Study Guide

1-2 Thessalonians Perseverance

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And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7, NRSV)

And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7, KJV)

The Thessalonians are an awesome example to everyone of faith in the face of adversity. Paul really likes their style.

As for us, brothers and sisters, when, for a short time, we were made orphans by being separated from you—in person, not in heart—we longed with great eagerness to see you face to face. (1 Thessalonians 2:17, NRSV)

But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. (1 Thessalonians 2:17, KJV)

Paul had to book out of Thessalonica (persecutions and all), but he really, really wanted to come back. Eventually, he would make it back into that neck of the woods. Way to keep the faith, Paul.

We sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you for the sake of your faith, so that no one would be shaken by these persecutions. Indeed, you yourselves know that this is what we are destined for. In fact, when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer persecution; so it turned out, as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith; I was afraid that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labor had been in vain. (1 Thessalonians 3:2-5, NRSV)

And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow labourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. (1 Thessalonians 3:2-5, KJV)

So the Thessalonians knew they were going to get bullied a little for their beliefs. After all, Paul warned them. (Trust us, he knew a thing or two about getting bullied for his beliefs.) But Paul's still worried that they might have fallen by the wayside. Luckily, perseverance is the Thessalonians' strong suit.

[Timothy] has told us also that you always remember us kindly and long to see us—just as we long to see you. For this reason, brothers and sisters, during all our distress and persecution we have been encouraged about you through your faith. For we now live, if you continue to stand firm in the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 3:6-8, NRSV)

Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 3:6-8, KJV)

Paul is super glad that the Thessalonians keep on keeping on. Their ability to go on has even given him strength when times get tough.

We ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. (2 Thessalonians 1:4, NRSV)

We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure. (2 Thessalonians 1:4, KJV)

We bet those other churches are really tired of hearing how awesome these guys are by now. Why can't you be more like the Thessalonians? They never let being socially ostracized, beaten, or arrested get to them.

We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will go on doing the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:4-5, NRSV)

We have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:4-5, KJV)

The author really believes in these guys and thinks they're doing great. He knows they'll keep the faith and do great things…as soon as they sort out a couple little issues. No biggie.

We hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-13, NRSV)

We hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-13, KJV)

Because some folks think the world is gonna end, they've decided to stop, you know, caring. But, the Thessalonians need to keep going until the day comes. Constant vigilance!

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