Period: c.51-52 A.D.
Summary: The main focus in these letters is the state of those who have died in Christ. It deals with their resurrection and the future of the Kingdom of God. Paul appears to have written these letters due to the large amount of newly baptized believers in Thessalonica. He was forced out of the city by jealous Jews. The occurrence of the statement “you know” in the letters indicates that the teachings were begun but were interrupted and therefore Paul wishes to solidify the subject matter. Further encouragement is given in the second letter regarding the punishment of those wicked men who were persecuting them.
CHRIST AS OUR HOPE
Key Verses: “. . . you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
Looking back: how they were called: Chapter 1:1 – 3:13
- Through conversion: 1:1-10
- Through preaching: 2:1-20
- Through pastoral work: 3:1-13
Looking on: how they should live: Chapter 4:1-18
Looking forward: watching and waiting: Chapter 5:1-28
CHRIST AS OUR VICTORY
Key Verses: “. . . to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels . . . when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe . . .” 2 Thessalonians 1:7,10
Consolation from the fact of Christ’s coming: Chapter 1:1-12
Caution: instruction on the time of Christ’s coming: Chapter 2:1-17
Command: injunctions in view of Christ’s coming: Chapter 3:1-18