Tuesday: The Believer’s Advantage
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(1 Thess. 5:4, 5)

In the opening verses of the fifth chapter, Paul addresses the condition of those who, for whatever reason, are not prepared.

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The Thessalonians already know that the reality of the Second Coming is certain; only the timing is unknown. The surprise will be tragic for those who are not ready. Some are unprepared because they don’t believe in the Second Coming; others because they think they can delay their preparation until events convince [...]

Monday: Sudden and Unexpected
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 and Acts 1:6,7. What is the meaning of “the times and the seasons” (NKJV) in these texts?

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“The day of the Lord” is a phrase found frequently in Old Testament judgment passages. It describes a decisive, “end-time” intervention by God, with a strong emphasis on the negative consequences of disobedience (Isa. 13:6-9, Jer. 46:10, Ezek. 30:2-12). In our passage for today, Paul combines this earlier concept with the thief analogy, which Jesus introduced (Matt. 24:43, Luke 12:39).

The three-fold combination of the day of [...]

Sunday: The Two Sides of Judgment
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Read Genesis 3:15-24. List the various ways that God judged Adam and Eve both positively and negatively in this passage.

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Though the specific word judgment does not occur in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, the passage is very much concerned with it. Paul wants the believers in Thessalonica to be aware that God’s judgment is not limited to something that happens in heaven at the end of time but that it has real consequences for their everyday lives.

Many people today are [...]

Sabbath: Final Events
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Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Thess. 5:1-11, Gen. 3:15-24, Isa. 13:6-9, Luke 21:34-36, Rom. 1:18.

Memory Text: “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8, ESV).

Key Thought: The reality of Christ’s return calls us to continual readiness.

In this week’s passage, the Second Coming is still the primary theme, but the focus shifts. Here Paul is not so much clarifying details about Jesus’ return as he [...]

Further Study: Dead in Christ
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“Many interpret this passage [1 Thess. 4:14] to mean that the sleeping ones will be brought with Christ from heaven; but Paul meant that as Christ was raised from the dead, so God will call the sleeping saints from their graves and take them with Him to heaven.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 259.

“The Thessalonians had eagerly grasped the idea that Christ was coming to change the faithful who were alive, and to take them to Himself. They had carefully guarded [...]

Inside Story: Faith and the Pigs
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“You are going to do what?” demanded Mitalyn’s husband.

“I’m going to become an Adventist,” she said as firmly as she could. Mitalyn knew that her husband, her neighbors, and almost everyone she knew would object to her decision. But she couldn’t wait any longer.

Mitalyn had grown up believing that Adventists were bad people who held false beliefs. Then her sister married an Adventist man. Mitalyn wondered who Adventists really were. So when her sister invited her to attend the evangelistic [...]

Thursday: Comfort One Another (1 Thess. 4:13, 17, 18)
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Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 17, 18. What is the ultimate purpose of this passage about the second coming of Jesus?

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As we said earlier, the purpose of prophecy is not to satisfy our curiosity about the future but to teach us how to live today. For Paul, the order of final events has practical implications for everyday Christian living. Prophecy is valuable to the degree that it impacts the way we relate to God and to each other. [...]

Wednesday: Rising in Christ (1 Thess. 4:15, 16)
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In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, Paul builds on the earthly teachings of Jesus. There are more than a dozen parallels between these end-time passages and the sayings of Jesus recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. But when Paul talks about the “word of the Lord” in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 (NKJV), he is referring to a saying of Jesus that did not make it into the four gospels, but that Paul preserves for us (a clear example of this same thing is seen in Acts 20:35).

Read 1 Thessalonians [...]

Tuesday: Dying and Rising (1 Thess. 4:14)
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Read 1 Thessalonians 4:14. What hope does Paul offer regarding those who have died?

In verse 14 Paul offers the solution to the problem of hopeless grief. In the original language he describes the believers who have died as having “fallen asleep through Jesus.” While falling asleep is a common metaphor for death in New Testament times, the normal expression for a believer’s death is “fallen asleep in Jesus” or “in Christ.” A good example of this is the “dead in Christ” of verse 16.

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Monday: Hopeless Grief (1 Thess. 4:13)
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According to 1 Thessalonians 4:13, what was Paul’s purpose for writing verses 13-18? Why should this text mean so much for us today?

Why were the Thessalonian believers grieving as if they had no hope? A major factor was probably the short period that Paul was with them. We know that Paul talked about the death and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 17:3). There is also evidence that he talked about final events, even if his instruction was misunderstood. But he may not have had time [...]