Want to learn more about 1 & 2 Thessalonians? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.

How do you react when someone brings a new idea to you?
What about when someone suggests that you need to make changes in
your life? What if someone warns you about something terrible in your
future if you do not change? We begin our study of 1 and 2
Thessalonians: Paul’s letters to the believers in Thessalonica. In
these letters Paul brings a message that he is concerned they will
not believe. When a lawyer wants to test the truth of what a witness
says, the lawyer asks questions about perception and motivation.
Paul, sounding like a lawyer, argues why the Thessalonians should
believe him. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Last week one of the members of my church died. The
last time I saw her, she looked right into my eyes and said, “I’ll
see you again.” She was headed into a major surgery, and she thought
that she might die during the surgery. My wife and I had prayed for
her, and I believed that I would see her again in church. I knew
that she meant that she would see me again either in church or in
heaven. Although I had not known this dear lady for very long, a
strong relationship with her had developed in just a short period of
time. When she died without me seeing her again, it not only made me
sad, but it made me think again about her last words to me. We cannot
be sure when we will see our family and friends again. Life is
uncertain. As a result, relationships are one of the most important
things in life. Paul’s relationship with the members of the church in
Thessalonica is our study this week. Let’s plunge into our study of
the Bible to see what we can learn about strengthening relationships!

Have you heard the question, “Does anything ever
change?” In some sense, all sorts of things change all the time. One
huge change in the last twenty years is the Internet. To publish and
mail this Bible study in the “old days” would have taken a large
amount of money. Even with enough money, it would not be practical to
send it world-wide because of the delays in mailing. The Internet
changed all of that. But, are the hearts of people different today?
Have the hopes, dreams and worries of people changed? Has selfishness
disappeared? Has the Bible’s answers to problems changed? No. The
people in Thessalonica were like you and me. Paul, Silas and Timothy
faced struggles with sin, just as we do. Let’s jump into our Bible
study and see what we can learn about the solution to the problems
that we all face!

This week we get down to business in our study of the
letters to the Thessalonians. While it is good to understand the
background, and consider the challenges Paul and his friends faced in
evangelizing the Thessalonians, nothing is better than studying the
word of God in context. Topical studies have their place, but topical
studies rely on the logic of humans. When we study a book of the
Bible, we see God’s logic in action. The Holy Spirit arranges the
sequence of the presentation in the Bible. Let’s see what we can
learn about God’s will for us, in the sequence He inspired, by
examining what He has to say to the Thessalonians!

Many years ago, I agreed to take over a case in
Connecticut from another attorney who assured me that it would be
“simple.” When I met the judge for the first time, he was literally
screaming at the lawyers. He told us that he did not have time to
preside over our trial, and we were to come back next month. In the
meantime, I had an ocean beach vacation. As I sat on the beach
looking at the ocean, what do you think I was doing? Enjoying the
sun, sand and water? No! I was thinking about how I would try the
case before the screamer. Thinking about an unpleasant future kept me
from thinking about the pleasure of the present. A current book I’m
reading about the brain suggests that we should be more conscious
about our thoughts, and notice the difference between a focus on the
present and planning for the future. It suggests a deliberate
consciousness about the present. Is this a Biblical concept? Let’s
jump into our study of the letters to the Thessalonians and find out!

Have you noticed that some people make decisions based
on logic, and some based on emotion? I think I’m firmly in the
“logic” camp, but history says otherwise. When my wife and I
purchased our current home, we were considering three houses. I
listed about ten important factors to consider (like how much it
cost, how close it was to work), and then we ranked each home on each
of these factors. When we got done with this very logical approach,
we looked at the result, and decided we didn’t like it. We purchased
the house that ranked lowest on the logic list! Emotion prevailed
for a decision we have lived with (and in) for thirty years! Last
week, Paul explained to the Thessalonians the logical reasons why
they should believe and trust him. This week he shares with them his
emotions. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Sometimes it is good to peek over into the office,
yard, home or church of other people to see how they do things – how
they think and act. For most of my life, I believed grace was on one
side of Christianity and works was on the other. The strong, I’m
saved regardless of what I do, didn’t pay much attention to what they
did. The strong, I won’t drink, dance, chew or hang around with those
who do, didn’t pay much attention to grace. Teaching at Regent
University has given me a very clear vision of another way. I’ve
bumped into people, of various denominations, who are very strong on
grace. They believe that once saved it is very hard to lose your
salvation by bad works. At the same time, holiness in living is of
extreme importance to them. What a wonderful combination! They are
secure in their salvation, but constantly alert to whether they are
advancing the Kingdom of God by their deeds. Let’s plunge into our
study and see what Paul teaches us about salvation and living holy

What happens when we die? There are two main views in
Christianity. The majority view is that your “spirit” or “soul”
(the thinking part of you) returns to heaven to await the
resurrection (the Second Coming of Jesus) at which time your
thinking and your body will be united again. The minority view is
“soul sleep,” where your body and your soul remain unconscious in
the grave until the resurrection. The Thessalonians seem to have had
a third, and more discouraging view. They seemed to think that if
you died before Jesus returned you were lost forever. Let’s jump
into our study of the Bible to explore what Paul has to say to the
Thessalonians about the state of the dead!

We left our study last week with Paul’s glorious
description of the Second Coming of Jesus and the instruction
“therefore encourage each other with these words.” After hearing the
fabulous news that Jesus was coming again, and He would save both the
living and the dead, the next obvious question is, “When?” When will
Jesus come again? Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible because
that is something we all want to know!

I remember when my parents would go on vacation and
leave my brother and me home. We were in college, but just as they
were leaving our mother would give us a short lecture on diet, health
and safety. That is the feel I have as we come to the end of Paul’s
first letter to the Thessalonians. He gives them “bullet points”
about church life and Christian living. Paul apparently thought they
were important, and so should we. Let’s dive in and see what we can
learn from what Paul has to say in parting!

Who can say that they have no problems? If you are
like most others, you have things in your life that create problems
for you. Some of these problems are your own fault, some are the
fault of others, and some just seem to come floating into our lives
on their own power. Whatever the problem, God is the answer. We turn
our attention this week to Paul’s second letter to the
Thessalonians. This letter addresses the problems the Thessalonian
believers face. Let’s jump into Paul’s conversation and see what we
can learn about facing problems in our life!

Last week Paul told us that the end to suffering will
come with the Second Coming of Jesus. Recall that Paul previously
told the Thessalonians that, at the Second Coming, they would see
their loved ones who had passed away. Naturally, they wanted to know
more about the timing of the Second Coming! But, instead of giving
them precise details, Paul told them (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2) that he
did not need to tell them because they would be surprised. What kind
of answer is that? Apparently, the Thessalonians had the same kind
of reaction because Paul is back on the subject of the timing of the
Second Coming. They must have told him they wanted to know more.
I’m interested in the timing of the Second Coming! Are you? If you
are, let’s dive in together to find out what Paul has to say about
the events surrounding the Second Coming of Jesus!

“Tough love” is a phrase that has been around for a
very long time. Every parent should understand what it means –
sometimes you have to be mature and discipline your child. You do it
because you love your child, not because you love to discipline. But,
when it comes to two adults, the discipline side seems more difficult
to understand. What right do I have to discipline you? What right do
you have to discipline me? Doesn’t love require me to always help
you, no matter what? These are difficult questions, and Paul deals
with them in his closing words to the Thessalonians. Let’s dive into
our study of the Bible and learn more!