Paul was a traveling evangelist. His practice was to move into a city for a few months, teach the people about Jesus Christ, then move on to the next city. But Paul’s departures weren’t always pleasant. More than once, he had to flee for his life.
And that’s how it was in Thessalonica. After Paul had preached there for a time, fierce opposition developed. So it became the better part of wisdom for Paul to leave.
Some time later, Paul heard that the Christians in Thessalonica were remaining faithful to the Lord. This news greatly encouraged him, so he wrote the letter of 1 Thessalonians. Paul begins by giving thanks to God for the faith and love of the believers.
He then goes on to answer some of their questions:
- Can a believer who dies before Christ returns still share in eternal life?
- And what is it going to be like when Jesus comes?
Paul responds to these questions and tells the church to keep on working while waiting in hope for the return of Jesus.