Tell the Good News!

KEY VERSE: “We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his Gospel in spite o f strong opposition.” —I Thessalonians 2:2, New International Version

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: I Thessalonians 2:1-13

THE APOSTLE PAUL wrote this letter to the Thessalonians from Corinth during his second missionary journey. He had not intended to go to the continent of Europe, but was directed there by God after making several attempts to go to other regions. There was an urgency to bring the Gospel message to the Jews and Gentiles in Macedonia. Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke went to Philippi, where the Gospel—the good news—was preached successfully, even though, as Paul tells his Thessalonian brethren in our Key Verse, they were shamefully treated in that city. Of importance was the fact that they found hearing ears to their message, and a congregation of believers started to meet regularly in Lydia’s home to study God’s Word.

From Philippi they went to Thessalonica and, as was the usual strategy of Paul in telling the good news, he went to a synagogue first, and there he taught for three weeks. In the words of our Key Verse, the Apostle Paul tells of the strong opposition he and his companions encountered. They were all forced to leave prematurely from Thessalonica because the Jews had hired rogues to foment strife through mob riots. Timothy returned later to Thessalonica to help the brethren become established as a congregation.

Meanwhile, Paul and the other brethren went to Berea and found the Jews of their synagogue to be more noble than those of Thessalonica. When these Jews heard of Paul’s success in proclaiming the Gospel they went to Berea to stir up the people against Paul. The brethren sent Paul to Athens for his own safety. He was to meet Timothy and Silas after they had established congregations in Thessalonica and Berea. Since their work took longer than expected, they did not meet Paul again until he went to Corinth.

When Timothy arrived with news that all was well with the brethren in Thessalonica, and that, in spite of the afflictions they had to suffer from their countrymen (I Thess. 2:14), they were growing in faith and love (I Thess. 3:1-7), Paul was relieved and encouraged. This inspired him to write to them.

Although these brethren had received the Gospel only a few months previously, already they were telling the good news all over Macedonia and Achaia. They were good examples to other brethren, and were doing Paul’s work for him. (I Thess. 1:7-10) Paul was pleased that they had accepted the message for its content, realizing that he did not preach the good news by using deceit, guile, or with any impure motives.

They recognized in Paul the absence of flattery, nor was he seeking their praises. Neither Paul nor his companions expected money from them for support. No, they worked night and day because they did not want to be a burden to anyone; generally, they worked during the day and preached the Word in the evening.—I Thess. 2:9

Paul knew that God had chosen these brethren to be part of the “election of God.” (I Thess. 1:4) They were followers of Paul and of the Lord Jesus, receiving “the Word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit.”—vs. 6

Dawn Bible Students Association
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