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 [...]
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.
Image © Lars Justinen [...]
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 [...]
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. List the clues in this passage that point to the false beliefs in the Thessalonian church that brought unnecessary grief to those who held them.
Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com
Within the Judaism of Paul’s day, a variety of views regarding the end time were prevalent. One of these viewpoints, in some form, crept into the Thessalonian church. Though we’re not certain exactly what it was, it seems to have been the idea that though all of [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Acts 17:3; 1 Cor. 15:20-23, 51-58; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:4-6.
Memory Text: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Key Thought: Paul gives the Thessalonians (and us) a powerful hope for the future, the promise of the second coming of Christ.
In the passage for this week (1 Thess. 4:13-18) Paul is reacting to a theological misunderstanding among the [...]
“Love is a pure and holy principle, but lustful passion will not admit of restraint and will not be dictated to or controlled by reason. It is blind to consequences; it will not reason from cause to effect.”-Ellen G. White, Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, p. 222.
“[Love] is pure and holy. But the passion of the natural heart is another thing altogether. While pure love will take God into all its plans, and will be in perfect harmony with the [...]
“Take your things, and don’t come back,” Mother said as Verusca opened the door. Verusca paused and then said softly, “I’ll collect my things when I return from church.” She hurried toward the church, crying.
As Verusca entered the church, a woman was telling the mission story of a girl who faced trials similar to Verusca’s. Tears ran down her cheeks as Verusca listened to how God had prepared a safe haven for the girl who had dared to follow Jesus.
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 and 3:11-13. What aspects of the earlier passage does Paul reaffirm in today’s text?
The Greeks had a number of words for “love,” two of which are found in the New Testament. Eros (not found in the New Testament) is the Greek word from which we get the word erotic. It refers to the sexual side of love. Agape is the form most used in the New Testament, as it refers to the self-sacrificing side of love. It is often used in relation to Christ’s [...]
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:6-8. What is Paul saying about sexual immorality?
A man who had been sexually active outside of marriage said to a pastor: “As a young man, I learned to see sex and love as one and the same thing. When I got married, however, I discovered that premarital sex destroys not only your body (I got a venereal disease) but also your mind. Although we are now Christians, my wife and I have had to struggle with the mental [...]
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:4, 5. What message do you find in these verses? What do they say to you, personally?
Although the moral philosophers discussed in lesson 3 attacked many forms of sexual excess, Gentile society as a whole had little or no sexual restraint in Paul’s day. According to the well-known pagan orator Cicero, “If there is anyone who thinks that youth should be forbidden affairs even with courtesans, he is doubtless eminently austere . . . but his view is contrary [...]