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INTRO to 1 & 2 Thessalonians

1 & 2 Thessalonians are two of Paul’s earliest letters which he wrote from Corinth to encourage the young Church at Thessalonica, one of the wealthiest trade centers of the Roman Empire. It was the capital and the largest city of the province of Macedonia, with a population of 200,000. Strategically located, it became a hub for the spreading of the gospel in Macedonia and Greece.

Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians defended his ministry, reviewed the basics of the Christian faith and addressed the second coming of Christ. Many scholars believe that 1 Thessalonians reveals the primary message that Paul preached during his second missionary journey. This letter contains the most significant explanation of Christ’s return.

Unfortunately, the readers of the first letter misunderstood Paul’s teaching about the return of Christ. They interpreted Paul’s words to indicate that Jesus’ return was imminent, so they stopped and were simply waiting for the Lord. Paul wrote his second letter to the Thessalonians to clarify his meaning and correct the misunderstanding of the first letter.

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul emphasizes the suddenness of the Lord’s return, while 2 Thessalonians highlights some of the events that will occur before Jesus returns.
Today, we stand closer to the return of Christ than ever before. Let us be prepared and be watchful, but also, let us be faithful and diligent in our efforts to see that people come to know the Lord before His coming again.

Culled from the Hope Bible by Joel Osteen.