Copyright (c) Timothy E. Clontz 1999 All rights reserved.
The First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians
1 Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace and peace to you.
2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers; 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you; 5 for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit; 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we have no need to say anything. 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead- Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
1 For you yourselves know, brethren, that our visit to you was not in vain; 2 but after we had already suffered and been shamefully treated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in the face of great opposition. 3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity, nor is it made with deceit; 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For, as you know, we never used flattery nor a pretext for greed-God is witness-6 nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, like a mother nursing her little children. 8 Having so fond an affection for you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. 9 For you remember our labor and toil, brethren; we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we preached to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless we behaved toward you believers; 11 for you know how, as a father with his own children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you 12 to live a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judea, for you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last.
17 But since we were taken away from you, brethren, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face. 18 For we wanted to come to you-I, Paul, again and again-but Satan hindered us. 19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
1 Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these afflictions. You yourselves know that we have been destined for this. 4 For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know. 5 For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, just as we long to see you-7 for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith; 8 for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord. 9 For what thanksgiving can we render to God for you in return for all the joy which we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you; 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
1 Finally, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that is, that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to take his own spouse for himself in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and wrong his brother in this matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us to impurity, but to holiness. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 Now concerning love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brethren throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to do so more and more. 11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anyone.
13 But we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Now as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, "Peace and safety," then destruction will come upon them suddenly as labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night; and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But, since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
12 But we ask you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 And we urge you, brethren, admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophecies. 21 But test everything; hold fast to what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.