Is Lying About Christians New?

1 Thessalonians 1:5b – You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 

Paul writes the books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians to the church at Thessalonica to encourage and build them up, as well as settling some falsehoods that Satan’s recruits had spoken against Paul, who loved this church.

One, they said he was a religious con man who lied to them about Jesus, took their money, and left town as a crook. Paul refutes this claim saying, “You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake” (1:5). Paul further defends himself against the false charge in the next chapter (2:1-12).

Two, they said Paul did not love them and abandoned them because he did not care. Paul refutes this claim saying, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:2-3).

Three, they wrote a false letter pretending to be Paul, which caused great confusion among the new Christians (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). For these reasons, Paul writes a letter, which he commands be written to the whole church (1 Thessalonians 5:27). Paul’s two letters to the church were intended to correct the false teaching that pretended to be from him. Timothy is also sent on Paul’s behalf to confirm both Paul’s character and doctrine as his most trustworthy coworker and spiritual son (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:1). 

Paul closes his introduction by revealing the overarching theme of his letter, which is that Christians on earth must “wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1:10). This theme of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to raise the dead, judge the sinners, reward the saints, lift the curse, and unveil the Kingdom is consistent throughout the letter, helping God’s people have the long view of things as this is the closest we will ever be to Hell, while our enemies are as close to Heaven as they will ever be.

Do you see a similarity between the lies these people were telling about Paul and what we see on social media today?

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