You are citizens of the light
5 • 1 You do not need anyone to write to you about the delay and the appointed time for these events. 2 You know that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 When people feel secure and at peace, the disaster will suddenly come upon them as the birth pangs of a woman in labor, and they will not escape.
4 But you, beloved, are not in darkness; so that day will not surprise you like a thief. 5 All of you are citizens of the light and the day; we do not belong to night and darkness. 6 Let us not, therefore, sleep as others do, but remain alert and sober.
7 Those who sleep, go to sleep at night, and those who drink, get drunk at night. 8 Since we belong to the day, let us be sober, let us put on the breastplate of faith and love, and let the hope of salvation be our helmet. 9 For God has not willed us to be condemned but to win salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord. 10 He died for us so that we might enter into life with him, whether we are still awake or already asleep. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, as you are doing now.
12 Brothers and sisters, I want you to be thankful to those who labor among you, who lead you in the way of the Lord and also reprimand you. 13 Esteem them highly and love them for what they are doing. Live at peace among yourselves.
14 We urge you to warn the idle, encourage those who feel discouraged, sustain the weak, have patience with everyone. 15 See that no one repays evil for evil, but try to do good, whether among yourselves or towards others.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing 18 and give thanks to God at every moment. This is the will of God, your vocation as Christians.
• 19 Do not quench the Spirit, 20 do not despise the prophets’ warnings. 21 Put everything to the test and hold fast to what is good. 22 Avoid evil, wherever it may be.
23 May the God of Peace make you holy and bring you to perfection. May you be completely blameless, in spirit, soul and body, till the coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord; 24 he who called you is faithful and will do it.
25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27 I order you in the name of the Lord that this letter be read to all of them.
28 May the grace of Christ Jesus our Lord be with you.
A call to a life of purity and work
4 • 1 For the rest, brothers, we ask you in the name of Jesus, the Lord, and we urge you to live in a way that pleases God, just as you have learned from us. This you do, but try to do still more. 2 You know the instructions we gave you on behalf of the Lord Jesus: 3 the will of God for you is to become holy and not to have unlawful sex.
4 Let each of you behave towards his wife as a holy and respectful husband, 5 rather than being led by lust, as are pagans who do not know God. 6 In this matter, let no one offend or wrong a brother. The Lord will do justice in all these things, as we have warned and shown you. 7 God has called us to live, not in impurity but in holiness, 8 and those who do not heed this instruction disobey, not a human, but God himself who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 Regarding mutual love, you do not need anyone to write to you, because God himself taught you how to love one another. 10 You already practice it with all the brothers and sisters of Macedonia, but I invite you to do more. 11 Consider how important it is to live quietly without bothering others, to mind your own business, and work with your hands, as we have charged you. 12 In obeying these rules you will win the respect of outsiders and be dependent on no one.
Do not grieve as others do
• 13 Brothers and sisters, we want you not to be mistaken about those who are already asleep, lest you grieve as do those who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose; it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus. God will bring them together with Jesus and for his sake.
15 By the same word of the Lord we assert this: those of us who are to be alive at the Lord’s coming will not go ahead of those who are already asleep. 16 When the command by the archangel’s voice is given, the Lord himself will come down from heaven, while the divine trumpet call is sounding. Then those who have died in the Lord will rise first; 17 as for us who are still alive, we will be brought along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the celestial world. And we will be with the Lord forever.
18 So, then comfort one another with these words.
3 • 1 As I could no longer bear it, I decided to go alone to Athens, 2 and send you Timothy, our brother and co-worker of God in the Gospel of Christ. I wanted him to encourage you in the faith and strengthen you 3 so that none of you might turn back because of the trials you are now enduring. You know that such is our destiny. 4 I warned you of this when I was there: “We shall have to face persecution”; and so it was, as you have seen. 5 Therefore I could not stand it any longer and sent Timothy to appraise your faith and see if the Tempter had tempted you and made our work useless.
6 But now Timothy has just returned with good news of your faith and love. He told us that you remember us kindly and that you long to see us as much as we long to see you. 7 What a consolation for us, brothers and sisters, in the midst of our troubles and trials, this faith of yours! 8 It is a breath of life for us when you stand firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God enough for all the joy that we feel before God because of you? 10 Day and night we beg of him to let us see you again, that we may complete the instruction of the believers.
11 May God our Father and Jesus our Lord prepare the way for us to visit you. 12 May the Lord increase more and more your love for each other and for all people, as he increases our love for you. 13 May he strengthen you internally to be holy and blameless before God, our Father, on the day that Jesus, our Lord, will come with all his saints.
The beginning of the Church of Thessalonica
2 • 1 You well know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not in vain. 2 We had been ill-treated and insulted in Philippi but, trusting in our God, we dared announce to you the message of God, and face fresh opposition. 3 Our warnings did not conceal any error or impure motive, nor did we deceive anyone. 4 But as God had entrusted his Gospel to us as to faithful ministers, we were anxious to please God who sees the heart, rather than human beings. 5 We never pleased you with flattery, as you know, nor did we try to earn money, as God knows. 6 We did not try to make a name for ourselves among people, either with you or anybody else, although we were messengers of Christ and could have made our weight felt.
7 On the contrary, we were gentle with you, as a nursing mother who feeds and cuddles her baby. 8 And so great is our concern that we are ready to give you, as well as the Gospel, even our very lives, for you have become very dear to us.
9 Remember our labor and toil; when we preached the Gospel, we worked day and night so as not to be a burden to you. 10 You are witnesses with God that we were holy, just and blameless toward all of you who now believe. 11 We warned each of you as a father warns his children; 12 we encouraged you and urged you to adopt a way of life worthy of God who calls you to share his own glory and kingdom.
13 This is why we never cease giving thanks to God for, on receiving our message, you accepted it, not as human teaching, but as the word of God. That is what it really is, and as such it is at work in you who believe.
14 Brothers and sisters, you followed the example of the churches of God in Judea, churches of Christ Jesus. For you suffered from your compatriots the same trials they suffered from the Jews, 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and who persecute us. They displease God and harm all people 16 when they prevent us from speaking to the pagans and trying to save them. By doing so they are heaping up their sins, but now Judgment is coming upon them.
17 We are for a time deprived of your presence, but not in our heart, and we eagerly long to see you. 18 For we have wanted to visit you, and I, Paul, more than once; but Satan prevented us. 19 In fact, who but you are our hope and our joy? Who but you will be our glorious crown before Jesus, our Lord, when he returns? 20 Yes, indeed, you are our glory and our joy.
1 • 1 From Paul, Sylvanus and Timothy to the church of Thessalonica which is in God the Father and in Christ Jesus, the Lord.
May the peace and grace of God be with you.
2 We give thanks to God at all times for you and remember you in our prayers. 3 We constantly recall before God our Father the work of your faith, the labors of your love and your endurance in waiting for Christ Jesus our Lord.
4 We remember, brothers and sisters, the circumstances of your being called. 5 The gospel we brought you was such not only in words. Miracles, Holy Spirit and plenty of everything were given to you. You also know how we dealt with you for your sake.
6 In return, you became followers of us and of the Lord when, on receiving the word, you experienced the joy of the Holy Spirit in the midst of great opposition. 7 And you became a model for the faithful of Macedonia and Achaia, 8 since from you the word of the Lord spread to Macedonia and Achaia, and still farther. The faith you have in God has become news in so many places that we need say no more about it. 9 Others tell of how you welcome us and turned from idols to the Lord. For you serve the living and true God, 10 and you wait for his Son from heaven whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who frees us from impending trial.
Introduction to the Letters of Paul
The Risen Christ
Timothy and Titus