In this section we get a glimpse into the heart and emotions of the apostle Paul.
Paul had thanked God for the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 2:13), and now he will provide additional explanation for his thankfulness.
A True Church should expect to suffer persecution (1 Thess. 2:14)
Paul makes a point of comparison between the Thessalonian church and the first churches ever established in the area around Jerusalem.
They felt the pain of persecution, just like the other churches had also experienced.
The history of the Jews as persecutors (1 Thess. 2:15-16)
They killed the prophets (see Matt. 23:37)
They killed the Lord Jesus (see Acts 4:27-28)
They drove "us" out (see Acts 17:5)
They are not pleasing to God (see Luke 21:5-6 & 12-24)
They are hostile to all men. This was recognized even by the secular historians of the day (for example, Tacitus and Juvenal).
They hindered others from bringing the salvation message to the Gentiles.
They were constantly filling up their "sin bucket"
The wrath or vengeance of God for this sin would soon arrive (see Luke 21:22-23)
Paul is like a godly parent who is torn away from his children (1 Thess. 2:17-18)
Another charge against Paul was probably that he had run away at the slighest danger, indicating that he was not very concerned for the welfare of this church.
On the contrary, Paul was always with them in spirit and expressed his strong desire to see them face-to-face on many occasions.
Satan, as the instigator of all evil, hindered Paul's desire through the opposition of evil men.
But Satan cannot do anything without God's permission and he cannot hinder the will of God.
Paul's overwhelming joy and affection for the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 2:19-20)
"What would be my greatest joy as I stand before the Lord Jesus Christ?" It would be you!
Paul again hints at the doctrine of the Rapture: glory and crowns. The coming of the Lord for His Church at the time of the Rapture is when the believer's glorification will occur. That is also when believers will receive crowns of reward (stephanos) at the judgment seat (bema) of Christ.
Points of Application:
We must be prepared to suffer for what is right. The truth is still the truth no matter how we are treated for believing it.
Minister to the Jews in their dispersion! Many will receive their Messiah as a result.
Even though Satan and evil may seem to be hindering us in our Christian life and ministry, the will of God cannot be hindered. God is the sovereign Lord of all!
Take hope from the knowledge of Christ's soon return for His Church! That will be Glory for us!