Further Study: Keeping the Church Faithful
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“The Thessalonian believers were greatly annoyed by men coming among them with fanatical ideas and doctrines. Some were ‘disorderly, working not at all, but . . . busybodies.’ The church had been properly organized, and officers had been appointed to act as ministers and deacons. But there were some, self-willed and impetuous, who refused to … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Tough Love
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According to Matthew 18:15-17, how is the church supposed to treat a person who has been disfellowshiped? The matter of church discipline is one of the most difficult issues that a local church faces. Often an errant member is another member’s brother, mother, son, cousin, or best friend. Some members prefer never to discipline anyone; others prefer … [Click to read more …]

13: Keeping the Church Faithful – Thought Starters
Joyce Griffith

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[Thought Questions for Keeping the Church Faithful September 26, 2012] 1. Change and growth. Can a church grow without changing? Of course not. By definition, growth requires change. Can a church change without growing?  Where does change without growth lead? If you’ve been attending the same church for five years, has the church changed during that time? … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: Working and Eating
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Image © Frank Gampel from GoodSalt.com

What unique type of problem does Paul face in the Thessalonian church? 2 Thess. 3:9-12. In these verses Paul applies the tradition of what he did and said to a specific situation. A significant group of members were disorderly or out of order 2 Thess. 3:6-11). Paul had mentioned the problem in the previous letter, and addressed it … [Click to read more …]

13: Keeping the Church Faithful – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought: Despite the presence of difficulties in the Christian life, we should hope in the knowledge that God is with us to provide strength to overcome. [Teaching plan for Keeping the Church Faithful September 24, 2012] 1. Have a volunteer read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17. A. Ask class members to share a short thought on … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Scripture and Tradition
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When Jesus walked this earth there was no New Testament. The Bible of Jesus was the “Old Testament.” But, from the start, obedience to Jesus’ spoken words was the wise thing that His followers did (Matt. 7:24-27). Jesus’ words and actions continued to be authoritative for the church in the years that followed (1 Thess. 4:15, Acts 20:35, 1 Cor. … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Confidence in the Face of Evil
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

In today’s world many people laugh at the idea of a literal Satan. In their mind, he’s a myth, a holdover from a superstitious and prescientific era. They feel that good and bad are simply the random consequences of cause and effect; or, in some people’s minds, good and bad are only culturally constructed concepts … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: Faithful by God’s Choice
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The language of this section recalls the prayer at the beginning of 1 Thessalonians. It is almost as if Paul is returning to the place where he began, creating a natural conclusion to this pair of letters. Paul here expresses his concern that the believers in Thessalonica not deviate from the path on which he … [Click to read more …]