The Thessalonican letters tell us the Church had struggled from persecution by both the Jews and Roman authorities. Because of their faith and inspired missionary zeal, the Church had spiritually prospered. Their witness to Christ was a "Model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia" (Greece) (I Thess. 1:6-10). As with all Churches in every age, there were "false teachers" who sought to benefit by spreading untruth. Gnosticism may have been part of the problem, and Paul addressed this, along with their concerns that Jesus had come and the resurrection had already taken place. He assured them this was not the case and gave them the sequence of Christ's return and the resurrection in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. He also wrote in regard to those who refused to work, and were essentially living off the Church. In many ways these letters reflect some of the same issues the Church is facing today. This brief little book is meant to be informative on both the theology and history of the Church in Thessaly, as well as a devotional commentary. Blessings on all who peruse these pages. Warner Doles is the pastor of Fraley Memorial Baptist Church in Gastonia, NC. He received his BA from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL, and his M.Div and D.Min degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC He has been the pastor at Fraley Memorial Baptist for 20 years.
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