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 be subordinate to those who held positions of authority in the church.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 261.

“Paul was not wholly dependent upon the [...]

Thursday: Tough Love
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

According to Matthew 18:15-17, how is the church supposed to treat a person who has been disfellowshiped?

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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 harsh sanctions. How does a church find the will of God in the midst of so many competing interests?

Matthew 18 [...]

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.

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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 gently there (1 Thess. 4:11-12; 5:14). But he uses much stronger language here.

As an apostle, Paul could have required the church to provide [...]

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 what the main idea of this text is.
B. What ‘traditions’ do you believe Paul is speaking of here? How can we tell what is a pillar [...]

Tuesday: Scripture and Tradition
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When Jesus walked this earth there was no New Testament.

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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. 11:23-26). Then, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostles were guided to rightly interpret the words of Jesus and [...]

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.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

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 relative to specific times and places, nothing more.

But the Bible clearly asserts that Satan is real. And it is often [...]

Sunday: Faithful by God’s Choice
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The language of this section recalls the prayer at the beginning of 1 Thessalonians.

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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 has placed them.

Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17. Why does Paul thank God for the Thessalonians? What does he ask them to do [...]

Sabbath: Keeping the Church Faithful
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Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Thess. 2:13-3:18, Acts 17:11, Luke 10:25-28, Matt. 7:24-27, 18:15-17.

Memory Text: “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:15, ESV).

Key Thought: Even with all the grand and glorious promises for the future, we have to deal with daily challenges and struggles in the church. The Thessalonian church was no exception.

Churches are a lot like plants. If a plant does not grow, it will [...]