The Genesis To Revelation Bible Course
By WILLIAM M. GROOM, Th.M., D.D.
Lesson No. 53 – 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Copyright, 1921 BY THE BIBLE STUDY PUBLISHING CO.
* KEYWORD–“SECOND COMING.”
* KEY VERSE–1Th 4:17.
* KEY PHRASE–“THE HOPE OF THE SECOND COMING INSPIRES, PURIFIES and COMFORTS.”
Read all of Thessalonians because they are the oldest books of the New Testament, the earliest documents of the Christian religion, and the first written testimony of any Christian after the death of Christ.
For family altar practice:–
* Sunday–A picture of a spiritual church,–1Th 1.
* Monday–Paul’s example and exhortation,–1Th 2:1-12.
* Tuesday–Walk to please God,–1Th 4:1-2.
* Wednesday–Comfort concerning departed loved ones,–1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
* Thursday–Watchfulness for Christ’s coming,–1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.
* Friday–The man of sin must first come,–2Th 2:1-12.
* Saturday–Consistent Christian conduct,–2Th 3:1-13.
DATE–About 52 A. D. from Corinth.
THESSALONICA, whose modern name is Salonica, was a commercial center about 100 miles west of Phillipi, Paul visited it on his second missionary Journey, and finding a synagogue of the Jews there, preached on three successive Sabbaths when quite a number of Jews, Greek, and women of high standing became converts. His success roused the jealousy of the unbelieving Jews, who raised a commotion and caused the apostle to escape by night to Berea.
THE CHURCH AT THESSALONICA was a strong and flourishing one composed of Gentiles rather than Jews. Paul longed to visit it again soon after his departure, but feared it would involve the converts in danger. He, therefore, sent Timothy from Athens to strengthen the faith of the Christians amid their hardships and persecutions, and he brought back a favorable report that was a great comfort to Paul.
OCCASION–The church, on the whole, was in a good state considering the fact that its members had been out of heathenism but a few months. Some, however, were in danger of accepting the heathen standard of morals. Others were so full of religious excitement and emotion that they neglected their daily labors, 1Th 4:10-12. While others who had lost friends were mourning lest at the second coming of Christ these who had fallen asleep would not share in the rapture and glory.
1. To instruct new converts concerning the Christian’s duties in this life.
2. To inspire comfort, patience, and watchfulness because of the Lord’s coming.
1. Spiritual Church.
4. Man of Sin.
Great Fact I. A Picture of a Spiritual Church
Paul thanks God for this church because of the wonderful growth of their faith and their increasing love for one another. So marked was this that the apostle proudly held them up as an example to all other churches. Indeed, their “work of faith, and labor of love and patience of hope” had made a profound impression all over northern and southern Greece (Macedonia and Achaia.). Everywhere that Paul went it was talk a the Christians, what a wonderful work God had done in Thessalonica.
LESSON–Dr. Scofield points out that when he put verses three and nine together we get the past, present and future tense of the Christian life. In the past, the believer’s work of faith was to turn to God from idols, Joh 6:28-29. In the present, the believer’s labor of love is to serve the true and living God. In the future, the believer’s patience of hope is to wait for His Son from heaven. This three-fold order is seen also in Tit 2:11-13.
Great Facts II. The Apostle’s Example of an Exhortation to Holiness
Paul reminds the church that in spite of ill-treatment and great opposition he preached the gospel to them. Not as a flatterer or seeker of wealth, but with the simplicity of a child, and as gentle as a woman fondling her own children, 1Th 2:1-7. Ye are the witnesses of how we used to toil with our hands night and day, and to plead with you that you should make call lives worthy of God who is calling you into the glory of His kingdom, 1Th 2:8-12. We thank God also that you bravely en-‘lured persecutions from your heathen neighbors as did the churches in Judea from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, 1Th 2:13-15. How glad we were to hear from Timothy that you stand firm in faith and in love and that you think kindly of us, and long to see us as we long to see you. May the Lord fill you to overflowing with love for one another, and make your hearts strong and your lives pure beyond reproach, 1 Thessalonians 3. It is God’s purpose that you abstain from all immorality, live quietly, attend to your own business, and work with your own hands, 1Th 4:1-12.
LESSON–There are at least three kinds of people:–
The apostle charges us to please God in our religion. our morals, and in our daily work. A great statesman said, “We have lived too long for our fortunes, and our own interests, it is high time we began to live for God.” Another said when he was dying, “I count all that part of my life lost which I spent not in communion with God, or in doing good!”
Great Facts III. The comfort of and Watchfulness for Christ’s Coming
1Th 4:13 to 1Th 5:11.
Those whose loved ones have fallen asleep in death should not give way to hopeless sorrow, for at the Coming of the Lord, it is not the living who shall greet Him first. But when the arch-angel with a loud shout and the trumpet-call of God shall announce the Lord’s coming, then the dead in Christ shall first rise to meet Him, and those who remain alive shall then be caught up in the clouds to share with them the rapture and glory, and to be forever with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these truths, 1Th 4:13-18. As to the time of the Coming, it will be as unexpected as the coming of a thief, but while others sleep, let us be watchful and self-controlled. We should not live the night lives of sleep and indulgence, but day lives of faith, love and hope, encouraging one another and building up one another’s characters, 1Th 5:1-11.
1. The second coming was one of the great themes of all the apostles, and the bright hope of the early churches. The grandest fact of the past is that Jesus Christ the Lord of Glory was made in the likeness of men and became obedient unto the death of the cross for our salvation. The most important tact of the present is, that this same Lord Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. The greatest prophesied event of the FUTURE is that this same Lord Jesus shall come again, Ac 1:11. All who keep before them this hope will purify themselves, 1 John 3:3, renounce irreligious ways and worldly ambitions and live Godly in this present world. Tit 2:12.
2. This doctrine should not only supply us with comfort but inspire us to watchfulness, Mt 24:42. We should do nothing we should not like Him to find us doing. We should go nowhere that we would be ashamed for Him to find us. If we are always ready, then we are bound to be ready when the blessed hour shall come.
Great Facts IV. The Man of Sin Must First Come
As to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul begs them not to let their minds be disturbed by any letter which is supposed to have come from him to the effect that the Day of the Lord comes. That Day will not come until after the Great Apostasy, and the appearing of the Anti-Christ, that Incarnation of Wickedness, who will set himself in the temple and display himself as God. Wickedness is already at work in secret, but the Holy Spirit at present restrains it somewhat, but when He is removed out of the way, then Wickedness Incarnate will appear, only to be destroyed by the Lord Jesus with the breath of His lips, and annihilated by the glory of His coming. For at the Coming of the Lord there will be great activity on the part of Satan in the form of deceptive miracles, signs, and wonders, as well as a wicked attempt to delude those who never received and loved the Truth to their own Salvation. The sentence will be passed on them because they refused to believe the Truth and delighted in wickedness, 2Th 2:1-12.
1. The man of sin is identical with the Anti-Christ referred to by Daniel in Da 11:31, and by our Lord in Mt 24:15, and by John in Re 13:11. He will set himself up in Jerusalem, Mt 24:15.
2. Will utter blasphemous things against the Most High, and deny the Father and the Son, Da 11:36.
3. Will appropriate divine honors, and establish idolatry. 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
4. Will take away the restored sacrifice of the Jews. Daniel 19:19.
5. His wicked activities will continue only three and a half years. Re 13:5.
6. He will be cast into the Lake of Fire at Christ’s coming, Re 19:20.
We see then just as Christ’s first coming occasioned an unusual outburst of demon activity, so Christ’s second coming will be resisted by a final desperate effort of Satan, who, imitating Christ, will incarnate himself in human form, and will be called the Anti-Christ because he will be a counterfeit Christ.
It is important that we should understand the many scriptures on this subject, and be able to read the signs of the times. For instance, the Jews are now about to restore the ancient sacrifice at Jerusalem, that the Anti-Christ will prohibit.
Questions on the Lesson
1. Give the keyword and key verse.
2. Which are the earliest books of the New Testament?
3. Give the writer and date.
4. Tell about the city of Thessalonica.
5. Tell about the church at Thessalonica.
6. What the purpose?
7. Tell of the spiritual state of the church.
8. Explain the three tenses of the Christian life.
9. What is God’s purpose as to morals working, etc.?
10. Name the three kinds of pleasers and which we should imitate.
11. Why should we be comforted concerning the departed?
12. What does it mean to live a daily life?
13. Name the grandest facts of past, present, and future.
14. How may we watch for His Coming?
15. Tell about the man of sin.
16. Give the seven points concerning the Anti-Christ.
17. Why will he be called the Anti-Christ?
18. Name one of the signs of the times.
19. How much of the two books have you read?
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. — Isaiah 26:3 KJV