Author: Apostle Paul/Saul (choose most preferred)
I cannot believe I’m still on my September books and I’m steady eating into my October time (Just kidding. I can actually believe – I’m reaping the laziness I sowed at some point).
Anyway, I’m happy to be reviewing the two Books of Thessalonians – first, because it’s my first time reviewing Bible Books here, and second, because I was blessed by the Books. I thank Daniel Adeyemi (a.k.a. DTA) for being my inspiration to intentionally include Bible books in my monthly list of ‘Books To Read’.
The Books of Thessalonians are plural because they are divided into two. They are actually two letters written by Paul to the church in Thessalonica. As were all of Paul’s letters, the books of Thessalonians served essentially as a guide to living a Christian life. They were written from a standpoint of the leadership and mentorship of Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to the growing church at Thessalonica.
You can tell by reading both books that the Christians at Thessalonica were very eager about growing and were genuine in their walk with God. If they had misconceptions, it was in the search for the truth. It is also quite obvious from Paul’s tone in the letters that not only did he assume a parent-figure over them, but also that they yielded to that authority. They seemed very much like a humble people.
I cannot attempt to give a word-by-word exegesis of these Books… yet. But here are certain things that struck me as I read both books.
1. In the very first chapter of the first letter – verse 3 says ‘We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ’
The first thing that jumped at me about this verse was the trio: Faith, Hope and Love. Looking closer at the verse, I realized that the evidence of faith is works, the evidence of love is labour and the evidence of hope is endurance.
That is, a person who claims to have faith will work in accordance to that faith; a person who claims to love is prompted by that love to labor (check out Jesus, check out Jacob) and a person who claims to have hope in Jesus will endure till end. Not only are these the proof of Faith, Love and Hope respectively, they are also their products.
So ask yourself: does your faith produce works? Does you love prompt labor? Does your hope inspire endurance?
2. Also, verse 8 of that chapter says, ‘The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia – your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore, we do not need to say anything about it…’
Wow! Who says evangelism is only for pastors? Who says ‘preaching’ about Jesus is only for those ‘with a call’ (I loosely use this phrase). Nowhere does it say that the church at Thessalonica was filled with Pastors and priests, yet Paul says that after they received the Gospel, they began preaching that same message EVERYWHERE (not just on Sundays in their Sunday meetings amongst themselves…but everywhere). Aaaaand, (check this out), everyone knew of their faith!
I remember asking myself in my Evernote ‘Can it be said about me that everyone everywhere knows of my faith? Do I mutter the gospel, do I merely suggest it to people OR does it ring out of me?’
3. Verses 3-6 of the same chapter were also very instructive to me on the motive behind preaching. As Christians we do not preach out of impure motives or from error. We do not try to trick people into believing the truth (lol…the irony of trying to do this though). We do not even use flattery. We understand that we have been entrusted with the gospel and so we guard it and run with it, pleasing God.
4. Verses 11-12 of the same chapter were also very emotional for me because they showed me how a parent is to be to their children and I basically imagined myself being a parent and together with my husband: encouraging, comforting and urging our children to live lives worthy of God.
5. Verses 13-18 of the 4th chapter also talk about how we do not grieve for the dead who died as Christians, because we know that eternal life is their portion – not damnation forever. These verses indirectly inspired me to be concerned for the living who do not know Jesus, because those who die knowing Christ are way better than those who are alive but don’t know him.
6. In the second chapter of the second letter – Verses 13-14 struck me. They subtly address the question many people have about ‘what’s the meaning of ‘many are called but few are chosen?’ as said by Jesus in Matthew 22:14.
I must first say that, ‘many are called but few are chosen’ in NO WAY means, ‘God will handpick those who He will save.’ No No. How can this be when 1Timothy 2:3-4 says that it is the will of God that ALL men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
Hence, to be ‘called’ is to hear the gospel of Christ. Has the gospel of Christ ever been preached to you? Have you ever read it or encountered it? Then you are being called. Then you are one of the many who are called.
To be ‘chosen’ however means to accept the call and allow the Holy Spirit do his work of sanctification in your life. We see this in 2Thessanlonians verses 13-14 which says that ‘God chose you…through the sanctifying work of the Spirit AND through belief in the truth’
Funny enough, we also see this in Matthew 22, the very place where the phrase is gotten from. It’s in the parable preceding the phrase, where Jesus talks about an invitation to a wedding banquet. Only the ‘few’ who actually accepted the invitation and were cloth appropriately (signifying righteousness) were eventually allowed. Then Jesus said, ‘Many are called and few are chosen’
If it was all up to God, we already know that ‘before the foundations of the earth, he chose us to be presented before Him holy and blameless. And in his love, he predestined us to be adopted as His children’ (see Ephesians 1:4-5). BUT we have to make this a vital reality by accepting this call.
In essence, ‘many are called, few are chosen’ can be said again as, ‘many hear, few believe.’
There are more and more and more things I want to write about the books of Thessalonians but blog-posts are notorious for wanting to be short (apparently, they are more appealing to people that way).
(Side note: People are hypocrites. Short men get no love, but short blog posts are appealing??? Grow up and be consistent! *tsk tsk*)
I don’t dislike anything about the Bible so there would be no ‘What I Dislike’ section. I am constantly blessed by the word of God!
Do I recommend these Books? Absolutely! Please read the books of Thessalonians! Please read your Bible!
Thanks for reading. 🙂