Thank you Julie for your research on the “Coming” of Jesus. How we are blessed by Mary Baker Eddy's discovery (uncovering perhaps) that the Christ is here, now and always. A loved hymn says so dearly: “The Christ is here, all dreams of error breaking....” (Hymn 412 Christian Science Hymnal).
My Bible Dictionary tells me that Thessalonica was prosperous city. It seems that Paul made a habit of going to spread the Gospel in prosperous cities. I am reminded that Mrs. Eddy wrote, “At this period my students should locate in large cities, in order to do the greatest good to the greatest number, and therein abide. The population of our principal cities is ample to supply many practitioners, teachers, and preachers with work” (Retrospection and Introspection p. 82:14-18).
There was a strong Roman presence in the city, as it was the centre of Roman administration in Macadonia.
My Bible Dictionary helpfully enumerates all the references to Thessalonica in the New Testament: Acts 17:1-13; 20:4; 27:2; Phil. 4:16; II Tim. 4:10.
Acts 17:1-13 puts the situation of the Jewish and the Christian attitudes to Paul and his teachings. Some of the Jews believed him, and “of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.” Most of the Jews, however, were hostile, even following Paul to Berea--where the Jews were more receptive--in order to “[stir] up the people.”
Acts 20:4 tells us that two Thessalonians accompanied Paul – Aristarchus and Secundus. And we find that Aristarchus was with Paul on his fateful sea journey which ended in Melita (Acts 27:2).
The Philippians were kind to Paul when he was in trouble in Thessalonica – “Even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity” (Phil. 4:16).
Among his last words, Paul sadly tells of Demas, who “hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica” (II Tim. 4:10).