KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“Therefore brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
Thessalonica, the largest city of Macedonia, was an important trade city. Located on the main roadway between Rome and the Orient, it was a thriving seaport. During Paul’s second missionary journey, around A.D. 50, after preaching for a short time in the synagogue in Thessalonica (Acts 17), he started the church there. Within two years or less, Paul felt the need to write a letter to the new church to encourage the believers there and counsel them in several areas, including the Second Coming of the Lord. That letter is the Book of 1 Thessalonians.
A short time after writing that letter, Paul received word that some in the church had misinterpreted his teaching about Christ’s second coming. Thinking the event was imminent, these people had quit working and had simply settled back to wait (2 Thessalonians 3:11). Continued persecution of the church caused some people to feel that they must be living immediately prior to the “Day of the Lord.” To correct these misunderstandings, Paul wrote another letter — the Book of 2 Thessalonians. In this epistle, he explained the events that would precede Christ’s return, what the believers were to avoid, and how they were to conduct themselves until the Lord’s return.
Paul’s loving concern for the infant church is evident in his epistles. He used the endearing term “brethren” twenty-eight times in his two letters to the Thessalonians. He expressed his love in the way he greeted them, in his warm praise and thanksgiving for the progress and growth he had observed, his careful admonition on the points that had brought confusion, and his closing benediction.
Some day, Christ will come back to earth for those who trust in Him. If we are ready, we need not be concerned about when He will return. We should stand for the truth, keep working for Christ, and patiently wait and watch for Him.