1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the Church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 I always give thanks to God for you all when we mention you in our prayers. 3 I remember unceasingly before our God and Father your work of faith, your labor of love, and the steadfastness of your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I know, beloved brethren, that God has chosen you. 5 For my Gospel did not come to you in mere words, but with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with full conviction. You know yourselves what I have been to you and what I have done for you.
6 You have followed the example of the Lord and mine. For in spite of the great persecution, you welcomed my message with joy in the Holy Spirit. 7 Thus you have become a model to all the believers throughout Macedonia and Achaia.
8 Yes, the divine message has resounded from you, and not only in Macedonia and Achaia. Your faith in God has reached every place. All know it, so I never need to speak about it.
9 Moreover, my friends tell me of their own accord about the visit I paid to you. They describe how you turned away from idolatry to the worship of God. So now you serve the living and true God. 10 Now you wait for his Son, whom he raised from the dead, to come down from heaven and save us from the future retribution.
1 Brethren, you yourselves know that my visit to you was not in vain. 2 Although I had been previously ill-treated and insulted at Philippi, as you remember, I took courage from God, and preached the divine Gospel to you in the face of great opposition.
3 For my exhortation does not proceed from deceit, or impurity, or fraud, 4 but from God who judged me fit to entrust with his Gospel. Therefore I preach, not to please men, but God, who scrutinizes our hearts. 5 As you know, I never used the language of flattery, or any device for money-making as God is my witness. 6 I never sought glory from men, from you, or from others, although I was entitled to make heavy demands as the Apostle of Christ.
7 On the contrary, I have been gentle with you like a nurse taking care of her children. 8 In my deep devotion to you, I was ready to offer you, not only the Gospel of God, but even my own life, because you had become very dear to me.
9 Brethren, you remember my labor and my toil. I worked day and night. For I did not want to burden anyone of you while I was preaching to you the Gospel of God. 10 As God and you yourselves are witnesses, my behavior to you believers was holy, righteous, and blameless.
11 As you remember, I treated everyone of you as a father treats his children. I encouraged you. I comforted you. 12 I implored you to lead a life worthy of the God who now invites you to the glory of his Kingdom.
13 Therefore I give thanks to God unceasingly. For when I delivered the divine message to you at first, you received it, not as the message of man, but as what it really is, the Gospel of God who manifests his power in you believers. 14 For you have followed the example of the Churches of God in Jesus Christ in Judea.
15 You suffered the same ill-treatment from your fellow neighbors as they did from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted me. They are displeasing to God and enemies of mankind. 16 They are trying to hinder me from preaching salvation to the Gentiles. Thus they are always filling up the measure of their sins. But the retribution of God has come upon them at last.
17 Since I have been separated from you for a short time, in person though not in spirit, I have endeavored with great eagerness to see you again. 18 I did intend to visit you, I, Paul, more than once. But Satan hindered me.
19 For you are my hope and my crown of triumph before our Lord Jesus at his manifestation. 20 Yes, you are my glory and my delight.
1 Therefore I could bear it no longer. So I decided to remain at Athens by myself, 2 and I sent you Timothy, my brother, my fellow servant of God, and my fellow worker in the Gospel of Christ. He will confirm you in your faith and he will encourage you. 3 So no one will be led astray by these afflictions. You know very well that this is our appointed lot.
4 For when I was with you, as you know, I told you beforehand that I was going to suffer afflictions, and it came true. 5 For this reason, when I could not bear it any longer, I sent to ascertain your faith. For I was afraid that the tempter had perhaps tempted you and that my labor was wasted.
6 But now Timothy has come back to me from you. He brought me the good news of your faith and love. He reported to me that you always remember me kindly and long to see me as I long to see you.
7 For this reason, brethren, in all my distress and affliction, I have been comforted by your faith. 8 For now I really live, since you stand firm in the Lord. 9 What thanksgiving can I render to God for you to express all the joy I feel for your sake before our God? 10 Night and day I pray most fervently to see you face to face again and to supply the deficiencies of your faith.
11 May God the Father himself and our Lord Jesus Christ direct my journey to you. 12 May the Lord give you the same abundant and overflowing love toward one another and toward all men, as I have toward you. 13 May he confirm your hearts in unblemished holiness before God the Father at the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
CHASTITY AND LOVE
1 Brethren, I entreat you and exhort you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, to live and please God, as you have learned from me. Then you will progress still more. 2 You know what commandments I gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 It is the will of God that you should attain sanctification. Therefore abstain from fornication. 4 Each one of you must learn to control his own body, as something holy and precious. 5 None of you must yield to the promptings of passion as the pagans do in their ignorance of God.
6 None of you must be exorbitant and take advantage of his brother in his business dealings. Because the Lord will avenge all these wrongdoings as I told you before in solemn warning.
7 God has not called us to a life of incontinence, but to a life of holiness. 8 Therefore everyone who disregards this commandment, disregards not man, but God who gave us his Holy Spirit.
9 Concerning brotherly love, you do not need any directions. For you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. 10 Indeed, you do practice this love toward all the brethren who live all over Macedonia. But I entreat you, brethren, to progress still more.
11 Try to live quietly, to attend to your business, and to work with your hands as I directed you. 12 So your way of life will be reputable in the eyes of outsiders, and you will not need to depend on others.
THE SECOND COMING
13 Now I do not want you to have any misgivings about our departed brethren and grieve over them like hopeless unbelievers. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead, even so God will raise our departed brethren through Jesus and glorify them with him.
15 I declare to you on the authority of the Lord that at his manifestation we the survivors and stragglers will not precede our departed brethren. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a summons, with a shout of the Archangel, and with a blast of the divine trumpet. First our departed brethren in Christ will rise from the dead.
17 Afterwards, we the survivors and stragglers will ride upon the clouds with them to meet the Lord in the sky. Then we shall remain with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these Christian hopes.
1 But as to the times and the periods of events, brethren, you do not need any information. 2 You yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come unexpectedly like a housebreaker in the night. 3 For when people imagine that peace and security prevail, then the catastrophe will fall upon them suddenly as travail comes upon a pregnant woman. There is no escape from it. So we must be prepared.
4 But you, brethren, do not live in darkness. Then that day will not take you by surprise like a housebreaker. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night and to the darkness.
6 Therefore we must not sleep like other men. We must be watchful and sober. 7 Those who belong to the night may sleep and get drunk. 8 But we who belong to the day must be sober and fully armed with faith and charity as our breastplate and with the hope of salvation as our helmet.
9 Remember that God has destined us to win, not damnation through sin, but salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 For he died for us in order that during our life and after our death we may live with him. 11 Therefore exhort and uplift one another, as indeed you are doing.
12 I also entreat you, brethren, to respect those who are laboring among you, presiding over you, and admonishing you in the name of the Lord. 13 Hold them in the highest esteem and affection for their ministry. Be at peace among yourselves.
14 Brethren, we appeal to you: Admonish the unruly. Encourage the timid. Support the weak. Be patient with everybody. 15 You must never return evil for evil. On the contrary, you must always do good to one another and to all. 16 Rejoice in the Lord always. 17 Pray constantly. 18 Give thanks in every circumstance. For this is what God wants you to do as disciples of Jesus Christ.
19 Do not quench the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 But test everything. Hold fast to what is good, 22 and keep away from every kind of evil.
23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May he preserve your spirit, your soul, and your body in immaculate purity until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 God who called you will fulfill his promise. 25 Brethren, pray for me.
26 Greet all the brethren with a sacred kiss. 27 I order you in the name of the Lord to see that this letter is read to all our holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.