↑ 1.Salutation 50-51ce (Thessalonica)
1FROM PAUL, Silvanus, and Timothy
to the congregation of Thessalonians who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Judgment at Christ's Coming
3Our thanks are always due to God for you, brothers. It is right that we should thank him, because your faith increases mightily, and the love you have, each for all and all for each, grows ever greater. 4Indeed we boast about you ourselves among the congregations of God's people, because your faith remains so steadfast under all your persecutions, and all the troubles you endure. 5See how this brings out the justice of God's judgement. It will prove you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
6It is surely just that God should balance the account by sending trouble to those who trouble you, 7and relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well, when our Lord Jesus Christ is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in blazing fire. 8 [ Ps.79.6, Is.66.15, Jr.10.25. ] Then he will do justice upon those who refuse to acknowledge God and upon those who will not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 [ Is.2.10, Is.19.21. ] They will suffer the punishment of eternal ruin, cut off from the presence of the Lord and the splendour of his might, 10when on that great Day he comes to be glorified among his own and adored among all believers; for you did indeed believe the testimony we brought you.
11With this in mind we pray for you always, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and mightily bring to fulfilment every good purpose and every act inspired by faith, 12so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
↑ 2.The Man of Lawlessness
1AND NOW, BROTHERS, about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and his gathering of us to himself: 2I beg you, do not suddenly lose your heads or alarm yourselves, whether at some oracular utterance, or pronouncement, or some letter purporting to come from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord is already here. 3Let no one deceive you in any way whatever. That day cannot come before the final rebellion against God, when wickedness will be revealed in human form, the man doomed to perdition. 4 [ Dn.11.36, Eze.28.2. ] He is the Enemy. He rises in his pride against every god, so called, every object of men's worship, and even takes his seat in the temple of God claiming to be a god himself.
5You cannot but remember that I told you this while I was still with you; 6you must now be aware of the restraining hand which ensures that he shall be revealed only at the proper time. 7For already the secret power of wickedness is at work, secret only for the present until the Restrainer disappears from the scene. 8 [ Jb.4.9, Is.11.4. ] And then he will be revealed, that wicked man whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, and annihilate by the radiance of his coming. 9But the coming of that wicked man is the work of Satan. It will be attended by all the powerful signs and miracles of the Lie, 10and all the deception that sinfulness can impose on those doomed to destruction. Destroyed they shall be, because they did not open their minds to love of the truth, so as to find salvation. 11Therefore God puts them under a delusion, which works upon them to believe the lie, 12so that they may all be brought to judgement, all who do not believe the truth but make sinfulness their deliberate choice.
Chosen for Salvation
13BUT WE ARE BOUND to thank God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because from the beginning of time God chose you to find salvation in the Spirit that consecrates you, and in the truth that you believe. 14It was for this that he called you through the gospel we brought, so that you might possess for your own the splendour of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15Stand firm, then, brothers, and hold fast to the traditions which you have learned from us by word or by letter. 16And may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has shown us such love, and in his grace has given us such unfailing encouragement and such bright hopes, 17still encourage and fortify you in every good deed and word!
↑ 3.Pray for Us
1And now, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have everywhere the swift and glorious course that it has had among you, 2and that we may be rescued from wrong-headed and wicked men; for it is not all who have faith. 3But the Lord is to be trusted, and he will fortify you and guard you from the evil one. 4We feel perfect confidence about you, in the Lord, that you are doing and will continue to do what we order. 5May the Lord direct your hearts towards God's love and the steadfastness of Christ!
Warning against Idleness
6These are our orders to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: hold aloof from every Christian brother who falls into idle habits, and does not follow the tradition you received from us. 7You know yourselves how you ought to copy our example: we were no idlers among you; 8we did not accept board and lodging from anyone without paying for it; we toiled and drudged, we worked for a living night and day, rather than be a burden to any of you— 9not because we have not the right to maintenance, but 10to set an example for you to imitate. For even during our stay with you we laid down the rule: the man who will not work shall not eat. 11We mention this because we hear that some of your number are idling their time away, minding everybody's business but their own. 12To all such we give these orders, and we appeal to them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly for their living.
13My friends, never tire of doing right. 14If anyone disobeys our instructions given by letter, mark him well, and have no dealings with him until he is ashamed of himself. 15I do not mean treat him as an enemy, but give him friendly advice, as one of the family.
16May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in all ways. The Lord be with you all.
17The greeting is in my own hand, signed with my name, PAUL; this authenticates all my letters; this is is how I write.
18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.