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Thursday, October 16, 2008

1 and 2 Thessalonians Week 6

We are going to continue our study of persecution. The Sunday School class is a little behind where we are in the blog, so this week will not have as much material to allow the class to catch up.

1) Read 1 Thess. 2:13-16

13And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 14For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, 15who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men 16in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.

Paul writes about the persecution Christ and other prophets suffered. The Bible seems to show us a pattern in Acts that the apostles suffered. First they were threatened and arrested. Then they were flogged. Next, a few were murdered. Finally, it reached a full scale persecution of everyone. This happened in for the first Christians in Judea, now it was happening in Thessalonica. (Kuske, Thessalonians, Northwestern Publishing House, pg. 27.)

What would you do if you saw this pattern developing in our society?

2) How were the persecutors "heaping their sins up to the limit"?

There is a warning for all of us in Paul's words. We must take God and his Word seriously and reverently or else we will eventually despise God. Then we will be no better than the 1st Century Jewish leaders who persecuted the faithful.

Read the story from foxnews.com:


Are movies like this a form of persecution? Do you see any other forms of persecution in America?

3) Read 1 Thess. 3:5

For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.

In what ways would Satan use persecution to cause Christains to fall from faith?

How are we preotected form Satan? (Hint: B_ptism)

You guessed it! In our baptism we are rescued from the devil, and made to be children of God! While we may suffer for our faith, we know that our problems are only temporary.

John 10:27-29

27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one."


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