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Moeller shared: “I just became aware of a story of a family in Indonesia whose daughter was one of three girls who were attacked by Muslim extremists in 2004…[The mothers'] effort on behalf of the cause of Christ to forgive those who had done the most horrible things to their families and their daughters is a testimony of the way the Christians are called to respond…When people die in the name of Jesus Christ, it presents a strong testimony to the culture…The church is correspondingly growing.” For two thousand years, persecuted Christians have attested the reality of the gospel. Thessalonica was a commercial city located on a major Roman road.As the capital city of the province of Macedonia, Thessalonica boasted a strategically-located harbor filled with ships from throughout the Roman Empire.The main highway from Rome to the East passed through the city as well, and the nearby hot springs of Therma were world-famous.
Next, despite persecution, the position of the Thessalonians—in God and in Christ—was secure.The Thessalonian church was formed in such circumstances.Paul's two letters to this church—our focus this month—were likely written from Corinth around a.d. Although he was forced to leave Thessalonica, Paul deeply cared about this young church, as these two letters reveal.The wounds on Paul's back from his beating in Philippi (Acts -24) may still have been hurting when he arrived in Thessalonica.He was treated roughly there, too (Acts 17:5), eventually having to leave town under cover of darkness (Acts ). After Paul preached Jesus as the Messiah to the Jews for three Sabbaths, many people believed (Acts 16:2-4).
1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 TODAY IN THE WORD When Paul visited Thessalonica around 49-50 A. on his second missionary journey, the city was a center of travel, commerce and communication.