PAUL AND SILAS IN THESSALONICA
Paul and his companions left Philippi and traveled to Thessalonica through Amphipolis and Apollonia. It was about 100 miles of travel. It was not an easy journey because they mostly traveled on foot or with donkeys. Once they arrived in Thessalonica, Paul and his companions went into the synagogue during the Sabbath. They reasoned with the people there that Jesus was the Messiah (Savior) and that He had suffered and risen from the dead. Some Jews believed in what Paul shared and joined Paul and Silas, including the God-fearing Greeks or Gentiles and prominent women. But the others were jealous and formed a mob to start a riot in the city against Paul and Silas. The mob went to Jason's house because he invited Paul and his companions to his house. However, Paul and his companions left before the mob got there. As a result, they seized Jason and other believers before the city officials. They then made Jason and others post bond and let them go. Later on, Paul wrote the book of 1 and 2 Thessalonians to encouraged the believers in Thessalonica. (Acts 17:1-9). (Second Missionary Journey Map).
Jesus said this in Luke 12:51, "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division." Jesus warned us that the gospel would bring division among people. When Paul shared the gospel in the synagogue, the people were divided. Those who rejected the message of the gospel persecuted the believers. Jesus is the only Savior in the world, and there is no other way to be saved but to believe in Him. And this is the reason Jesus wants us to share our faith with those who have not believed in Him. Paul suffered great hardship because he knew people must hear the gospel and believe in Jesus. Today, liberal politicians have been trying to take God out of schools and government. I remember a long time ago when the Lord led me to start a Bible club at one of the community college campuses in Las Vegas that the student union did not want me to start a Bible club because it would cause division among the student body.
We are followers of our Lord Jesus. We must persevere in our walk with Him. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the way. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Jesus is the only one who can forgive our sins because He paid the penalty of our sins through His death. And we receive God's forgiveness through faith in Him alone.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) Why would Paul and his companions go through a grueling journey just to preach the gospel? Do I believe that Jesus is the only Savior of this world? If yes, Am I willing to share my faith in Jesus with others even if it will cause division?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, there is only one way for a person to be saved, and that is to believe in Jesus. Please help me to persevere in my faith, even when I am being persecuted. Please take away my fear of sharing my faith with others. Strengthen my faith and help me to trust you completely. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.