Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches

Home

In 315 BC the city of Therma was renamed after the step-sister of Alexander the Great. Her name was Thessalonica. In 146 BC that city became the capital of the Roman Province of Macedonia. Because of its loyalty to Rome, it was named a free city in 42 BC which means that there were no Roman troops garrisoned there. At its greatest time back in history, Thessalonica had a population of about 200,000. Today the city is called Salonika and when last checked had a population of about 322,000 in the city with many more in outlying areas.

BIBLICAL SETTING

It's recorded in Acts 16 that Paul received a vision from a man from Macedonia. As a result of that vision, Paul and his ministry team went to Philippi and from there they were duly evicted and ended up in Thessalonica. The gospel seemed to evoke the same reaction just about everywhere they went.

Read Acts 17/1-15

As was the case at Philippi, now it became the situation at Thessalonica. They were forced to leave the fledgling Church at Philippi and the same thing happened at Thessalonica. They were ejected from the city.

Paul travelled to Athens together with his team but, because of his love for the Church, he sent Timothy and Silas back to those two cities to check on how the newly formed churches was doing.

Then Paul travelled across to Corinth where Timothy and Silas brought good news about the well-being of their fellow believers. Such was Paul's relief at this news he took a writing stick and penned the letter that we call First Thessalonians. Many scholars believe that this is possibly the earliest letter of the many that bear his name in the New Testament. Just when it was written is of less consequence. What counts is the content and how it applies to us today.

Question:  As you begin this series of studies in the Encounter series, are you expecting to.......

a. Increase your store of information about God and the Bible?

b. Experience the call of God in your life with a new intensity and excitement?

c. Be encouraged and challenged in your relationship with God and His people?

d. [Other]

The goal of the gospel is change and transformation. Quality biblical teaching has the same goal. Information is important but it is meant to lead to action. We are not to be just hearers of the Word but doers. Information has to lead to participation. Jesus taught this very principle (John 13/14-17). Participation is meant to lead to transformation - a changed life.

As you launch into this teaching series, may God the Holy Spirit, apply these truths to your life and enable you to respond with enthusiastic obedience.

Remember the sequence: They feature at the conclusion of each session

                              Information (Knowing) 

                                                            Participation (Doing)

                                                                                            Transformation (Changing)

Download free ministry resources.
give us your feedback.