OVERVIEW OF THESSALONIANS
I. 1 THESSALONIANS
Author: 1 Thess. 1:1 indicates that the Book of 1 Thessalonians was written by the apostle Paul, probably along with Silas and Timothy.
Date of Writing: The Book of 1 Thessalonians was written in approximately A.D. 50.
Purpose of Writing: There were some misunderstandings in the church about the return of Christ. Paul desired to clear them up in his letter. He also writes it as an instruction in holy living.
Brief Summary: The first three chapters are about Paul longing to visit the church in Thessalonica but not being able to because Satan stopped them (1 Thess. 2:18), and how Paul cared for them and was encouraged to hear how they had been. Paul then prays for them (1 Thess. 3:11-13). In chapter 4, Paul is instructing the believers in Thessalonica on how to live, in Christ Jesus, a holy life (1 Thess. 4:1-12). Paul goes on to instruct them of a misconception they had. He tells them that the people who have died in Christ Jesus will also go to heaven when He comes back (1 Thess. 4:13-18, 5:1-11). The book ends with final instructions of living the Christian life.
Practical Application: This book can be applied to many life situations. It gives us the confidence as Christians that dead or alive when Christ comes back we will be together with Him (1 Thess. 4:13-18). It assures us as Christians that we won't receive God's wrath (1 Thess. 5:8-9). It instructs us how to walk the Christian life daily (1 Thess. 4-5).
II. 2 THESSALONIANS
Author: 2 Thessalonians 1:1 indicates that the Book of 2 Thessalonians was written by the apostle Paul, probably along with Silas and Timothy.
Date of Writing: The Book of 2 Thessalonians was likely written in AD 51-52.
Purpose of Writing: The church in Thessalonica still had some misconceptions about the Day of the Lord. They thought it had come already so they stopped with their work. They were being persecuted badly. Paul wrote to clear up misconceptions and to comfort them.
Brief Summary: Paul greets the church at Thessalonica and encourages and exhorts them. He commends them for what he hears they are doing in the Lord, and he prays for them (2 Thess. 1:11-12). In chapter 2, Paul explains what will happen in the Day of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:1-12). Paul then encourages them to stand firm and instructs them to keep away from idle men who don't live by the gospel (2 Thess. 3:6).
Practical Application: The Book of 2 Thessalonians is filled with information that explains the end times. It also exhorts us not to be idle and to work for what we have. There are also some great prayers in 2 Thessalonians that can be an example for us on how to pray for other believers today.