When the gospel came to Thessalonica it turned “the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, ESV). As Paul preached there many people received the word with open hearts and joy (1 Thess 2:13). Their lives were forever changed. People from diverse backgrounds gathered together as a new church to worship and serve their new Lord, Jesus Christ. The gospel reoriented their lives giving them new identities and a new purpose. The result was the birth of a new church filled with excitement and joy. The Apostle was tragically torn from this young church too early so he wrote a letter to them to encourage and teach them. We have this warm pastoral letter and can learn much from it. The Thessalonians were a group of eager but anxious Christians; excited about the gospel but unsure of all that it meant for their lives.
In this letter Paul answers questions about lifestyle, prayer and even the second coming. We see the warm pastoral relationship he had with them. We also get to see Paul explain the depths of the gospel to a young church seeking to apply God’s truth in their lives. In the series, “The World Turned Upside Down,” we will seek to understand the gospel in a fresh way and its implications for our lives today. We pray that God will help orient our purpose, identity and community around the good news of Jesus Christ.