One Thesallonians Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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1 Thesallonians 2:1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:

1 Thesallonians 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

shamefully entreated. The Thessalonians were well aware of Paul's beating and imprisonment at Philippi shortly before he and Silas had come to Thessalonica (Acts 16:22-24). Paul had not been intimidated, but proceeded on to preach the gospel in the synagogue at Thessalonica, where he and Silas soon again encountered opposition (Acts 17:1-9).

1 Thesallonians 2:3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:

1 Thesallonians 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

1 Thesallonians 2:5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness:

1 Thesallonians 2:6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

1 Thesallonians 2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

1 Thesallonians 2:8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

1 Thesallonians 2:9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

labouring night and day. In order to avoid any appearance of self-serving in their evangelistic ministry, Paul and Silas did not preach in order to secure money for their support. They earned their sustenance by their own labor, possibly by making and selling tents (note Acts 18:3).

1 Thesallonians 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

1 Thesallonians 2:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

1 Thesallonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

1 Thesallonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

word of God. Note that Paul here, as he does often in his writings (e.g., Galatians 1:11-12) claims to be preaching the inspired word of God.

effectually worketh. “Effectually worketh” (Greek energeo) could well be transliterated as “energized.” The Word of God indeed is “powerful” (same word—Hebrews 4:12).

1 Thesallonians 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

1 Thesallonians 2:15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:

1 Thesallonians 2:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

fill up their sins. God is longsuffering toward sinners, but there eventually is a limit. To the antediluvians, He warned: “My Spirit shall not always strive with man” (Genesis 6:3), and finally sent the great Flood to cleanse the earth. He delayed giving the promised land to Abraham and his seed for four hundred years, because “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:13-16), but the command was eventually given to Moses and Joshua to take the land and destroy them all (Deuteronomy 20:17). Today, “the Lord … is longsuffering to usward, … But the day of the Lord will come” (2 Peter 3:9-10). In the case of the Jews of whom Paul was writing, they not only had slain their prophets and crucified Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:15), but now were trying to keep the gospel of Christ from being brought, not just to themselves, but even to the Gentiles, so their iniquity, like that of the Amorites long before, was almost full. Not many years hence, their temple and city would be destroyed, and their people scattered all over the world for nineteen hundred years. One wonders how long God will yet be patient with once Christian, now pagan, America.

1 Thesallonians 2:17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.

1 Thesallonians 2:18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

Satan hindered us. The power of Satan is strikingly indicated here, in his ability on at least two occasions to prevent Paul from returning to minister to his recent converts at Thessalonica. Perhaps, however, God worked it all together for good, in that Paul was thereby constrained instead to write this epistle to them, followed by another of equally eternal significance.

1 Thesallonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

crown of rejoicing. The “crown of rejoicing” is probably one of the rewards in view at the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:14). Others include the “incorruptible crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25), the “crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8), the “crown of life” (James 1:12) and the “crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4).

presence of our Lord. Since the Thessalonian believers had come to Christ as a result of Paul's ministry there, their presence in the Christian host when Christ returns would of itself be a great reward to Paul—his crown of rejoicing. The same, no doubt, will apply for all who will have the joy of seeing those whom they have had a part in leading to Christ there in His presence when He comes again.

his coming. It is interesting that each of the five chapters of 1 Thessalonians refers to the return of Christ at the end of the chapter (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:14-17; 5:23).

1 Thesallonians 2:20 For ye are our glory and joy.