9. Prepared for His Return (1 Thessalonians 5:1-28)
1 Thessalonians 5:1-28
Day One Study
1. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. The day of the Lord refers to the whole period of the Lord’s climactic judgment work on the earth ending in His setting up His Kingdom. Notice the contrast of pronouns “we/you” and “they/others.” What does Paul say about the activities/attitudes of each group?
2. For the unbelievers, what will occur on the “day of the Lord?” See Isaiah 13:6-13 and Matthew 24:36-39.
3. Has God been faithful to warn mankind about impending judgment in the past? Remember Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, Jonah, all the prophets of the Old Testament. Is there any real reason not to heed His warning of coming judgment on the unbelieving world?
4. Gaining Perspective: We’ve looked at them (nonbelievers) and us (believers) impersonally. But, we all know those who don’t believe in Christ, maybe in your own family. How has this lesson changed your outlook about your everyday example before them?
Day Two Study
5. Reread 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. What instructions did Jesus give believers regarding the circumstances surrounding His return for them/us? Read Mark 13:32-35; Acts 1:7-11 and Revelation 16:15.
6. What comfort does Paul give to the Thessalonian believers in the anticipation of the coming “day of the Lord?”
7. Notice the beginning of verse 11. Even Paul had a “Gaining Perspective” section! He’s telling the Thessalonians, “Now that you know the truth about death and the coming of the Lord, that knowledge should affect how you live and think.” Discuss his instructions.
8. Gaining Perspective: Have you been raised with the misconception that God’s wrath was to be directed at you, that you weren’t holy enough to escape His wrath? After reading verses 9-11, explain what you have learned to counteract that misconception.
Day Three Study
9. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18. Believers live in a unique relationship with one another. We have a common destiny and a mutual responsibility to each other. These verses describe the responsibilities of an overall shepherding ministry. What are they?
10. What should be the response of those being “shepherded?”
11. Verses 16-18 instruct how to live by faith on a daily basis all day long. These commands or instructions transcend all cultures at all times!!! Describe each one. Use your concordance or cross-references to find other verses that help to explain what is meant or how to do it.
a. Rejoice/be joyful always—
b. Pray without ceasing/continually—
c. In everything give thanks/give thanks in all circumstances—
Day Four Study
12. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-28. What impact would the attitudes in verses 16-18 firmly entrenched in your life have on the following:
· Your service?
· Persecution you may face?
· Waiting on Christ’s return?
13. What further instruction does Paul give the Thessalonians in:
· Verse 19?
· Verses 20-21?
· Verses 25-27?
14. What promise is given to all of us in verses 23-24? Where is the believer’s hope?
Focus on the Meaning: Hope is nothing else than the expectation of those things which faith has believed to have been truly promised by God. Thus, faith believes God to be true, hope awaits the time when his truth shall be manifested; faith believes that he is our Father, hope anticipates that he will ever show himself to be a Father toward us; faith believes that eternal life has been given to us, hope anticipates that it will some time be revealed; faith is the foundation upon which hope rests, hope nourishes and sustains faith…Hope strengthens faith, that it may not waver in God’s promises, or begin to doubt concerning their truth. Hope refreshes faith, that it may not become weary. It sustains faith to the final goal, that it may not fail in mid-course, or even at the starting gate.” (John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 1, p. 590)
15. Gaining Perspective: How does that encourage you? Feel free to use any creative means to describe your hope. Hope is the anchor of the soul!!!