The Apostle Paul visited the city of Thessalonica on his 2nd missionary journey. He was there preaching about 3 weeks. The theme of the Epistle is a least fourfold:
- To confirm the young converts in Thessalonica in the foundational truths
- To exhort them to a life of personal holiness pleasing to the Lord.
- To comfort them concerning those who had died; and
- To instruct them concerning their own hope of the Lord’s return.
Paul commended the believers there because, according to I Thes. 2:13, they accepted the message. because it came from God, not men. There are many things we can take from this congregation.
The word “example” can have both a positive and a negative aspect. We see the “positive” aspect in this account. The believers not only accepted the teaching that Paul gave and became a congregation of faithful ones, but they did not keep the “Good news” to themselves.
They embodied the Lord’s teaching in the Great Commission to “go into all the world and preach the gospel…” They had been called out of the darkness of the kingdom of Satan and were now in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus, the Church of Christ.
Their faith was known not only in their own city, but it spread to other parts of the country. Paul tells about that in I Thes. 1:8-10.
Verses 9-10, especially show the transformation that the Gospel can accomplish in the hearts and minds of those willing to learn more about Jesus and be used to bring Him glory. They believed in letting their light shine for their Lord. They had left the life of serving idols and had replaced that with “the living and true God.” (I Thes. 1:9)
Paul tells us in I Thes. 1:10 that they were “waiting for His Son from Heaven…” The belief that the Lord Jesus is coming again motivated this congregation, and should motivate us to greater service for our Lord. We must be found not only looking for and waiting for the Lord’s return, we must be actively working for Him.