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The New Testament | The Letters of Paul

1 Thessalonians

Things to know

Where does the book begin?

Timothy visited the people in Thessalonica. He told Paul about his visit. So Paul wrote this letter. Paul began by giving thanks.

Places to go

Paul thanked God
1 Thessalonians 1:2-7

Good news came in a good way
1 Thessalonians 2:1-7

Remember our work
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Walk in the way that pleases God
1 Thessalonians 4:1-7

The day of the Lord* is coming
1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:4

Where does the book end?

The book ends with words to encourage the people.

People to know


The Story of 1 Thessalonians

Paul wrote to the people in Thessalonica to encourage them. He had not seen them in many years. The last time he was there, some people wanted to hurt him. So Paul had to leave very fast. Those bad men did not want him to talk about Jesus. But many people in that place believed the things that Paul said. They began to follow Jesus. But, after Paul left, some people made trouble for the people there. Paul’s friend Timothy had visited the people there. When he came back to be with Paul, he told Paul what he had learned. So Paul wrote them this letter to help them.

First, Paul wanted them to know that he loved them. He was happy that they were following Jesus so well. They were doing what Paul had told them. They had turned away from false gods. They showed their faith* and hope* and love by the way they acted. [1] They also had joy, even when people tried to hurt them. That was a good example for other people to follow.

Paul also told them not to forget the way he acted when he was with them. He worked hard. He did what was holy and right. He was not a problem to them. He cared for them like a father cares for his children. [2] Everyone that spoke for God should act this way.

Paul also talked about the time when Jesus would return. The people knew that Jesus would return. They were very happy about that. But they had questions. They did not know what would happen to the people that were dead. So Paul answered those questions in the last part of the letter. Jesus would come down from heaven*. He would return when they did not expect him. [3] He would gather all of the people that believed in him. He would gather the people that were alive. And he would gather the people who were already dead. God would make them alive again. Then, all of his people would all be together again. [4] And they would all be with the Lord*.

Paul wanted them to be patient. They should work hard and take care of their families. They should do good to one another. Help the weak. Live in peace* with each other. Pray all of the time about all kinds of things. Give thanks. And do not do things that are evil*. The people that followed Jesus must never forget that he was going to return. They should wait for him. They should watch for him and live good lives while they wait.

The Christians in Thessalonica did not have an easy life. People in the city did not want them to follow Jesus. So they were cruel to them. Paul told them that they should not be surprised. This was a common thing. [5] He told them that they could expect to suffer for Jesus. After all, the prophets* suffered. And Jesus suffered too. But he encouraged them to be strong in spite of their troubles. God was watching. Some day, he would return and comfort them. He would also judge those who had been causing them trouble.


[1] 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10

[2] 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12

[3] 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

[4] 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

[5] 1 Thessalonians 2:143:1-5

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