Introduction to 1 Thessalonians

Life and death issues

Paul shows us how to face the future with faith and hope

How to read 1 Thessalonians

Seductive images and sexual pressures are everywhere in today’s culture. It seems like the situation was not much different in Thessalonica. We face the same questions the early church did: “How do we live holy lives in the midst of an immoral culture?” As we struggle to maintain a pure life in a permissive society, 1 Thessalonians provides solid guidelines and an encouraging promise: “He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it” (1Th 5:24).

Paul’s passionate, pastoral heart comes through in his joy over and deep concern for the Thessalonian church. His confidence lies in the power of God’s Word to transform them. Pay careful attention to the beautiful picture of discipleship in 1Th 2:8, as love compels you also to share the gospel and your life with those the Lord places in your path. Overshadowing and undergirding all this is the reality of seeing life through the lens of eternity. Look for instruction on how Jesus’ second coming might inspire you to face an uncertain future with great hope and motivate you to live a life pleasing to God.

Who wrote this book and when?

The apostle Paul wrote it, possibly as early as AD 50 or shortly thereafter.

To whom was it written and why?

Paul wrote to the believers in the church at Thessalonica, founded during his second missionary journey. Riots and opposition had forced him to leave them sooner than he desired. But later news of their progress encouraged Paul to write to commend them for growing in the Lord and to urge them to correct some misunderstandings.

SourceView Insights

All the SourceView text is black because this letter contains only one side of Paul’s dialogue with the Thessalonian believers. The letter is displayed in a cursive script, recreating the original handwritten feel of this personal document.

World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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