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Green Tree Bible Study 5: The Second Coming and the Dead in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Paul strongly preached that Jesus was soon to return. He considered “waiting for God’s Son from heaven” the very epitome of Christian conversion (see 1:9, 10). So the Thessalonian believers fully expected Jesus to return any moment.

While he was preaching these things in Thessalonica, Paul was forced to leave before giving detailed teaching on the subject (compare 2:I7 and 3:10). A few months passed and Jesus still had not returned. This must have troubled the Thessalonian believers.

Part of what worried them is that some of their members died during this time. The friends and family of these Christian deceased wondered what would become of them. They did not yet know there would be a resurrection of the dead. Unprepared for such things, the Thessalonian Christians were uncertain and anxious. In this passage, Paul puts their minds at ease. […]

By |December 6th, 2010|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 5: The Second Coming and the Dead in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Green Tree Bible Study 4: The Walk That Pleases God (1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

In chapter 4 Paul’s tone changes. Up to this point, he has reviewed events that led to writing the letter:
• The founding of the church (ch. 1)
• His ministry there (ch. 2)
• Timothy’s visit and report (ch. 3).
Now Paul turns to the practical needs of the Thessalonians. The rest of the letter is instruction. […]

By |December 6th, 2010|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 4: The Walk That Pleases God (1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)

Green Tree Bible Study 3: The Preacher and His People (1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

The heartbeat of Paul is the essence of this passage. It is captured it in the message of 3:8: Now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

Paul’s own sense of being alive was tied in with the success of his converts. So far, Paul has been reviewing his ministry at Thessalonica. That ministry was cut short and Paul and his co-workers were forced to leave the city (see Acts 17:1-9).

But with Paul out of sight was not out of mind (2:17). He had labored to give spiritual birth to the Thessalonian believers, and he had no intention of abandoning them. So his ministry to them continued. He tells how he had attempted to return to Thessoloníca (2:17-20). At least twice (“once and again” – v. 18) he made specific plans that fell through. Satan (adversary) was at work. How Satan hindered Paul we are not told; he has a thousand ways. But understand this: even Satan’s roadblocks can come only as God permits (compare II Corinthians 72:7 and Job 7:6-2:8). It was God’s will that Paul continue to be interested in the Thessalonians’ spiritual welfare and make plans to return. But it was also God’s will to allow Satan to stop him. […]

By |December 6th, 2010|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 3: The Preacher and His People (1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13)

Green Tree Bible Study 2: The Ministry the Lord Blesses (1 Thessalonians 2:1-17)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Sometimes we think the success of a man like Paul lies in something he had that we can’t have. Before you decide for yourself, study this passage. Here Paul reviews his successful (“not in vain” – v. 1) ministry at Thessalonica.

Verses 1-12 describe The Character of Paul’s Ministry. At least eight characteristics stand out. […]

By |December 6th, 2010|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 2: The Ministry the Lord Blesses (1 Thessalonians 2:1-17)

Green Tree Bible Study 1: The Church the Lord Commands (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

There’s a story behind 1 Thessalonians. Paul, Silas and Timothy brought the gospel to Thessalonica in the year AD 50. But their ministry was cut short (Acts 17:1-9). They left the city with some uncertainty about the future of the young church there (1 Thessalonians 3:5).

Moving on to other places, Paul carried with him the dissatisfaction and burden of an unfinished task (3:10). He made plans on at least two occasions to return—plans that were thwarted at the hand of Satan (2:77, 18). […]

By |December 6th, 2010|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 1: The Church the Lord Commands (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)

In Response to the Emergent Church

By J. Matthew Pinson

What the Emerging Church Does Right

The Emerging Church (EC—broader than “Emergent,” which denies evangelical orthodoxy) rightly criticizes an outdated seeker-sensitive evangelicalism for substituting entertainment for worship, marketing for evangelism, big business CEOs for shepherds, and psychotherapy for preaching. The EC critiques the Baby Boomer church for being too tied to modern culture. Yet the EC seems to have tethered itself just as closely to postmodern culture. […]

By |November 16th, 2010|Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on In Response to the Emergent Church