Read 1 Thessalonians 1-5

Jealousy incited the attack on the house of Jason, (Acts 17:5) caused the city to be in an uproar, not to mention the agitation created against Paul and the newly formed church. No matter her obstacles you can’t stop the church. Now, Paul will write to them, “you suffered the same things from your own countrymen” similar to those who killed Jesus and the prophets. (1 Thes 2:14-16)

This sounds familiar to Acts 7:52-53 where Stephen the first martyr articulates a historical account of the hostility from Jewish countryman to fellow countryman. Stephen inquires, ‘Which prophet was not persecuted?’ The Jews are given the law and yet not one was able to keep it. Stephen’s words cut them to the heart and he is stoned to death. The irony is not missed. Now Saul who is called Paul is saying some of the same things writing to the church about persecution. His salvation and first hand introduction to Jesus came after he was complicit in Stephen’s murder. Here we read how far Paul has come, to arrive at 1 Thessalonians 2:2, ‘we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.’ This gospel is the word of GOD, not man, not Peter’s, not Paul’s gospel but our eternal Father’s good news. HE has not destined us for wrath, but for salvation through JESUS. (1 Thes. 5:9) This gospel message makes the messenger rather motherly both brave and gentle. In addition this gospel is fatherly in exhortation and encouragement. The affection and familial language can not be missed. Even though the church is facing challenges, they are spoken to as sons and daughters dearly loved, with a tone of parental patience and instruction.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But do examine everything carefully; hold on to the good. WHO CAN’T appreciate his words at the end! 1 Thes. 5:23-24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

Paul wrote Thessalonians from Corinth; at about AD 51 we know this because Gallio’s proconsulship is from 51-52.

The city has a good natural harbor and is on the VIA EGNATIA, one of the Rome’s oldest and longest roads.

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