Wednesday: Suffering before Glory

Image © Jeff Preston from

Image © Jeff Preston from

Jesus, like Paul, studied the Old Testament and drew the conclusion that the Messiah would “have to suffer these things and then enter his glory” (Luke 24:26, NIV). The “have to” of Luke 24:26 translates the same word as Acts 17:3 (NIV),where Paul says the Messiah “had to suffer.” For Jesus and Paul, the priority of suffering before glory was written into the prophecies long before they were to have occurred. The question is, […]

01: The Gospel Comes to Thessalonica – Thought Starters

Green Question Marks

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Salina, Robert, and Kim, three youngsters, aged five, seven, and eight were ready to swing in the swings and play in the sandbox and take Rupert the dog for a walk. But it was pouring rain. Salina was still sniffling from a bad cold. Kim was pouting because she didn’t get two pieces of pie for dessert. Robert, the eight-year-old, decided he’d better take over.

“Let’s play church!” he said. “Kim, why […]

01: The Gospel Comes to Thessalonica – Teaching Plan

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Key Thought : We need to be grounded in the Bible and its truth, as the Word is ultimately important in our lives, mission, and witness.


[Teaching Plan for “The Gospel Comes to Thessalonica” July 2, 2012]

 1. Have a volunteer read Acts 16:18-30.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Why did the Philippians react so negatively to the gospel?
C. Personal Application: What are the things of the world […]

Tuesday: Two Views of the Messiah

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Since ancient times, readers of the Old Testament have noticed a variety of perspectives in the prophecies pointing toward the Messiah. Most Jews and early Christians identified two major strands in the Messianic prophecies.

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On the one hand, there were texts that pointed toward a royal Messiah: a conquering king who would bring justice to the people and extend Israel’s rule to the ends of the earth. On the other hand, there were texts that […]

Monday: Paul’s Preaching Strategy

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What does Acts 17:1-3 tell us about the where, the when, and the how of Paul’s preaching strategy in Thessalonica?

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Although 1 Thessalonians was among Paul’s earliest letters, both his theology and missionary strategy were well developed by the time he arrived in Thessalonica.

The first step in Paul’s missionary strategy was to attend the local synagogue on the Sabbath. This was natural because the Sabbath was a good time to reach Jews in large numbers. […]

Sunday: The Preachers Pay a Price

Read Acts 16:9-40. According to the passage, why did the Philippians react so negatively to the gospel? What important principle can we find in their reaction that we always need to be wary of ourselves?

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In what other ways can this principle be made manifest, even in the lives of professed Christians?

The gospel is the good news of God’s mighty actions in Christ that lead to forgiveness, acceptance, and […]

Sabbath: The Gospel Comes to Thessalonica

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Read for This Week’s Study: Acts 16:9-40; Acts 17:1-4,12; Jer. 23:1-6; Isa. 9:1-7; Isaiah 53:1-12; Rom. 1:16.

Memory Text: “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13, NIV).

Key Thought: Our assurance of God’s promises must be based on our confidence in His Holy Scriptures.

The young pastor sat outside with […]

Further Study: A Perpetual Ministry


Planning to Continue and Grow Your Ministry

Everyone involved in a witnessing and evangelism ministry should give attention to how he or she can make it a continuing ministry rather than a once-off event. There are many things we can do to ensure this. We will review a few of the vital ones.

Be comfortable with sharing leadership rather than being a one-person band. Maintain a team approach where both the work and the affirmation are shared.
Do whatever you can to keep […]

1 and 2 Thessalonians


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When the Lord Descends from Heaven

Irish author Samuel Beckett wrote a drama, Waiting for Godot, about two homeless men waiting on the side of the road for someone named Godot who was supposed to come and save them from the meaninglessness of life.

Until he comes, life seems so miserable that they decide to hang themselves. But having no rope, one of the men takes off the cord that holds up […]

Inside Story: My Sister’s Faith

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My family is Buddhist, the traditional religion of Mongolia. I often visited the Buddhist temple to pray and even learned to chant some Buddhist prayers. I planned to become a Buddhist nun when I finished college.

Then my younger sister, Mungu, began attending the Adventist church. I told Mungu that her religion was foolish, but she continued attending church and even invited me to go. I began noticing that Mungu no longer stayed out until late at night, and refused to […]

Perpetual Ministry


“All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.” Mark 4:28, NIV

An old story tells of a passerby admiring another man’s beautiful garden. Looking over the beautiful blooms, he remarked that God had certainly produced a wonderful garden, blessed with so many beautiful flowers. The gardener, who had been toiling for much of the day in the hot sun and apparently feeling that the admirer did not understand how much […]

Thursday: The Back Door

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Have you ever noticed how people often lament the fact that members slip out “the back door”? They even state firmly that the church’s back door must be closed but fail to tell us how to close the door or even the location of the door. Some growing churches may think that their back door is closed, but in reality it may be simply that more people are coming in the front door than going out the back. And while […]