New Revised Standard Version
[1 Thessalonians 1]
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus
Grace to you and peace.
Thanksgiving; the gospel's effectiveness
2 We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers,
constantly 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, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because
our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and
in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of
persons we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of
us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy
inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the
believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded
forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith
in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9 For the
people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among 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 that is coming.
[1 Thessalonians 2]
1 You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in
vain, 2 but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at
Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel
of God in spite of great opposition. 3 For our appeal does not spring from
deceit or impure motives or trickery, 4 but just as we have been approved by
God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to
please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 As you know and as
God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for
greed; 6 nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others,
7 though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle
among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. 8 So deeply do
we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel
of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
9 You remember our labor and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and
day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the
gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and
blameless our conduct was toward you believers. 11 As you know, we dealt with
each one of you like a father with his children, 12 urging and encouraging you
and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own
kingdom and glory.
13 We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the
word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as
what it really is, God's word, which is also at work in you believers. 14 For
you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ
Jesus that are in Judea, for you suffered the same things from your own
compatriots as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and
the prophets, and drove us out; they displease God and oppose everyone 16 by
hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. Thus
they have constantly been filling up the measure of their sins; but God's
wrath has overtaken them at last.
Separation and reunion
17 As for us, brothers and sisters, when, for a short time, we were made
orphans by being separated from you – in person, not in heart – we longed with
great eagerness to see you face to face. 18 For we wanted to come to you –
certainly I, Paul, wanted to again and again – but Satan blocked our way. 19
For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his
coming? Is it not you? 20 Yes, you are our glory and joy!
[1 Thessalonians 3]
1 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we decided to be left alone in
Athens; 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in
proclaiming the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you for the sake
of your faith, 3 so that no one would be shaken by these persecutions. Indeed,
you yourselves know that this is what we are destined for. 4 In fact, when we
were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer persecution; so
it turned out, as you know. 5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer,
I sent to find out about your faith; I was afraid that somehow the tempter had
tempted you and that our labor had been in vain.
6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought us the good
news of your faith and love. He has told us also that you always remember us
kindly and long to see us – just as we long to see you. 7 For this reason,
brothers and sisters, during all our distress and persecution we have been
encouraged about you through your faith. 8 For we now live, if you continue to
stand firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for
all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? 10 Night and day we
pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever 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 abound in love for you. 13 And may he so strengthen
your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at
the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
[1 Thessalonians 4]
Exhortation to maintain apocalyptic vigilance
1 Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that,
as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact,
you are doing), you should do so more and more. 2 For you know what
instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of
God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4 that each one
of you know how to control your own body in holiness and honor, 5 not with
lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one wrong or
exploit a brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in
all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly
warned you. 7 For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8 Therefore
whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his
Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have
anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one
another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout
Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, 11 to aspire to
live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we
directed you, 12 so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and be
dependent on no one.
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those
who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus,
God will bring with him those who have died. 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 by no means precede those who have died. 16 For the Lord
himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound
of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise
first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds
together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the
Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
[1 Thessalonians 5]
1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not
need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that
the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 When they say,
"There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them, as
labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! 4 But
you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief;
5 for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the
night or of darkness. 6 So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let
us keep awake and be sober; 7 for those who sleep sleep at night, and those
who are 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 for a helmet the hope
of salvation. 9 For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining
salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether
we are awake or asleep we may live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one
another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor
among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13 esteem them
very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14
And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted,
help the weak, be patient with all of them. 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 the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the
Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets, 21 but test everything; hold
fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and
soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
25 Beloved, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27 I solemnly command
you by the Lord that this letter be read to all of them.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.