I THESSALONIANS (Lessons 1 - 5)

The church in Thessalonica was started by Paul and Silas on Paul's second Missionary journey. We read about this in the Book of Acts, chapter 17:1-10. After t hey had been put in prison in Phillipi and then let go, they went on to Thessalonica, and Paul preached Christ to t he people in the Jewish synagogue there. Some of t he people believed in Christ but the Jews who did not believe started a riot and Paul and Silas had to leave Thessalonica. After Paul left Thessalonica, he became concerned for the new believers there because he had not had enough time to teach them the things they needed to know about their new-found faith . So, he sent Timothy to see if they were standing firm. Timothy brought a good report to Paul in Corinth, but he told him how some of the believers had died and the rest were wondering what would happen to their dead friends when Christ returned. The unbelieving Jews we re also telling the Christians that Paul was a deceiver, and that he was only after their money.

So, Paul wrote this first letter to the Thessalonians to remind them how they had accepted the Gospel and to teach them more about the coming of the Lord Jesus.

II THESSALONIANS (Lessons 6-8)

Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians was written soon after the first one to encourage the believers there who were undergoing persecution. It was also written as a warning to them not to become so preoccupied with looking for the Lord Jesus to come again that they neglected to do their daily work.

Some of the Thessalonians had actually stopped working altogether saying, Since the Day of the Lord is already here, why should we bother to earn our living any more? Paul said this was dishonoring to God. It was not only a bad testimony but also harmful to the believers themselves.

Paul had written in his first letter that it was not possible to say when the Day of the Lord would come but some had been teaching the Thessalonians that the Day of the Lord had already come. So, Paul begins this second letter by thanking God for their faith, love and hope in the face of persecution. He then warns them that they should not be idle, but busy in working. In fact, he said, if a man would not work, let him not eat ! A good admonition to Christians even today.

I TIMOTHY (Lessons 9-14)

Timothy was a young man who had been led to the Lord by Paul. He became Paul's companion in the work of the Lord. Paul often sent him with messages to other churches so we know that he was willing to be used of the Lord in any way he could.

After Paul was let out of prison, he came to Ephesus and discovered that some of the believers were listening to false teachers and even being deceived by them. So, Paul asked Timothy to stay in Ephesus while he went on to Macedonia. He told Timothy to warn the believers against these false teachings.

Paul also gave Timothy some advice on how to handle church matters. This advice is still helpful to pastors and elders today.

II TIMOTHY (Lessons 15-18)

Paul's second letter to Timothy was written when Paul was in prison in Rome for the second time. He had been arrested again and was being tried. The Emperor of Rome, Nero, had started a fire in the city and falsely accused the Christians of having started the fire so that many of them had been killed and treated cruelly. Paul was arrested as one of the leaders of the Christians.

When Paul wrote this letter, many of the Christians were afraid to act as his friends and had forsaken him. Paul was concerned that Timothy might also be afraid and would stop preaching the Gospel. Also, Paul knew that some men where still trying to teach things that were not the true Gospel and he wanted to warn Timothy against these false teachings. This is the last letter that Paul wrote before he was killed.

TITUS (Lessons 19-21)

Titus was one of Paul's young converts who helped him with the work of the Lord. Paul calls him, my own son, so we know that Paul considered Titus very special to him in helping to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
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