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The Blue Letter Bible

Chuck Smith :: Study Guide for 1 Thessalonians

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v.1 This is one of the first epistles Paul wrote. Since his apostleship had not yet been challenged by the false teachers, he didn't begin this epistle with a defense (as he did in so many others). Silvanus is Silas.

v.3 Faith is the work God requires of us (John 6:29). Love motivated the works of the Thessalonian believers. They waited with patience for the return of Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom.

v.4 God has chosen us to be His children (John 15:16; Romans 9:16).

v.5 The power of the Holy Spirit was demonstrated in the miracles that accompanied Paul's teaching.

v.6 The Jews had stirred up the people against Paul, so a great tumult and contension arose in the city when the Thessalonians received Christ.

v.8 True evangelism is a by-product of a healthy church.

v.9 Turning from idols to God is a work of faith. It must have been difficult for the Thessalonians to give up their traditions in the worship of their pagan gods, for religion had been part of their lives for generations.

v.10 Waiting for Jesus is the patience of hope. There is a difference between the persecution of the Church and the Great Tribulation. The persecution on Christians comes from others here on earth. The Tribulation is the wrath of God on the Christ-rejecting world. It would be inconsistent for God to pour out His wrath on His Church (Genesis 18:20-32; 2 Peter 2:9).


v.2 Paul was beaten and thrown into a dungeon in Philippi.

v.3-5 God will hold the so-called evangelists and television personalities ac countable for what they preach and for the motivations behind their ministries.

v.6 Paul was self-supporting, but some of the other apostles were supported by the churches.

v.7-8 Paul was more interested in giving himself to the brethren than in gaining anything from them.

v.11 "Charged" means "challenged."

v.12 We should walk as children of the King.

v.13 John 15:3.

v.15-16 This is Paul's assessment of the Jews, his brothers, who opposed Christ. The leaders of the Jews weren't spiritual, but materialists. They crucified Christ because His teachings threatened their power and position. Though the Jews were God's chosen people, they rejected His Son and listened to their leaders. Since then, they have suffered more than any other people (Matthew 15:14; Luke 12:48).

v.18 Satan sometimes hinders us in the things we want to do for God.

v.19-20 The greatest joy and reward of any minister of God will be to see those to whom he ministered gathered around the throne of God at Christ's coming. Material rewards are nothing compared to this.


v.3 Paul felt that the trials he experienced were part of his calling in the ministry.

v.5 Paul sent Timothy to see how the church in Thessalonica was doing, because he was so anxious for them.

v.6-8 Paul was comforted and uplifted by the news from the brethren.

v.13 "To the end" means "for the purpose." When Christ comes again to establish His Kingdom on Earth, we'll be with Him (Colossians 3:4; Jude 14; Revelation 19:7-14).


v.2 It's amazing how much Paul was able to teach the Thessalonians in the three weeks he spent with them.

v.6 Not all people who claim to be Christians are honest businessmen.

v.10 Many Christians are settled into spiritual complacency and aren't growing in Christ.

v.11 Paul was aware of the damage which gossips can do when they don't mind their own business.

v.13 The term "asleep" is used in the New Testament to describe a Christian who has moved from his earthly body to his heavenly body. The word "moved" would be more appropriate. The Christians wanted to differentiate this condition from the state of death for the unbeliever (John 11:26; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8, 12:2-4).

v.15 "Prevent" means "having an advantage over." Those who live until the Lord comes won't have any advantage over those who died earlier.

v.16-17 Isaiah 42:13; Jeremiah 25:30; Hosea 11:10; Joel 3:16; Amos 1:2; Revelation 4:1; 10:3. Those Christians who have died are already with Christ and will be with Him at His coming. We'll meet them with the Lord in the air. "Caught up" here means "snatched away with great force."


v.2 If people aren't watching for Christ's coming, they'll suffer a loss as people do when a thief breaks into their home (Matthew 24:42-51).

v.4-6 The coming of Christ shouldn't take the Christians by surprise, for we're supposed to be watching for Him (Matthew 24:42).

v.9 God hasn't chosen us for the wrath which is coming on the earth. He's chosen us for salvation.

v.11 We're to comfort and build up each other.

v.18 God wants us to be thankful.

v.20-21 We're not to despise prophecies, but neither are we to accept every prophecy without testing it (1 Corinthians 14:29).

v.22 Avoiding even the appearance of evil is a step beyond avoiding evil itself. We're not to give others the opportunity to doubt the sincerity of our faith by our actions, even if we know the actions to be innocent.

v.23 We meet God in the realm of our spirit.

v.24 Christ has called us to follow Him, and He'll present us to God as His sheep.

Used With Permission

© The Word For Today. We thank Chuck Smith, The Word For Today and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for their permission to utilize this work.

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