1 Thessalonians 2
Paul's work in Thessalonica
1 Our friends, you yourselves know that our visit to you had good results. 2 Before we came to you, the people at Philippi had done bad things to hurt us. And they had spoken very bad words to us. You know that. But our God caused us to be brave so that we could tell you his good news. Many people tried to stop us, but we did tell 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 We were telling you the good news so that you could believe God. We told you only true things. We had no wrong purpose. We did not want you to believe things that are not true. 4 Instead, we say what God wants us to say. He has chosen us to tell his good news. We do not speak so that we can make people happy. But we do want to make God happy. And God discovers what our purposes really are, deep inside ourselves. 5 We never tried to say nice things about you so that you would like us. You know that. We never demanded money or other things from you. We never had a secret purpose like that. God knows this. 6 We did not want people to say great things about us. We did not want you to do that. And we did not want anyone else to do that. We are Christ's special workers and teachers. So, we could have used our authority over you. We could have caused you to do things for us. We could have caused you to supply things for us.
2:6We think that some 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.
7 But instead, we were kind when we were with you. We were kind like a mother who looks after her little children. 8 We were very fond of you. So, we wanted very much to tell you the good news from God. Also, we wanted to give ourselves completely to help you. We wanted to do these things because we loved you very much. 9 Our friends, you should certainly remember how we worked so very much. We worked during the day and at night. We worked so that we did not need to ask any of you for anything. So then, we did not cost you anything while we taught you God's good news.
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 When we were with you believers, we did nothing wrong. We did only what is completely good and right. You know that, and God knows it too. 11-12 You know that we helped each of you. We were like a father who helps his own children. We taught you and we helped you to be brave and strong as believers. And we told you very strongly what you must do. You must do what makes God happy. God has chosen you to belong to his own people, the people that he rules over. He wants you to be with him always, in the beautiful place where he lives.
13 There is also another reason why we continue to thank God always. When we told God's message to you, you believed it as words from God. You knew that it was not only a human message. You believed it as God's message, which it certainly is. And God's words do powerful things in you who believe him.
14 And now, my friends, you have become like the Christians who belong to God's people in Judea. People in your own country have caused trouble and pain for you. And that is what happened in Judea too to the believers in Christ Jesus there. People in their own country caused trouble and pain for them.
2:14Judea was the south part of Israel. The people who lived there were sometimes called Jews.
15 The people who caused that trouble even killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets. And they caused trouble for us so that they caused us to leave their country. God is not happy with those people. He is very angry with them. They are very much against people everywhere 16 because they do not want us to speak to people from other nations. They do not want God to save anyone from another nation. Those people always continue until they have done their last sin. But in the end, God has punished them.
Paul wants to visit the believers at Thessalonica again
17 But you are like brothers and sisters to us. We have had to go away from you for a short time. But it was only our bodies that left you. We did not stop thinking about you. We wanted very, very much to see your faces. And we tried very much to visit you again. 18 We wanted to return to you. Certainly, I, Paul, tried again and again to return, but Satan made it impossible. 19 We wanted so much to visit you because you cause us to hope so strongly! You make us sure that God will continue to work in you. You cause us to be very happy! To us, you are like a crown that a winner receives. The crown shows that the winner has done well. You show that our work among you had good results. So, you are our crown that makes us very happy. We will be very happy when we stand in front of our Lord Jesus. That will be when he comes again. 20 Yes, it is because of you that we are so happy. We are happy about the results of our work.