On his second missionary journey, the Apostle Paul received a vision from the Holy Spirit to go to Macedonia (Greece, Bulgaria, part of Yugoslavia), rather than to Asia. He and Silas boarded a ship and crossed the Aegean Sea to Philippi, a major city and Roman colony.
Paul started a church in Philippi and stayed there until he cast a spirit of divination out of a slave girl. This upset the girl’s masters who profited from her fortune-telling. A riot broke out, ending up with Paul and Silas being thrown into a Roman prison and beaten.
After their release, Paul and Silas traveled to Thessalonica. There he preached in the Jewish synagogue for three consecutive Sabbaths. Some Jews were converted, along with many God-fearing Greeks and prominent women. A church was planted in the city.
Another riot forced Paul and Silas to leave Thessalonica and travel to Berea.
The above is the background for the founding of the Thessalonian Church and Paul’s two letters to them.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2)
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition…Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? (2 Thessalonians 2:3,5)
The Apostle Paul taught the the Thessalonians for just a few months. Now, during this same time period, Paul also labored night and day to provide for his own needs so he wouldn’t be a burden for the new church in Thessalonica.
Thus, it wasn’t like he taught every day or every night. Maybe just on the Sabbath and another evening or two during the week.
Yet, Paul’s message included meaty teachings on the end-times and the Day of Christ’s return because in his followup letters to the Thessalonians he wrote that “he didn’t have to write about times and seasons, Day of the Lord, falling away or the man of sin (Antichrist). Why? Because he had already taught them on this subject.
If the Apostle Paul thought the end-times were important enough to take up his valuable time teaching new converts, shouldn’t we also place an emphasis on them?
Do you realize Jesus also placed an importance on end-times teaching?
So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) (Matthew 24:15 ESV)
See you next time when we will begin digging into the end-times.
(Continue in #1)