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I Thessalonians Chapter 3


Taught by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

July 5, 2011


1 Thess. 3:13: “To the end He (The Lord) may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming (“Parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”


Parousia (Par- u- se- ah) Strong’s #3952 – “Presence; the coming, arrival, advent, and return from heaven of Jesus.”  I believe the word translated in English as “coming” also means the manifest Presence of the Lord by visitation and habitation.   Parousia literally means “presence”.   It is used 17 times in the New Testament referring to the Second Coming.


Chapter 3 begins with Paul being alone in Athens from the time he left Thessalonica until Silas and Timothy joined him at Corinth.  It was decided to send Timothy to Thessalonica to strengthen and encourage the young church.    The converts were suffering persecution.  The character of their faith was being put to the test.  Paul was burdened to establish them in Holiness so they would not shrink from the Lord at His coming.


(Vs.2)  “And sent Timothy, our brother and fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith.  That no man should be moved by these afflictions; for yourselves know that we are appointed thereto.”  Paul is saying Suffering is part of God’s plan.


The Lord does not cause suffering, but uses it to allow us to be molded into vessels worthy of the ministry of the Gospel.  I am able to preach the Gospel of compassion and kindness with mercy today because of the Grace the Lord works in me through afflictions. 


Paul writes when we were with you, didn’t we continually mention ahead of time that we are to suffer tribulation?  Well it came to pass.  For this cause, I couldn’t bear the separation any longer.   I just had to find out about your faith.  I was afraid the tempter might have tempted you and our labor was in vain.


Paul knew the devil was real.  The apostle rightly identified satan’s plan of attack.    Those who deny satan’s existence might as well be honest and admit they don’t believe the Bible.  (1 Peter. 5:8) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”


To be sober means to be calm and collected in spirit, temperate, dispassionate, and circumspect.  If the devil can push our buttons, cause us to be angry, offended, hurt feelings, riled, over react, retaliate, etc., then he has the upper hand.  To be vigilant means to be cautious; give strict attention to; and not ever let your guard down through remission and indolence.  Adversary means one who is our opponent.  Our work is redemption, worship the Lord, and love one another.  Any other agenda, the devil will use to devour one’s faith.


The metaphor of Mr. A. W. Way describes the devil’s plan for us,   “leaping at the bait over a pit, fall in, and be impaled on the stake below.”  The bigger they are, the harder they fall.  I have seen some mighty big names be impaled in my lifetime.  I know that if I do not stay alert, stay on my knees, walk circumspect with the Word of God, plead the blood, praying constantly, the devil has a pit for me to fall in.


I was once pushed into a “pit” by someone whom I love.  I allowed the devil to use that person.  I was blindsided because I underestimated my adversary.  This person, (a family member), no longer has that kind of power over me for the devil to use them.  If I gave them that power, the devil would still try to use that person.


(6-8) Paul continues –- Timothy has just returned bringing us a glowing report of your faith.  He says that you cherish the thought of us and long to see us, just as much as we long o see you.  Therefore brethren, we are comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith.”  Just to hear that you are standing fast in the Lord, that is life for us.  For what thanks we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God.”


(9-10)     How can we ever thank God enough for all of the joy you have given us?  On account of you we continually rejoice before Him night and day, praying that He would let us see your faces once more and supply that which is lacking in your faith.


(2 Cor. 2:11)  Less satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”


(11-12)    Now God Himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you.  And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.”


In verse 13, Paul speaks of the coming of the Lord.  He uses the Greek word, “Parousia” (Par-u-se-ah) which means “being beside” or “personal presence”.   



In Paul’s day it was an expression for a well known event---a royal visit from a king or emperor.  Great pageantry accompanied such a visit, there were feasts and ceremonies.  Excitement filled the air, work stopped, coins were stuck and everyone celebrated.  It was a happy time.  Paul here uses the word, “Par-u-se-ah) to speak of the arrival of heaven’s King, the Lord Jesus.  The Thessalonians were familiar with the grandeur and pomp that surrounded a kingly visit.


(Vs. 13)  To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”


Unblameable:  The holy ones include all His saints who have yielded to be established in holiness.  (1 John 2:28) “And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at his coming.” (Parousia)


Mt. 24:38-39:  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark.  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of man be.”


1 Cor. 15: 20-25: “But now Christ has risen from the dead, and became the firstfruits of them that slept.  Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  Every man in his own order; Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming (Parousia).  Then comes the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign, until He has put all enemies under His feet.”


1 Thess. 2:19:  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?  Are not even you at the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?


1 Thess. 4:15: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them which are asleep.”


I believe Paul is saying, This we can state by direct revelation, that we who remain alive unto the coming of the Lord, shall have no advantage over those who fall asleep.  We will not go ahead of them.  Dead Christians will share in the triumph, as in the resurrection of their Lord.  The blessing of the living will not precede that of the dead in Christ.  The error of the Corinthian church was that they doubted that the dead would be raised at all.  Paul is making sure the Thessalonians do not get into this error.   4:14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.”


This does not specify whether the saints return to the earth with Him immediately, or after an interval, or whether the “new heavens and earth’ follow at once. 


4:13b “I would not have you ignorant brethren concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”  Christians may grieve for their own loss, but not for the departed.  The unspoken assumption is that believers alive, or dead,  are “in Christ” and thus share His glory.  It is through Jesus that death has become sleep to His people.


4: 16-18:  “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first;  Then we which  are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”


Paul here expects to be alive when Jesus returns.   2 Thess. 2:3: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”


Mark 13:32 “But of that day, and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”


1 Th. 5:23:  “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly and your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


2 Th. 2:1  Now we beseech you brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto him.”


We will continue to study the Parousia as we progress through 1 & 2 Thess. In Second Thessalonians, Paul warns his hearers against teaching ascribed to him that the day of the Lord has begun.   He tells them the Lord is coming like a thief in the night.  Believers have always asked, “When is the Lord coming?  How long must we wait?”  Paul had already made clear to them the Master’s teaching that that we are not “to know the time or seasons” (Acts 1:7)  It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power.  But you shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.”


To be continued.


Taught by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

Scripture from K.J.V.  (quotes from C. S. Lovett’s Lights on 1 Thess) Comments and conclusions are my own.
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