Greeting

1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Justice, Rescue, and Glory at Christ’s Return

Brothers, we ought always to give God thanks for you, as is only fitting,1 seeing that your faith is growing beyond measure, and that the love of each one of you towards all the rest is increasing more and more. As a result, we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all the persecutions and afflictions you are enduring. This is an evident indication of the righteous judgment of God, so that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed2 you are presently suffering; since, in God’s sight, it is a righteous thing to repay those who trouble you with affliction,but to give relief to you who are afflicted (and to us as well) when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,3 8in flaming fire4 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God, and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when, in that Day, He comes to be glorified in5 His saints and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.

11 To this end we also pray for you at all times, that our God would make6 you worthy of your calling, and fulfill your every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notes

  1. Lit. just as it is worthy
  2. Or also, even
  3. Lit. the angels of his power
  4. Or his mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing
  5. Or among
  6. Or count, judge

 

The Sign of the Last Rebellion

Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we entreat you: Do not to be suddenly1 disturbed or shaken from your composure, whether by a spirit, a word, or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the Day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way, for that Day will not come until the rebellion has first occurred,2 and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or worshiped,3 so that he seats himself in the temple, displaying himself as God.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I kept telling you these things? And now4 you know what is restraining him, so that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he5 who now restrains it will continue to do so until he5 is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord6 will sweep away with the breath of His mouth, and bring to an end by the manifestation of His coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the activity of Satan, with all kinds of miracles, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with every deception of wickedness for those who are perishing, because they did not receive7 the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence, in order that they might believe the lie, 12 in order that they all may be condemned, who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.

Election and Perseverance

13 But we ought always to give God thanks for you, brothers beloved of the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brothers, stand fast and hold firmly to the traditions that you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

Notes

  1. Or easily, quickly
  2. Lit. unless the rebellion (or apostasy) comes first
  3. Or possibly above every so-called god or object of worship
  4. Or so
  5. Or He
  6. Many mss the Lord Jesus
  7. Or welcome

 

A Plea for Prayer

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run its race and be crowned with honor,1 just as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from harmful and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and protect you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing, and will continue to do, what we have commanded you. Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

A Warning Against Indolence

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother whose walk is out of order and not in accord with the tradition you2 received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, seeing that when we were among you we did not conduct ourselves improperly; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but with toil and hardship kept on working night and day, lest we should become a burden to any of you; not because we had no right to your support, but rather to present ourselves to you as an example, that you might imitate us. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some among you whose walk is out of order, men who are not working at all, but instead behaving like busybodies. 12 Now through our Lord Jesus Christ we command and exhort such persons that they settle down, earn their own living, and eat their own bread.3 13 But as for you, brothers, do not grow weary in well-doing. 14 And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note of that man and do not keep company with him, that he might be put to shame. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but rather admonish him as a brother.

Benediction

16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you peace at all times and in every way.4 The Lord be with you all. 17 I, Paul, write this salutation in my own hand, which is the sign of the genuineness of my every letter.5 This is how I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Notes

  1. Lit. be glorified, honored
  2. Some mss they
  3. Lit. that they work with quietness (i.e. at home, at their own business) and eat
  4. Or in every circumstance
  5. Lit. which is a sign in every letter