1 Thessalonians 2
Paul's work in Thessalonica
1 Our Christian friends, you yourselves know that our visit to you had good results. 2 You know what happened to us before we came to you. The people at Philippi had done bad things to us. They had caused us to have trouble. When we came to you, our God helped us to be brave. We were not afraid to tell you his good news. Many people tried to stop us, but we told you God's message.
2:2Philippi was another city in Macedonia. It was about 115 kilometres (75 miles) east from Thessalonica. Paul and his friends had been at Philippi before they came to Thessalonica. Some people at Philippi had hurt Paul and Silas very much. Then they put Paul and Silas into a prison. See Acts 16:12-40.
3 When we tell people to obey God's message, we are not saying anything that is not true. We do not have a wrong purpose. We are not trying to deceive anyone. 4 Instead, we say what God wants us to say. He has chosen us to tell his good news to people. So, we do not do it to make people happy. We do it to make God happy. He is the one who knows what we are really like.
5 When we came to you, we spoke what was true. We did not just say nice things to make you feel good. You yourselves know that. We did not try to make you give things to us. We never had a secret purpose like that. God knows that this is true. 6 We did not want anyone to say that we are great people. We did not want you to do that, or anyone else. 7 We could have used our authority over you, because we are Christ's apostles. But instead, we chose to help you, like children help their parents. We took care of you, like a mother takes care of her little children. 8 We were very fond of you. So, we wanted to tell you God's good news. We loved you so much that used all our strength to help you.
2:8Some people at Thessalonica may have said bad things about Paul and his friends. They may have told the Christians there that Paul did not really love them. They may have said that really Paul only wanted power and money for himself. So, in this chapter, Paul is explaining that he never had any wrong purpose like that. He only wanted to do what was best for the believers at Thessalonica.
9 Our Christian friends, remember how we worked so hard to help you. We worked during the day and even during the night. We did not want to cause any problems for you. So, we taught you God's good news and we did not ask you to give us anything in return.
2:9While Paul, Silas and Timothy were at Thessalonica, they worked to get some money. We do not know the kind of work that they did. But we know that Paul could make tents. See Acts 18:3.
10 You know that we lived in a good way when we were with you. God also knows that. We were completely honest with you believers. Nobody could say that we did anything wrong. 11 You know that we helped you, like a father helps his own children. 12 We taught you clearly what is true. We helped you to be strong as believers. God has chosen you to be his own people. You belong to his great kingdom, where he rules. So, we told you to live in a way that pleases him.
13 There is another reason why we always continue to thank God for you. When we told God's message to you, you knew that it was not human ideas. You accepted it as God's own message, and that is what it certainly is. You continue to grow as believers because of God's message that you heard.
14 Our Christian friends, you have received the same kind of trouble that the people in the churches of Judea received. People in your own country have caused you to have trouble and pain. The same thing happened to the people in Judea who believed in Christ Jesus. They received trouble from their own Jewish people.
2:14Judea was the south part of Israel. The people who lived there were called Jews.
15 People like that even killed the Lord Jesus. They killed God's prophets, too. They did bad things against us also, so that we had to leave their towns. They make God become angry. They are enemies of all people, 16 because they try to stop us speaking to Gentiles. They do not want God to save anyone from another nation. In this way, they continue to do more and more bad things. When their sins become too many, God has to stop them. He has become so angry that he has punished them completely.
Paul wants to return to Thessalonica
17 Our friends, we have had to go away from you for a short time. But we have not stopped thinking about you. We have wanted more and more to come to see you again. 18 Yes, we really wanted to return to you. Certainly, I, Paul, tried again and again to come to you, but Satan stopped us.
19 You are the people that make us very happy! We know that you will continue to trust God. So, when our Lord Jesus returns, we will be proud of you. You will be like a crown that he gives us when we stand in front of him. 20 You show the great results of our work. Yes, it is because of you that we are very happy.