2 Thessalonians 3

Paul asks the Christians to pray for him and for his friends

1 Now, friends, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that more and more people will soon hear the Lord's message. Pray that people will receive the message well and accept it as true. That is how you received it. 2 Pray also that God will not let bad people cause trouble for us. Not everyone believes the message about our Lord. 3 But the Lord always does what he has promised. So he will help you to be strong inside yourselves. He will keep you safe when Satan attacks you.

4 Because you belong to the Lord, he makes us sure about you. We know that you are doing the things that we tell you to do. And we know that you will continue to do those things. 5 We pray that the Lord will lead you in your thoughts. Then you will understand God's love better and better. And you will be patient and strong, as Christ is.

Believers must not refuse to work

6 Our friends, you must stay away from every believer who is living in a lazy way. We tell you this with the authority that the Lord Jesus Christ gives to us. Lazy people like that are not living in the way that we taught you. 7 You yourselves know that you ought to copy our example. You know that we were not lazy when we lived among you. 8 We always paid for the food that anyone gave to us. We worked hard all the time, during the day and at night. We did that so that we would not make trouble for any of you. 9 We could have told you to give us what we needed. We have authority to do that. But we wanted to show you how to live properly. Then you could copy our example. 10 Even when we were there with you, we told you this rule: ‘If anyone refuses to work, you should not give food to him.’

11 We say this because someone has told us news about you. They have told us that some people among you are living in a lazy way. Those people do not work at their own jobs. Instead, they cause trouble to other people who are working. 12 We have something to say to people who are lazy like that. We warn them with the authority that the Lord Jesus Christ gives to us. They must stop causing trouble. They must work properly, so that they get their own food to eat.

3:11In his first letter to them, Paul told the Christians at Thessalonica that they must work. See 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. But some of them were still refusing to work. They thought that Jesus would return to the earth very soon. So they may have thought that they did not need to work. In this letter, Paul has already explained that Jesus will not return so very soon. Certain things must happen first. See 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. So now, Paul tells them again that it is right for them to work.

13 But you must never stop doing what is right, our Christian friends, even when it causes trouble for you. 14 Maybe someone among you will not obey the message that we have written in this letter. Make sure that everyone knows about someone like that. Do not be friends with him, so that he may become ashamed. 15 But remember that he is a believer, as you are. So warn him carefully.

Paul finishes his letter

16 The Lord helps us to have peace in our minds. I pray that the Lord himself will give that peace to you at all times, whatever happens. I pray that the Lord will be with all of you.

17 I, Paul, am writing these words at the end of my letter with my own hand. I say ‘hello’ to you. That is how I write in every letter that comes from me.

18 I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will continue to be very kind to all of you.