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The 2nd Missionary Journey:
Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth

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The Church at Philippi

Barnabas wants to take his nephew John Mark along on their second missionary journey, but Paul absolutely refuses, saying J-M “deserted” them last time. They disagree so vehemently they end up splitting up. Barnabas takes J-M and sets sail to Cyprus, while Paul teams up with Silas and heads towards Galatia by land where they check up on the new churches there.

 

On their travels, Paul has a vision of a man begging them to come to Macedonia, so they head there straightaway. They find open hearts in Philippi, especially in Lydia, a wealthy businesswoman, and they stay there until Paul loses his temper and gets them in trouble with the authorities.

We cover Acts 15:36-16:40.

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Thessalonica, Athens & Corinth

Paul, Silas and Timothy continue down the Via Egnatia to Thessalonica where Paul’s preaching lands him in hot water again. They are smuggled out by night to Berea where Paul still cannot seem to keep his mouth shut. 

 

He preaches everywhere, no matter the danger. This time when trouble hits, they have to split up. Silas and Timothy remain in Berea while Paul is taken to Athens. He has a crazy encounter with the famous Areopagus and then heads to Corinth where he gets a job while he waits for Silas and Timothy to join him.

 

Together they establish a new church of believers in Corinth. But Paul is worried. Frightened even.

We cover

    Acts 17; 18:1-18 (and Psalm 91 in the discussion).

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1 Thessalonians (Part 1)

Paul, Silas and Timothy spend a year and a half in Corinth. And while they are there, Paul becomes desperate for news from the new church he left back in Thessalonica. 

 

He tries several times to go visit them but is prevented “by Satan” so he finally sends Timothy instead. When Timothy returns with news that the Thessalonians are thriving, Paul bursts with relief. He sits down and immediately pens a letter to them.

 

And in this letter some of Paul’s theological petticoats begin to show. In this class we focus on his assertions that Jesus will come “with the holy ones” and that Jesus will “rescue us from the coming wrath.”

We cover 1Thessalonians 1 and 2:17-3:13.

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1 Thessalonians (Part 2)

The Thessalonians have lots of questions. They’re not feeling particularly sure-footed in their faith. Paul writes to tell them that God wants them to be holy. That’s a tall order! But he goes on to give a list of what that entails, and the list makes a lot of sense.

 

Then Paul addresses the elephant in the room--the fact that believers, including some of the Twelve, are dying! Where is Jesus? Why hasn’t he come back?

 

Paul’s answer is, “He is! Any minute now. And the dead will rise to be with us to meet him. But things are not going to go well for unbelievers. Their ruin will fall on them unexpectedly.”

 

In our breakout groups we wrestle with what happens to unbelievers and where it is that we should stand in all this.

We cover

    1Thess 2:1-16, 4:1-5:27 and Acts 18:18-22

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