Further Study: Friends Forever
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“The arrival of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia, during Paul’s sojourn in Corinth, had greatly cheered the apostle. They brought him ‘good tidings’ of the ‘faith and charity’ of those who had accepted the truth during the first visit of the gospel messengers to Thessalonica. Paul’s heart went out in tender sympathy toward these believers, who, in the midst of trial and adversity, had remained true to God.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 255.

“True, heaven-born love is not selfish […]

06: Friends Forever – Thought Starters
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The following thoughts and questions are provided to help Sabbath school teachers and others in a small group discussion of the lesson for the week.

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[Thought Questions for Friends Forever August 8, 2012]

1. The bond of friendship. Is there any doubt about the affection Paul felt towards the believers in Thessalonica? What does Paul anticipate more than anything else in the prayer that opens this week’s lesson? Was Paul justified in his love for these Christians in Thessalonica? Were they all […]

Thursday: Paul’s Renewed Prayers (1 Thess. 3:11-13)
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The second coming of Jesus is a powerful incentive to spiritual growth. Every act of abuse or oppression will be brought to justice. Every act of love or kindness will be recognized and rewarded (see, for example, Matt. 10:42). That means that every act in this life, no matter how small, has meaning in the ultimate scheme of things.

But equally important for Paul, and the emphasis in this week’s lesson, is that the Second Coming will be a glorious reunion of family and […]

Wednesday: The Result of Timothy’s Visit (1 Thess. 3:6-10)
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Read 1 Thessalonians 3:6-8. Timothy was sent to encourage the Thessalonians. What aspects of Timothy’s report brought joy and encouragement to Paul? That is, what did Timothy see in the Thessalonians that Paul thought was so good?

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The “but now” of verse 6 is very emphatic. Paul did not waste any time before sitting down to write to the Thessalonians. The instant he got the news from Timothy, he immediately wrote 1 Thessalonians.

What do we learn […]

06: Friends Forever – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought : God’s plan to redeem the world is accompanied by an invitation to become a part of His community of believers.

[Teaching Plan for “Friends Forever”  August 6. 2012]

1. Have a volunteer read I Thessalonians 2:13-16.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. When you joined the church, did you expect opposition? Were you expectations met or was there no trouble? Where did most of your opposition […]

Tuesday: Timothy’s Substitute Visit (1 Thess. 3:1-5)
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Read 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5 and Matthew 24:9-22. In what larger context does Paul see the sufferings of the Thessalonians and himself?

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Paul is so distressed about his absence from the Thessalonians that he decides to forgo the companionship of Timothy in Athens in order to get firsthand news of their situation. His intense longing for them leads him to prefer being without Timothy rather than being without news of how they are faring.

Because Timothy’s mission is to be […]

Monday: Paul’s Hope and Joy (1 Thess. 2:17-20)
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In the fourteen verses that run from 1 Thessalonians 2:17 through 3:10, Paul offers a chronological account of his separation from the Thessalonian believers. The theme of friendship runs throughout the passage. These Thessalonians are not just parishioners of Paul; they are truly friends. The entire passage pulses with deep emotion.

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Paul wants all of his later advice to, and criticism of, the church (in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5) to be read in light of his […]

Sunday: The Judean Example (1 Thess 2:13-16)
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First Thessalonians 2:13-16 reads on the surface like a digression from the previous themes of pleasing God and caring for the new believers (1 Thess. 2:1-12). But verse 13 continues the theme of how the Thessalonians responded to the apostles and the gospel that they brought to Thessalonica. With verse 14, Paul returns to the theme of imitation. The persecution in Thessalonica echoed the earlier persecution of Christians in Judea. Some Jews persecuted Jewish Christians in Judea, while Gentile and […]

Sabbath: Friends Forever (1 Thess. 2:13-3:13)
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Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Thess. 2:13-3:13; Rom. 9:1-5; 11:1-12, 24-32; Matt. 24:9-22; 10:42.

Memory Text: “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones” (1 Thessalonians 3:13, NIV).

Key Thought: Paul continues to praise the Thessalonians for the good things he sees in them and to encourage them amid the persecution they are facing.

As we read these passages, we can see that, to Paul, the Thessalonians aren’t […]