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From Paul, Silas,[a] and Timothy.

To the church in Thessalonica, the people of God our Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

When Christ Returns

My dear friends, we always have good reason to thank God for you, because your faith in God and your love for each other keep growing all the time. That’s why we brag about you to all of God’s churches. We tell them how patient you are and how you keep on having faith, even though you are going through a lot of trouble and suffering.

All of this shows that God judges fairly and that he is making you fit to share in his kingdom for which you are suffering. It is only right for God to punish everyone who is causing you trouble, but he will give you relief from your troubles. He will do the same for us, when the Lord Jesus comes from heaven with his powerful angels and with a flaming fire.

Our Lord Jesus will punish anyone who doesn’t know God and won’t obey his message. Their punishment will be eternal destruction, and they will be kept far from the presence of our Lord and his glorious strength. 10 This will happen on that day when the Lord returns to be praised and honored by all who have faith in him and belong to him. This includes you, because you believed what we said.

11 God chose you, and we keep praying that God will make you worthy of being his people. We pray for God’s power to help you do all the good things that you hope to do and that your faith makes you want to do. 12 Then, because God and our Lord Jesus Christ are so kind, you will bring honor to the name of our Lord Jesus, and he will bring honor to you.

The Lord’s Return

When our Lord Jesus returns, we will be gathered up to meet him. So I ask you, my friends, not to be easily upset or disturbed by people who claim that the Lord[b] has already come. They may say that they heard this directly from the Holy Spirit, or from someone else, or even that they read it in one of our letters. But don’t be fooled! People will rebel against God. Then before the Lord returns, the wicked[c] one who is doomed to be destroyed will appear. He will brag and oppose everything that is holy or sacred. He will even sit in God’s temple and claim to be God. Don’t you remember that I told you this while I was still with you?

You already know what is holding this wicked one back until it is time for him to come. His mysterious power is already at work, but someone is holding him back. And the wicked one won’t appear until that someone is out of the way. Then he will appear, but the Lord Jesus will kill him simply by breathing on him. He will be completely destroyed by the Lord’s glorious return.

When the wicked one appears, Satan will pretend to work all kinds of miracles, wonders, and signs. 10 Lost people will be fooled by his evil deeds. They could be saved, but they will refuse to love the truth and accept it. 11 So God will make sure that they are fooled into believing a lie. 12 All of them will be punished, because they would rather do evil than believe the truth.

Be Faithful

13 My friends, the Lord loves you, and it is only natural for us to thank God for you. God chose you to be the first ones to be saved.[d] His Spirit made you holy, and you put your faith in the truth. 14 God used our preaching as his way of inviting you to share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 My friends, that’s why you must remain faithful and follow closely what we taught you in person and by our letters.

16 God our Father loves us. He is kind and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father 17 will encourage you and help you always to do and say the right thing.

Pray for Us

Finally, our friends, please pray for us. This will help the message about the Lord to spread quickly, and others will respect it, just as you do. Pray that we may be kept safe from worthless and evil people. After all, not everyone has faith. But the Lord can be trusted to make you strong and protect you from harm. He has made us sure that you are obeying what we taught you and that you will keep on obeying. I pray that the Lord will guide you to be as loving as God and as patient as Christ.

Warnings against Laziness

My dear friends, in the name of[e] the Lord Jesus, I beg you not to have anything to do with any of your people who loaf around and refuse to obey the instructions we gave you. You surely know that you should follow our example. We didn’t waste our time loafing, and we didn’t accept food from anyone without paying for it. We didn’t want to be a burden to any of you, so night and day we worked as hard as we could.

We had the right not to work, but we wanted to set an example for you. 10 We also gave you the rule that if you don’t work, you don’t eat. 11 Now we learn that some of you just loaf around and won’t do any work, except the work of a busybody. 12 So, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, we ask and beg these people to settle down and start working for a living. 13 Dear friends, you must never become tired of doing right.

14 Be on your guard against any followers who refuse to obey what we have written in this letter. Put them to shame by not having anything to do with them. 15 Don’t consider them your enemies, but speak kindly to them as you would to any other follower.

Final Prayer

16 I pray that the Lord, who gives peace, will always bless you with peace. May the Lord be with all of you.

17 I always sign my letters as I am now doing: PAUL.

18 I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to all of you.

Footnotes

  1. 1.1 Silas: The Greek text has “Silvanus,” which is another form of the name Silas.
  2. 2.2 Lord: The Greek text has “day of the Lord.”
  3. 2.3 wicked: Some manuscripts have “sinful.”
  4. 2.13 God chose you to be the first ones to be saved: Some manuscripts have “From the beginning God chose you to be saved.”
  5. 3.6 in the name of: Or “as a follower of.”