By Joseph Ametepe
Paul, Silas and Timothy visited the city of Thessalonica, (the capital and largest city of the Roman Province of Macedonia) during the early part of the Second Missionary Journey. After preaching Jesus as the Christ for three Sabbaths, the Thessalonian church was founded, consisting mostly of Gentile believers. However, jealous Jews, teaming up with wicked men, drove Paul and Silas out of town, leaving the young church without their founding shepherds (see Acts 17:1-9). Led by the Holy Spirit, Paul, the founder and pastor of the young church, wrote two letters to the Thessalonians, exhorting and encouraging them in their new found faith, to be steadfast in their commitment to Jesus Christ in their suffering.
The messages in these two letters are relevant for our times because they are timeless. The major timeless themes discussed in the letters to the Thessalonians include: the response to the gospel, the reception of the Word of God, the reality of suffering as believers in Jesus Christ, the relief from suffering promised to believers, the return and revelation of Christ, the rapture of the Church, the reminder for Christians to be productive while for Christ's return, the righteous judgment of God, the revelation, rebellion and restraint of the Final Antichrist, and the rejection of the truth of the gospel..
Although the Thessalonian church was a relatively young church, yet God worked in and through them to advance His kingdom purposes. Certainly, God intends for us to learn from the Thessalonian church. The truths revealed in the letters and the example of the church at Thessalonica are desperately needed in our day. It is our prayer that God will use these messages to change and challenge us in our walk with Him and our witness for Him in such a time as this.
There are several selected messages from each letter. May God bless you as you listen to them!
The map below shows the city of Thessalonica in the Roman Province of Macedonia in Paul's day.