Paul asks the Christians to pray for him and for his friends
1Now, friends, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that, because of us, more and more people will hear the Lord's message with pleasure soon. Pray that they will believe his message. So then they will thank God for it. That is what happened among you. 2Pray also that God will not let very bad people cause bad trouble for us. Pray like that, because not everyone believes the message about our Lord. 3But the Lord always does what he has promised. So, he will help you, so that you continue to believe him strongly. And he will keep you safe from the Devil.
4Also the Lord makes us sure about you. We told you things that you must do. You are doing those things. And you will continue to do those things. We are sure about that. 5We pray that the Lord will help you to know him more and more. So then you will continue to understand more about how much God loves you. And he will cause you to be patient and strong, like Christ.
The Christians must not refuse to work
6Our friends, we tell you this with the authority that the Lord Jesus Christ gives to us. You must stay away from every believer who is living in a lazy way. People like that are refusing to obey the things that we taught you. 7You yourselves know that you ought to be like us. You ought to do the things that we did. We were not lazy when we were with you. 8We always paid for all the food that we received from anyone. We worked very much, during the day and at night. We worked so that we did not need to ask any of you for anything. So, you did not have to supply anything for us. 9We could have told you that you must supply things for us. We have authority to do that. But we wanted to show you ourselves what you should do. So then you could be like us. 10Even when we were with you, we told you this rule. ‘If anyone refuses to work, you should not let him eat,’ we said. #3:10 See 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12.
11We 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 themselves. But they talk very much about other people. They are busy with things that should not matter to them. 12We speak strongly to those people who are lazy like that. We speak with the authority that the Lord Jesus Christ gives to us. We tell them strongly that it is their duty to work. They should work properly so that they may get their own food to eat. #3:12 In 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.
13But you other believers must never stop doing what is good. 14We have written things in this letter to tell you what you should do. If anyone refuses to obey these things, tell everyone about him. And stay away from him, so that he may be ashamed. 15But do not think about him or speak to him as your enemy. Instead, tell him seriously, like a brother, that he should obey our message.
Paul finishes his letter
16The Lord causes us to be without trouble in our minds. And I pray that the Lord himself will do that for you at all times and in every way. I pray that the Lord will be with all of you.
17I, Paul, am writing these words myself to say ‘hello’ to you. I write my name like this at the end of all my letters. This is how I write. 18I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will continue to be very kind to all of you.