped himself into a garden chair,

• And several of his friends tied the now helium-filled balloons.

• He took along a six-pack of beer, a sandwich, & a Bull-bearing gun,

• Figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.

• Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air,

• But he was caught off guard;

• When the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky.

• This took him smack into the middle of;

• The air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport.

• Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons,

• He stayed airborne for more than two hours,

• This forced the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon,

• Causing long delays in flights from all over the country.

• Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police,

• Reporters asked him three questions:

• First question: “Where you scared?”

• He replied “Yes.”

• Second question: “Would you do it again?”

• He answered “No.”

• Third question: “Why did you do it?”

• “Because,” he said, “you can’t just sit there.”

That’s what the book of Acts is saying, shouting to us in these verses:

• In a world with no idea who the real Jesus is

• Or the real message of Christianity, what the good news is:

• The book of Acts is a constant reminder;

• That you and I “Can’t just sit there.”

• Reaching people for Jesus requires action!


• Mercedes Benz were the company who first produced;

• A car body design that absorbed the force of a collision on impact.

• One Mercedes Benz TV commercial;

• Shows their car colliding with a cement wall during a safety test.

• Since then of course many other car companies have followed it’s design.

• Someone then asks the company spokesman;

• Why they do not enforce their patent on the Mercedes Benz energy-absorbing car body.

• He replies mater-of-factly,

• "Because some things in life are too important not to share."

• How true!

• In that category also falls the good news of Jesus Christ,

• News that saves people from far more than auto collisions.

Ministry in Thessalonica (vs 1):

• The apostle Paul, was the first person to travel widely telling people about Jesus.

• He is considered the first missionary - a word meaning someone who is sent out.

He made three missionary journeys:

• You can read about his first missionary journey in Acts chapters 13 and 14.

• This first expedition lasted at least two years,

• His second missionary journey is found in Acts chapter 16, 17 and 18.

• This trip is likely to have lasted at least three years.

• You can read about his third missionary journey in Acts chapter 19, 20 and 21.

• This trip lasted about five years.

Note: In Acts chapter 17 we are breaking in to Paul’s second missionary journey:

• Where we are told in verse 1:

• “When they had passed through Am-pi-polis and Apoll-on-ia, they came to Thessalonica.”

• This was a long stretch of the journey - over 100 miles of walking;

• Yet Dr Luke dismisses it in a sentence of a few words.

• Notice: That they passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia without preaching;

• Question: Didn’t these folks need to hear the message as well?

• Answer: Twofold:

• First: It was Paul's strategy to minister in the larger cities;

• He then expected the new converts in that city;

• To then reach out with the gospel to the other towns & villages around them.

• And if you read his letter to the Thessalonians – that is what happened.

• ill: 1 Thessalonians chapter 1 verse 8:

“The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia - your faith in God has become known everywhere”.

• Second: Whenever Paul went on this journey;

• His strategy was to start preaching in the synagogue;

• Verse 1b: “Where there was a Jewish synagogue”

• It is believed that there was no synagogue in those other two places he passed by.

(1). City and Government

(a). It was a key city.

• Thessalonica is today called Salonika;

• And it has become the second largest city in Greece.

• In Paul’s day it was the capital of Macedonia,

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion