Table of Contents
The Epistle of St Paul the Apostle
Unto the Thessalonians
The 1st Chapter
Paul Silvanus and Timotheus. Unto the congregation of the Thessalonians, in God the father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace be with you, peace from God our father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
We give God thanks all way for you all making mention of you in our prayers with out ceasing, and call to remembrance your work in the faith, and labour in love and perseverance in the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of God our father: because we know brethren beloved of God how that you are elect. For our Gospell came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and also in the holy ghost and in much certainty, as you know after what manner we behaved ourselves among you, for your sakes. And you became followers of us and of the Lord, and received the word in much affliction, with joy of the holy ghost: so that you were an example to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord, not in Macedonia and in Achaia only: but your faith also which you have unto God, spread herself abroad in all quarters, so greatly that it needs not us to speak anything at all. For they them selves show of you what manner of entering in we had unto you and how you turned to God from images, for to serve the living and true God, and for to look for his son from heaven, whom he raised from death: I mean Jesus which delivers us from wrath to come.
The 2nd Chapter
For you yourselves know brethren of our entrance in unto you, how that it was not in vain: but even after that we had suffered before and were shamefully entreated at Philippos (as you well know) then were we bold in our God to speak unto you the Gospell of God, with much striving. Our exhortation was not to bring you to error, nor yet to uncleanness, neither was it with guile: but as we were allowed of God, that the Gospell should be committed unto us: even so we speak, not as though we intended to please men, but God, which trys our hearts.
Neither was our conversation at any time with flattering words, as you well know neither in cloaked covetousness, God is record: neither sought we praise of men, neither of you, nor yet of any other, when we might have been chargable, as the Apostles of Christ but were tender among you, even as a nurse cherishes her children, so was our affection toward you: our good will was to have dealt unto you, not the Gospell of God only, but also our own souls, because you were dear unto us.
Yes remember brethren our labour, and travail. For we laboured day and night because we would not be grievous unto any of you, and preached unto you the Gospell of God. you are witnesses, and so is God, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: as you know how that we exhorted and comforted and besought every one of you, as a father his children, that you would walk worthy of God, which has called you unto his kingdom and glory.
For this cause thank we God without ceasing, because that when you received of us the word wherewith God was preached, you received it not as the word of man: but even as it was in deed, the word of God, which works in you that believe. For you brethren became followers of the congregations of God which in Jewry are in Christ *Jesu: For you have suffered like things of your kinsmen, as we our selves have suffered of the Jewes. Which as they killed the Lord Jesus and their own Prophets, even so have they persecuted us: and God they please not, and are contrary to all men and forbid us to preach unto the Gentiles, that they might be saved, to fulfil their sins all way. For the wrath of God is come on them, even to the utmost.*Jesu: Hebrew for Jesus
For as much brethren as we are kept from you for a season, as concerning the bodily presence, but not in the heart, we enforced the more to see you personally with great desire. And therefore we would have come unto you, I Paul once and again: but Satan withstood us. For what is our hope or joy, or crown of rejoicing? are not you it in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? yes you are our glory and joy.
The 3rd Chapter
Wherefore since we could no longer forbear, it pleased us to remain at Athens alone, and sent Timotheus our brother and minister of God, and our labour fellow in the Gospell of Christ, to establish you and to comfort you over your faith, that no man should be moved in these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are even appointed there unto. For verily when I was with you, I told you before that we should suffer tribulation, even as it came to pass, and as you know. For this cause when I could no longer forbear, I sent, that I might have knowledge of your faith, least haply the tempter had tempted you, and that our labour had been bestowed in vain.
But now lately when Timotheus came from you unto us, and declared to us your faith and your love and how that you have good remembrance of us always, desiring to see us as we desire to see you. Therefore brethren we had consolation in you, in all our adversity and necessity, through your faith. For now are we alive, if you stand steadfast in the Lord. For what thanks can we recompense to God again for you, over all the joy that we joy for your sakes before our God: while we, night and day pray exceedingly that we might see you presently, and might fulfil that which is lacking in your faith.
God himself our father, and our Lord Jesus Christ guide our journey unto you: and the Lord increase you and make you flow over in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you, to make your hearts stable and unblamable, in holiness before God our father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all his saints.
The 4th Chapter
Furthermore we beseech you brethren, and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that you increase more and more, even as you have received of us, how you ought to walk and to please God. you remember what commandments we gave you in our Lord *Jesu Christ. For this is the will of God, even that you should be holy, and that you should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to keep his vessel in holiness and honour, and not in the lust of *concupiscence, as do the heathen which know not God, that no man go too far and defraud his brother in bargaining: because the Lord is avenger of all such things, as we told you beforetime and testified. For God has not called us unto uncleanness: but unto holiness. He therefore that despises, despises not man, but God, which has sent his holy spirit among you. *concupiscence: strong desire; lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of goods. *Jesu: Hebrew for Jesus
But as touching brotherly love you need not that I write unto you. For you are taught of God to love one another. you and that thing verily you do unto all the brethren which are throughout all Macedonia. We beseech you brethren that you increase more and more, and that you study to be quiet, and to meddle with your own business and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you: that you may behave your selves honestly toward them that are without, and that nothing be lacking unto you.
I would not brethren have you ignorant concerning them which are fallen asleep, that you sorrow not as other do which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again: even so them also which sleep by Jesus, will God bring again with him. And this say we unto you in the word of the Lord, that we which live and are remaining in the coming of the Lord, shall not come ere (before) they which sleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and the voice of the Archangel and trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall arise first: then shall we which live and remain, be caught up with them also in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort yourselves one another with these words.
The 5th Chapter
Of the times and seasons brethren you have no need that I write unto you: for you yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord shall come even as a thief in the night. When they shall say peace and no danger then comes on the sudden destruction, as the travailing of a woman with child, and they shall not escape. But you brethren are not in darkness, that, that day should come on you as it were a thief.
You are all the children of light, and the children of the day. We are not of the night neither of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep as do other: but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night: and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night. But let us which are of the day, be sober, armed with the breast plate of faith and love, and with hope of salvation as an helmet. For God has not appointed us unto wrath: but to obtain salvation by the means of our Lord *Jesu Christ which died for us: that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. *Jesu: Hebrew for Jesus
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as you do.
We beseech you brethren, that you know them which labour among you and have the oversight of you in the Lord and give you exhortation, that you have them the more in love, for their works sake, and be at peace with them.
We desire you brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble minded, forbear the weak, have continual patience toward all men. See that none recompense evil for evil unto any man: but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice ever. Pray continually. In all things give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesu toward you.
Quench not the spirit. Despise not prophesying. Examine all things, and keep that which is good. Abstain from all suspicious things. The very God of peace sanctify you through out. And I pray God that your whole spirit, soul and body, be kept faultless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he which called you: which will also do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. I charge you in the Lord, that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
The end of the first epistle unto the Thessalonians
sent from Athens.
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