Further Study: Preserving Relationships
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“If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful(emphasis supplied), there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one. But, though professing to be converted, we carry around with us a bundle of self that we regard as altogether too precious to be given up. It is our privilege to lay this burden at the feet of Christ and in its place take the character and similitude of [...]

Inside Story: Lighthouse on an Island
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Laura and Paulo live in town on the island of Madeira in the Mediterranean Sea. Paolo had once been an Adventist, but he had stopped attending church before he married. However he often read from Acts of the Apostles, a book he treasured.

One day an Adventist pastor visited them. Laura and Paulo were pleased, and the pastor continued visiting every week, even though the roads were treacherous and no other Adventists lived nearby.

The family began attending the only church on [...]

Thursday: Paul Reveals His Heart
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Read 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:10. What does this passage tell us about Paul’s emotional attachment and relationship to these believers? What can we learn from it regarding how we should relate with those to whom we minister?

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Paul’s depth of thought and confrontational tone (see, for example, Gal. 1:6, 7; 3:1-4; 4:9-11) sometimes make him appear dismissive of feelings and personal relationships. But this delightful interlude in 1 Thessalonians shows otherwise. He was an intensely relational evangelist along the lines of the Great [...]

Wednesday: Arrival in Corinth
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Acts 18:1-18 contains two major intersections with secular history. The first is the expulsion of the Jews from Rome during the reign of Claudius (Acts 18:2). Information from extra-biblical sources locates this event in A.D. 49. The other major intersection is the mention of the proconsul Gallio (Acts 18:12). Because proconsuls in Corinth were appointed for one-year terms, information from inscriptions and other data accurately dates Gallio’s term of office to a.d. 50-51. Critical scholars often doubt the historicity of [...]

Tuesday: Interlude in Athens
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According to Acts 17:14-16, Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea while Paul was escorted to Athens. Paul instructed his escorts to have Silas and Timothy join him in Athens, but there is no mention of their doing so. On the other hand, in 1 Thessalonians 3:1, 2, we learn that Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica from Athens. So Timothy, at least, seems to have joined him there for a short time.

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When speaking to [...]

Monday: The Episode in Berea
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Persecution can be a two-way street. It is often provoked by malicious slander against those who have done nothing wrong. But it can also be provoked by inappropriate actions on the part of believers (1 Pet. 3:13-16, 4:12-16). It is very likely that the disturbance in Thessalonica was prompted not only by the jealousy of Paul’s opponents but also by the inappropriate actions of the new believers. The two letters to the Thessalonians reveal that Paul had major concerns about [...]

Sunday: The Preachers Pay a Price
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Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

Read Acts 17:5-9. According to this passage, what was the primary motivation for the opposition to Paul’s message? What statements did his opponents make to get the city authorities interested in the case? How did those authorities respond?

When someone preaches new teachings and people get excited, the leaders and teachers of other religious groups may become jealous. Attention that was once placed upon themselves is now directed to others. As a result, they may [...]

Sabbath: Preserving Relationships
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Read for This Week’s Study: Acts 17:5-9, 10-15, 16-34; 1 Cor. 1:18-2:2; 1 Thess. 2:17-3:10.

Memory Text: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20, NKJV).

Key Thought: True evangelism leads to relationships that can stand the test of time and last for eternity.

This lesson covers the aftermath of Paul’s attempt to evangelize Thessalonica. It would have been easy after such [...]

Further Study: The Gospel Comes To Thessalonica
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

“From Paul’s day to the present time, God by His Holy Spirit has been calling after the Jew as well as the Gentile. ‘There is no respect of persons with God,’ declared Paul. The apostle regarded himself as ‘debtor both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians,’ as well as to the Jews; but he never lost sight of the decided advantages possessed by the Jews over others, ‘chiefly, because that unto them were [...]

Inside Story: Courageous Little Evangelist
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I’m Amir, a missionary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I was asked to hold evangelistic meetings in a village in the Congo, where I stayed with the pastor and his family.

Early every morning my evangelistic team and I gathered for prayer before setting out to visit people and study the Bible with them before they left to work in their fields. I noticed that Genick, the pastor’s 12-year-old son, joined us for prayer. When we left the house [...]