Verusca’s brothers had become Adventists and often talked about their new faith. Verusca knew that what her brothers told her was probably true, but she wanted no part of a church that didn’t allow dancing or drinking or other things that she enjoyed. But her brothers wouldn’t take a hint; they kept talking to her about their faith.
Marques, one of her brothers’ friends, often visited the family’s home. He talked about God, too, and invited her to study the Bible [...]
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Years before ever becoming, or even thinking about becoming a Bible Worker myself, I found myself on a church softball team, captained by the new local Bible Worker. I failed to eat breakfast before running off to play. Not too bright. In the middle of the game, I began to get dizzy and lightheaded. My team was up to bat when I pretty much blacked out. I was sitting right next to the Bible [...]
Do you remember when ‘friend’ became a verb? I know it was sometime after the beginning of Facebook. About the same time, our definition of ‘friend’ changed a bit, didn’t it? All of a sudden, a friend can be someone you’ve never spoken to or met in person. A friend is someone with whom you trade funny pictures or pithy sayings that did not originate from either of you but were passed along from other friends sometimes accompanied by a [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
“No matter how high the profession, he whose heart is not filled with love for God and his fellow men is not a true disciple of Christ. . . . He might display great liberality; but should he, from some other motive than genuine love, bestow all his goods to feed the poor, the act would not commend him to the favor of God.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 318, 319.
“While Paul was careful to set before his [...]
Du and Zho are a Global Mission pioneer couple who are planting a church in a city in China. They sell products from door to door in order to meet people and make friends for Christ. They focus on helping people with special needs such as the sick, the elderly, and the needy. Then they introduce their new friends to their Savior.
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Most of the people living in the region worship idols, so Du and [...]
The Dwindling Church
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“We simply must DO something to increase our membership,” Angie said.
Sylvia shrugged. “Or get more of our inactive members to show up for church–”
“–With an offering.” Angie broke in.
Fred was peeling an orange as he entered the living room from the kitchen. “What’s wrong with belonging to a small church?” he said. Angie jumped up and handed him a towel.
Sylvia said, [...]
While Paul was in Thessalonica, what other things did he do in addition to preaching the gospel, and why? See 1 Thess. 2:9, 10.
The idea that Paul was working “night and day” would be a huge exaggeration if taken literally. The Greek, however, expresses a qualitative idea rather than the actual amount of time spent. In other words, Paul was saying that he worked beyond the call of duty in order not to burden them; Paul did not want anything to stand in the [...]
Several years ago, when I first became a literature evangelist, I was attending an awards banquet for the best sales persons in the Southwest. I was awe struck by the nice shiny plaques and trophies the winners were receiving for leading the region in sales, hours worked, and other categories. I was so impressed that I decided right then and there that I was going to be Number One next year so that I could receive such a reward at [...]