This is the first of a special 4-part series of “The Mine”, presented by Neale Proellocks. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians was written shortly after his visit to the city. A mixed group of people trusted Jesus as Saviour and Lord. However, the Gospel Paul preached divided community opinion and allegiances and created an atmosphere of hostility bringing persecution and suffering to the new church. Leaving Thessalonica Paul and his friends made their way to Corinth. From there, he wrote the first of two letters to the young Thessalonian church.

In his first letter, Paul reviews the doctrinal truth he’d already taught, and underpins it with down-to-earth, no-nonsense, practical instruction.

He looks at: How to tell if you’re really a Christian. How to share the Gospel. How to shepherd and disciple new believers. How to live for God. How to be ready for the Second Coming. How to get along in the church.

One of the distinctive features of 1 Thessalonians is the emphasises on the second coming of Jesus. It is mentioned in each of the five chapters. Anticipating Christ’s second coming is: evidence of saving faith. It is a stimulus to holy living. It strengthen us in the face of opposition. It is an encouragement and a source of hope in face of death. It set what’s happening today in perspective.

1 Thessalonians is for us now, who live at a time that is becoming more and more like the first century. As we read, hear, discuss and ask questions about the first Thessalonian letter we will grow in faith, love and hope.