We are reading 2 books tomorrow! We read briefly about Paul visiting Thessalonica on his second mission trip. (look at the map; when he stayed at Jason’s house). He left after 3 short weeks and intended on going back but did not. Paul feels terrible that he left so quickly and did not return.
Quick History: The city was founded in 316 BC. The king of Macedonia named it after his wife, Thessaloniki, the half-sister to Alexander the Great. The city became a hub for government and commerce. After the captivity, many of the Jews dispersed and relocated in the Macedonia area. The city was the 2nd largest, the first being Athens. About 200,000 lived there.
This is a time of great persecution to the believers. The Roman Emporer Cladius in power but soon his son Nero will be 😢. Paul was very aware of the growing practice of persecution since he was ONE OF THEM once! He now stood on the other side of the Cross.
This letter was to encourage the believers of Thessalonica AND to assure them of Christ’s return (eschatology). Actually, Christ’s return will be mentioned over 20 times in these books. Paul gives us a way of living that will prepare us for the Second Coming of Christ. As persecution grows, they need to hold on to Hope that a final judgment will occur for those persecuting them.