While in Athens, Paul’s spirit is provoked when he sees all the idolatry in the city. Therefore, Paul preaches of the God of Creation and tells the people to repent, “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man who He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Some who hear Paul mock him, but some believe.
After Paul leaves Athens, he goes to Corinth where he meets Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. Paul stays with them, for they were tentmakers like Paul. While in Corinth, Paul writes 2 letters to the church in Thessalonica.
In the first letter, Paul commends the Thessalonians for their faith. Paul goes on to remind them how he, Timothy, and Silas preached the Word of God to them. “For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness – God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ…For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.”
Paul writes about how they sent Timothy to encourage the church that was under persecution. He says that Timothy reported back the good news of their faith and love for one another. And Paul expresses their desire to return to the church in Thessalonica.
Paul encourages the believers to live lives that are pleasing to God. “But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more, that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.”
Since some in the church have been killed for their faith, Paul assures them that there is life after death. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” And at Jesus’s second coming; “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
More to the Thessalonians tomorrow. Keep reading.
(Acts 17:16-18:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5:11)