1 Thessalonians 3-5
Encouragement of Timothy’s Visit
Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith, so that no one would be [a]disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; [b]and so it came to pass, [c]as you know. For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to [d]find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you, for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith; for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord. For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account, as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith?
Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the [e]coming of our Lord Jesus with all His [f]saints.
Sanctification and Love
Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to [g]walk and please God (just as you actually do [h]walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you [i]by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from [j]sexual immorality; that each of you know how to [k]possess his own [l]vessel in sanctification and honor, not in [m]lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but [n]in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will [o]behave properly toward outsiders and [p]not be in any need.
Those Who Died in Christ
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep [q]in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive [r]and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a [s]shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive [t]and remain 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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
The Day of the Lord
Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord [u]will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then [v]destruction [w]will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you [x]like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as [y]others do, but let us be alert and [z]sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be [aa]sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore [ab]encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
But we request of you, brethren, that you [ac]appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you [ad]instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the [ae]unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic [af]utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every [ag]form of evil.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
Brethren, pray for us[ah].
Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:3 Or deceived
- 1 Thessalonians 3:4 Lit just as
- 1 Thessalonians 3:4 Lit and
- 1 Thessalonians 3:5 Or to know, to ascertain
- 1 Thessalonians 3:13 Or presence
- 1 Thessalonians 3:13 Or holy ones
- 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Or conduct yourselves
- 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Or conduct yourselves
- 1 Thessalonians 4:2 Lit through the Lord
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3 Or fornication
- 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or acquire
- 1 Thessalonians 4:4 I.e. body; or wife
- 1 Thessalonians 4:5 Lit passion of lust
- 1 Thessalonians 4:7 I.e. in the state or sphere of
- 1 Thessalonians 4:12 Lit walk
- 1 Thessalonians 4:12 Lit have need of nothing
- 1 Thessalonians 4:14 Lit through
- 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Lit who
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16 Or cry of command
- 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Lit who
- 1 Thessalonians 5:2 Lit is coming
- 1 Thessalonians 5:3 Or sudden destruction
- 1 Thessalonians 5:3 Lit comes upon
- 1 Thessalonians 5:4 One early ms reads like thieves
- 1 Thessalonians 5:6 Lit the remaining ones
- 1 Thessalonians 5:6 Or self-controlled
- 1 Thessalonians 5:8 Or self-controlled
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Or comfort
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12 Lit know
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12 Or admonition
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 Or undisciplined
- 1 Thessalonians 5:20 Or gifts
- 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Or appearance
- 1 Thessalonians 5:25 Two early mss add also