The Church in ThessolonicaSeries: New Testament Churches
Excerpt from the workbook, “New Testament Churches: Their Strengths and Weaknesses” by Carl McMurray:
“When Paul and Silas visited Philippi, they visited a Roman military town with few Jews and not even a synagogue. When they came to Thessalonica, it was a much different story. Thessalonica had been one of the chief commercial cities and seaports of Macedonia for centuries and remains so until today. The city received its name around 315 BC from a Macedonian king, Cassander, son of Antipater. He named it after his wife of the same name, daughter of Phillip II, and step sister of Alexander the Great. A shortened sense of this name, Salonica, is retained until the present. At the time of the apostle’s visit, the city was described as the most populous city in Macedonia and the metropolis of the province. It was recognized not only as a seaport and crossroad city, but was also a “free” Roman city, like Philippi.
Though it seems that only a few Jews were persuaded, most instead choosing to react badly with jealousy and persecution, a great number of Gentiles accepted the gospel message along with a number of leading women of the city. For that cause, this congregation is generally thought of as a Gentile church (1 Thessalonians 1:9). Like Antioch and Corinth, this congregation is also thought to have been strong, flourishing, and influential (1 Thessalonians 1:8). For many centuries this city remained as one of the strongholds of Christianity.”
• Acts 17:1-9
• 1 & 2 Thessalonians
1. What was the main problem with those who refused to gospel in Thessalonica?
2. Can you give some ways this might cause problems today?
3. What is sometimes used to cover up personal animosity between brethren?
4. What does imitation what is good require of us?
5. What are some real ways that we can encourage one another?
6. In your own words, define the leadership (as in the eldership)?
7. In your own words, define “followship”.
8. Define the term “excel”.
9. Using your definition, how do we excel in serving the Lord?