Together with most of the other New Testament writers, Paul affirms that the last days were inaugurated in the first-century A.D. when Christ first came down from heaven. If this is true, then like the Thessalonians, we are to be equally steadfast and patient in our hope for Christâ€™s return.
Isaiah 42:1-3; Acts 17:1-9; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5 a (text)
January 9, 2011
The next two years are exciting years for prophecy buffs. In the Philippines, it started with the â€œJubilee of Jubileesâ€ in 2010â€”prosperity gospel peddlers teaching that a popular evangelical leader would be elected president and would inaugurate the blessedness of the country. This year, a charismatic former Reformed radio teacher is predicting the return of Christ on May 21. And next year, some Christians have been seduced to believe that the ancient Mayans actually predicted the end of the world on December 21, 2012!
In his two letters to the church in Thessalonica, Paul paints a very different picture of eventsÂ related to the return of Jesus and how they should affect the lives of Christians waiting for this last day on earth. The church was first established about 50 A.D. when Paul went to this provincial capital of the Roman province of Macedonia (mostly present-day Greece), as described in Acts 17:1-9. After he arrived there, Paul preached the gospel in the synagogue there on three Sabbaths, proclaiming that the Old Testament prophesied the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah, and that â€œthis Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Messiahâ€ (Acts 17:3).
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