Paul's Ministry To Thessalonica Essay

1996 words - 8 pages

The Apostle Paul was a traveling man. One must simply look at the various places where he preached and established churches to confirm this fact. The letters of Paul found in the canonical Bible establish connections with Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, and Thessalonica. Paul was heavily involved with the formation of the church in the final location, a city now known as Thessalonki, and continued to support it through his letters. The church in Thessalonica dealt with much oppression and persecution during its formative years. That kind of beginning contributed to much uncertainty in the young church, especially considering that Paul, its founder, was not always with them. Paul’s ministry to the church can be found in the recordings of his initial visit to Thessalonica, found in Acts 17, and his subsequent letters, 1 and 2 Thessalonians. These sources show a minister trying to answer the questions of new converts dealing with persecution, the second coming of Jesus Christ, and what their faith actually meant.

The very beginning of the church in Thessalonica was bread in violence and persecution. According to the book of Acts and the apostles first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul and Silas first came into Thessalonica on the heels being beaten and imprisoned in Philippi. Despite such an event, Paul continued to preach once he arrived in the city. The author of Acts states that the apostle found a synagogue And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.[1] Over several weeks, a diverse group of Jews, Gentiles, and women were persuaded by the preaching of Paul and became Christians. The author of Acts wrote that this upset some of the Jews in the town and they set off to find Paul and Silas. Not finding the two leaders, they attacked the house of new convert, drug him and several other believers before city authorities, and accused them of seeking to cause disturbance. The converts were released on bail and Paul and Silas were hurried off to another city.[2] From the very beginning the Christians in Thessalonica were in a hostile environment.

The issue of persecution continues to exist in Pauls letters to the Thessalonians. At the beginning of 1 Thessalonians 2, Paul recalls the opposition that the gospel message faced when he first visited the city. Thankfully, Paul did not just write about the hardship that persecution brought. We learn from his writings that Paul addressed the troubles that the church was currently facing by sending Timothy to help the Thessalonians deal with the opposition that they faced. He is encouraged when Timothy returns with a positive report of the churchs faith and love.[3] Paul was honest with the believers about the nature of persecution. The apostle writes that he...

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