Continuing his first letter to his Thessalonian friends, Paul instructed them in continuing godly living (285). For instance, Paul told the Thessalonians never to take advantage of other Christians, but always to mind their own business & earn their own living.
A question had arisen in Thessalonika about what would happen to Christians who had previously died, when Jesus comes back to the earth: Would they be taken to heaven? Paul assured the Thessalonian believers that those, who had lived & died for Christ, would be raised & taken to heaven by Jesus.
Another question in the Thessalonian church concerned when Jesus would actually come back to the earth. Paul reminded them of what Jesus taught – that this day will come upon us without warning, “like a thief in the night.”
Until that day, Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to let their hope of heaven motivate them — to continue showing their love for God by loving one another. Evidence that they were on the right track would include:
- Respect for local church leaders
- Peace among church members
- Warning ungodly members
- Encouraging timid members
- Helping members in need
- Patience with all members
- Focus on doing good
- Rejoicing always
- Praying always
- Being thankful in every circumstance
- Letting the Spirit lead them
- Receiving & living by God’s messages
- Discerning good from evil
Finally, Paul emphasized that staying on track with Jesus meant depending on the supernatural power of God’s Holy Spirit, for guidance & strength in every situation.
(285) 1 Thessalonians 4-5