Paul opens the letter with a little, Hi! How y'all doing? He's writing to a group of Christians in Thessalonica, and he's just pleased as punch because he's heard a report that they are kicking butt when it comes to having faith. Even though Paul knows they're kind of being persecuted a little bit, he's really thrilled that they've stayed strong and haven't tossed aside this whole believing-in-Jesus thing. Nice work, guys.
And as it so happens, this is a very good thing because—news flash!—Jesus is planning to return. Like…soon. Paul explains that they're gonna see J.C. descend from Heaven with trumpets blaring and angels on all sides. What can we say? Jesus knows how to make an entrance. All the faithful are gonna get scooped up into Heaven. All the not-so-faithful…well, things don't work out quite as well for them.
So how does one get to be part of this select Heaven-bound group? Simple. You've got to live a good Christian life. What does that mean? Paul has some advice. Sex? Just don't do it. (Unless you're married, of course.) Love? It's a good thing. Go ahead and love everyone. If you follow Paul's advice and stay alert, you might just make it to the Heavenly realms. Good luck! And bye for now!
More greetings from Paul—What up, Thessalonica? Apparently, not much has changed since Paul last wrote. The Thessalonians are still keeping the faith, still loving, and still being persecuted. High fives all around! (Well, not so much for the persecution part.)
However, there are a few points they need to go over. Some of them are wondering if "the day of the Lord" has come already. The answer is no. Apparently a lot of this end of the world stuff depends on a shady figure called the Man of Sin. He sounds scary, but no worries. Jesus is gonna wipe him out when he comes again. It's totally on his apocalyptic to-do list.
Paul closes by reminding them not to tolerate any loafers in their midst. If folks aren't willing to work, then they're not gonna eat. Hardcore.
Love, peace, and prayers to everyone back in Thessalonica. Paul out.