1 and 2 Thessalonians
Discipleship Lessons

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Peter Paul Rubens, 'St. Paul" (1611)

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The new church at Thessalonica is under fierce attack. Opposing Jewish leaders have caused a riot and driven the church-planting team out of town. But amazingly, against all odds, the new congregation begins to grow and attract converts from the pagan population of the city. What's more, it becomes a model congregation among the fledging Christian movement in the Mediterranean region.

1 and 2 Thessalonians, written about 50 AD, are the earliest documents in the New Testament. They reveal the Apostle Paul's heart and passion as he seeks to guide this congregation towards health and balance. In 1 and 2 Thessalonians you'll learn important truths about Christ's coming -- specifically regarding the rapture and the Antichrist. In fact, these letters are Paul's most detailed account of Christ's return. In addition, Paul explains:

  • God's grace in selecting his children,
  • The heart and character of a disciple-maker,
  • How to deal with overly-dependent members,
  • A high view of sexual purity, and
  • Keys to a healthy Christian congregation.

Location of Macedonia and ThessalonicaThis study covers the two letters in nine lessons. Each lesson contains 4 or 5 discussion questions to help you or a group you might be studying with come to grips with the letters' teaching and the implications of these for our lives. My prayer is that you grow stronger as disciples as a result of this intensive study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

Lesson Outline

  • Introduction to 1 and 2 Thessalonians
  1. The Secret of Bountiful Believers (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Acts 17:1-10)
  2. The Character of a Disciple-Maker (2:1-16)
  3. The Warm Heart of a Disciple-maker (2:17-3:13)
  4. The Command and Blessing of Holy Sex (4:1-12)
  5. The Wonder and Warning of Christ's Return (4:13-5:11)
  6. Keys to a Healthy Christian Community (5:12-28)
  7. Awesome Judgment at Christ's Coming (2 Thessalonians 1:1-12)
  8. The Coming Antichrist (2:1-3:5)
  9. Warning against Idleness (3:6-18)
    1 and 2 Thessalonians: Discipleship Lessons, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
    Now available in paperback, Kindle, and PDF formats

Here's how we'll study together.

  • Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
    This is our 38th online Bible study since 1996. If you've participated in one before, you know how God can use them in your life. If not, then you have a treat in store for you. This is an cross-denominational study designed to help you grow as a disciple of Christ. -- Dr. Ralph F. Wilson. About the leader.
    Each Saturday I'll e-mail you the lesson for the week. Then you'll read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better.
  • If you sign up for the daily questions version, on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use these lessons to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly over these weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
  • You can respond to the questions and exercises using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
  • With each lesson you'll receive a link to a 20- to 30-minute audio teaching that sums up the passage you've been studying that week. Some who learn better from hearing than from reading really appreciate this.
  • Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.

Sign up now!

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You'll receive your first lesson the Friday after you sign up. There is no cost to participate in the study, though donations are encouraged so we can create more studies and reach more people.

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Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. There's no penalty, but each of them is pretty intensive. If you try to do too many studies at the same time without adequate reflection, you'll miss out on God speaking to you.


Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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