Though I’ve read Acts and 1 & 2 Thessalonians before, I confess I probably couldn’t have told you much about them – these are not your typical sermon series books of the Bible! As I studied through Acts, what struck me most was the way in which God goes to great lengths to have His elect hear the Gospel. Whether it’s the Ethiopian eunuch, Cornelius, or Lydia, God sends the apostles to specific people so that they can come to know Him. The overwhelming theme of 1 & 2 Thessalonians is the return of Christ, as the Thessalonians have all sorts of misconceptions about the Day of the Lord. Not much has changed since the days of the Thessalonians; throughout history, people have spent so much time and energy trying to figure out when Christ will return – 172 dates have been suggested in the last 2000 years! Rather than spending so much energy trying to predict the unpredictable (“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows” – Mark 13:32), we’re to live in a way that is expectant of His return – living in a way that glorifies God. What would the world look like if we spent as much time telling others about Jesus as we do trying to figure out when He will return?
If you’re reading the Bible with me, the next two books are Philippians and Romans – you can read both in about an hour and fifteen minutes.
Main Idea: The Gospel is shared with Jews and Gentiles throughout Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth, as the Holy Spirit enables the disciples to carry out the instructions given to them by Jesus..
Reason Written: Documents for Theophilus the spreading of the Gospel and the giving of the Holy Spirit, after the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
TT: God pursues His elect individually. (Acts 8:26-39; 9:1-19; 10:1-48; 13:48)
Main Idea: Paul writes to the Thessalonians, commending them for their faith in Christ and encouraging them to continue to live a godly lifestyle as the coming of the Lord approaches.
Reason Written: Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to encourage them to stand firm in persecution, to clear up confusion about what will happen to believers when Jesus returns, and to defend himself and his ministry.
TT: Believers are called to live in a way that is expectant of Christ’s return. (1 Thessalonians 5:4)
Main Idea: Paul writes to the Thessalonians, telling them that Christ has not yet come but is coming, and that they are to not be idle but to work for their living.
Reason Written: It seems that the Thessalonians have received false teaching with regards to the second coming; Paul writes to them, informing them of that which must happen before Christ returns. In addition, it seems that the believers are not working; Paul instructs them to return to their labor.
TT: God’s enables His elect to have faith in Him, which allows them to repent from their sin, turn to God, be saved and grow in Him. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17)