The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet #5138 KC1Thes4

So let's read and understand the Written Word of God and thus learn from the Living Word of God Himself.

In today's study we are going to learn more about the bond of love that grows within the family of God even when we are absent one from another.

Paul had suffered many hardships in bringing the Word of God to the Thessalonians, even to the point of being "tossed in the slammer", and he knew they would suffer afflictions as well.

That is why the more time elapsed after he had departed Thessalonica the more Paul could hardly contain himself wondering how they were holding up.

We already know he was filled to the brim with happiness and joy when he learned from Timothy how zealous and faithful they had remained.

When Paul then learned that his new friends longed to see him too, he was greatly comforted (vs. 6) and his love towards them grew even stronger!

However, we are also going to learn today that the Thessalonians "lacked" something in their faith that Paul felt the need to "perfect", and are we ever glad that he did!

So let's read and understand the Written Word of God and thus learn from the Living Word of God Himself.

That is how one gets to know the Lord.

We pick up our study in chapter three where Paul is addressing the Thessalonians in writing in his very first epistle following his conversion.

Thes. 3:1
Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
When the separation became intolerable, i.e. when Paul could no longer stand the suspense of knowing how the Thessalonians were doing, he decided (vs. 5) to send Timothy, a mature man of God who was a brother, a minister of God, and a fellow laborer capable of handling the Word and strengthening (establishing) them in their faith through that Word.

So Paul denied himself of Timothy's presence and after Silas' apparent departure on some other mission he was left alone at Athens to stand on Mars Hill and face the caviling "philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, who encountered him" (Acts 17:18).

[2] And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
[3] That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
There is a saying that goes, "To be forewarned is to be forearmed" and the warning is this: If you want to be a Christian and teach the truth of God's Word straight on then plan on spending some time at "Trials R Us".

So do not be moved (shaken) by tribulations and afflictions for they "come with the territory" as another saying goes.

However, Jesus Christ in Luke chapter 10 has given us Christians  "power" to tread all over serpents and scorpions so that when we use that power we become the "stompers" and not the "stompees".

Luke 10:19
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

1 Thes. 3:4
For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

We should expect tribulation because as Paul says in verse 3 "we are appointed thereunto".

Paul knew and foretold the Thessalonians they would suffer tribulation and because of his love for them and knowing that he was only with them a short while, he truly yearned to know how they were doing!

[5] For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
Again, Paul in his burning desire to know their well being, sent Timothy to Thessalonica to see if the wiles of the evil tempter had prevailed.

They did not!

1 Thes. 3:6
But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
What great and exciting good news Timothy brought back to Paul who was not only thrilled to learn that they were zealously spreading the gospel among other heathen idol worshippers but that they were thinking of their teachers, Paul and Silas and Timothy, and desired greatly to see them.

That would have to make one feel warm and fuzzy and cause one to give praises to our Father, wouldn't it?

[7] Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
The power of the good news of their labor of love bearing much fruit for the Lord made all their affliction and suffering seem ever so worthwhile.
[8] For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
The key word in verse 8 is "if" you stand fast, i.e. if you choose to stand fast, because life is a matter of choice as it is written.
Deut. 30:19
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
As you can see, God is both pro-choice and pro-life!

Pro-choice means His children have been given free will to choose between life and death, between following Christ or following Satan, and pro-life is His desire that all His children "should come to repentance" and choose LIFE in Him (2 Pet. 3:9, Jn. 14:6).

1 Thes. 3:9
For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
Yes, there are those times we just can't thank the Father enough for all the comfort (vs. 7) and joy (vs. 9) He gives us.
[10] Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
What was so "lacking" in their faith that Paul wished to perfect?

The Greek word for "perfect" is katartizo meaning "to repair" or "complete thoroughly"?

Certainly it was not their zeal or love for God that they lacked.

No, it was the SAME "lacking" that is "lacking" in the faith of most Christians today!
Lack! Lack!


It was a mature and proper foundation and understanding concerning the "nearness of the return of Jesus Christ" and who, when, and how our gathering back to Him takes place.

Thus we have the overall subject, the return of Jesus Christ, of these two epistles to the Thessalonians to give us Christians TODAY a "mature and proper understanding" of Christ's return so that we are not lacking that knowledge in our faith!

Else we too might believe in Satan's pre-trib "Rature Theory".

How can we ever thank the Father enough for His goodness to us?

[11] Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
One thing is for sure.

If it be God Himself who directs our way to someone then there is NONE who can hinder us!


Because then it is God's WILL that it be done!

You see, that is why we pray as Paul does here that it be Father's will and that we follow according to His plan, His way, because let their be no doubt, THAT is how it is going to be!

1 Thes. 3:12
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
What a beautiful prayer to ask of the Father from this one named Paul.

What a change of heart this man had once He was touched by the Living God.

Remember, it was not long ago he was the Saul of Tarsus, a vicious attacker of Christians until the day the Lord struck him down to fulfill his destiny which was predetermined at the time he was chosen "before the foundation of this world" (Eph. 1:4).

"Times up, Saul!

Your days of "kicking against the pricks" are over, pal!

You are mine now!"

Again, what a beautiful prayer Paul made to the Father, made even more beautiful by contrast in knowing his former lifestyle.

[13] To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Each of the first four out of five chapters in this 1st Book of Thessalonians ends discussing the return of Jesus Christ.

In chapter one we were told to "Wait" for His Son from heaven.

In chapter two we were told there will be great joy at His coming when we see those with whom we planted seeds of truth standing there with us in the presence of the Lord.

And now we are told at the end of chapter three not only of the stablishing of our hearts unblameable in holiness before God, which are the requirements to be able to stand in the presence of the Lamb of God, but we are also told that Jesus Christ is returning with His saints.

Do you suppose those saints are with Him now?

The Thessalonians weren't quite sure.

We will learn the fine details of this in the next chapter of this 1st Book of Thessalonians along with what happens at the sound of the last Trump.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them {the ancient Israelites} for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

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