1 Thessalonians 1-5: The Gospel Prepares Us for the Second Coming of Christ

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 140–141


Paul hurriedly left Thessalonica because of persecution in the city. But he wrote this letter to express his love to the Saints he left behind. He reminded them that knowing the gospel is not enough; we must strive to have the Holy Ghost as our guide at all times. As you study 1 Thessalonians, look for ways the gospel and the power of the Spirit prepare us for Christ’s Second Coming.
Second Coming of Christ

Understanding the Scriptures

1 Thessalonians 1

1 Thessalonians 1:4—What Is the “Election of God”?

Having an “election of God” means that one was “born at a time, at a place, and in circumstances where one will come in favorable contact with the gospel. This election took place in the premortal existence” (Bible Dictionary, “election,”  663).

1 Thessalonians 2

Exhortation (v. 3)Strong gospel instruction 
Guile (v. 3)Craftiness, deceit 
Cloke of covetousness (v. 5)Covering for greed 
Fill up their sins alway (v. 16)People becoming completely wicked 

1 Thessalonians 4

Sanctification (v. 3)Purification, cleansing 
Abstain (v. 3)Not participate, not partake 
Possess his vessel (v. 4)Control his body, passions, actions 
Concupiscence (v. 5)Sinful desires, lust 
Asleep, sleep (vv. 13–15)Dead, die 

1 Thessalonians 5

Travail (v. 3)Pain 
Wake or sleep (v. 10)Those who have prepared themselves and are watching for the coming of the Savior and those who have not; alive or dead at the coming of the Lord 
Render (v. 15)Return 
Wholly (v. 23)Completely 

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you study 1 Thessalonians 1–5.

Activity A iconMark Paul’s Words

How a missionary acts is as important as what he or she says. This is true of all members of the Church. Write what a nonmember friend might think if a member of the Church did any of the following:

  1. 1.

    Went to an R-rated movie

  2. 2.

    Complained about something that happened at a Church meeting

  3. 3.

    Gossiped about another person

  4. 4.

    Went to a wild party

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1–12 and list at least eight words or phrases that could help you avoid the situations listed above.

Activity B iconBecoming Sanctified

President Brigham Young taught: “When the will, passions, and feelings of a person are perfectly submissive to God and His requirements, that person is sanctified” (Journal of Discourses, 2:123). Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1–8 and list the passions and feelings Paul said we need to control.

Activity C iconPicture This

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 and draw a picture of the event described.

Activity D iconHow to Become Children of Light

In 1 Thessalonians 5:1–6, Paul taught that “children of light” would not be surprised by the coming of the Lord. Would you like to be prepared for the Second Coming? Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12–23 and list the fourteen suggestions Paul gave that can help you be a child of light. Choose three or four of the suggestions and write a goal that will set you on a path to greater light.