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Purpose & Background
Church established by Paul; Paul forced to leave quickly
Some Thessalonians questioning Paul’s credentials. Others worried about dying before Jesus returns.
…fierce persecution arose and the believers smuggled Paul out of the city in the night. Because Paul left abruptly and without having spent much time among them, he had never finished teaching the basic matters of Christianity, and the church’s foundations were not complete and solid. Several strange problems had grown up after his premature departure. Apparently, some individuals in Thessalonica opposed this new religion by accusing Paul of being a money-grubbing self-promoter. As soon as circumstances became difficult, they said, he snuck out of town. There were also doctrinal difficulties. Chiefly, The Thessalonians worried that if a Christian died before Christ returned, he or she would be lost forever. So Paul sent Timothy to find out how the Thessalonian church was doing – if they still held to the word they’d heard from him. Timothy has returned with a good report, and so Paul writes this letter around 51 AD to defend his ministry among them, clarify basic doctrine about death and the Second Coming, and reassure the Thessalonians with hope.
Source: New Core Seminar – Capital Hill Baptist Church