1 Thessalonians

Paul, along with Silas and Timothy, founded the church at Thessalonica on his second missionary journey. The Apostle had been drawn to this important Roman port after seeing a vision in which a Macedonian man was calling for help (Acts 16:9). While Paul was in Corinth, Silas and Timothy brought good and bad news about the Macedonian church. Though the church continued to be established, the Thessalonians were also reportedly having difficulties. Gentiles, and especially Jews, were impugning Paul’s sincerity, defaming him as a wandering charlatan who had deceived them. The church was also confused about the second coming of Christ. Some members worried about believers who had died before His return. Others considered it unnecessary to continue working, since Christ would return at any time. Still others were sinking back into the immorality of the culture. There was also a crisis in the leadership; many of the rank-and-file apparently were being offended by certain tactless elders. These and other minor difficulties occasioned Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, which was written from Athens.

1 Thessalonians 1

1:1-10 Greetings and commendation

1 Thessalonians 2

2:1-16 Paul’s method and Paul’s gospel
2:17-20 Paul’s absence and concern

1 Thessalonians 3

3:1-10 Timothy sent to strengthen the church
3:11-13 Prayer for the church

1 Thessalonians 4

4:1-12 Paul’s appeal for purity
4:13-18 The coming of the Lord and the Rapture

1 Thessalonians 5

5:1-11 The coming of the Lord and the Rapture (continued)
5:12-24 Paul exhorts the brethren
5:25-28 Final greetings and benediction