So just when will all this end of the world stuff be going down? We'd like to mark our calendars…and try to finish up the movies in our Netflix queue.
Sorry, everyone. Paul's not telling. The only clue he does give is the say that this big day will come "like a thief in the night."
In other words, you probably won't be expecting it.
When everyone around you starts saying, Hey, things are pretty going good, right? That's when all heck will break loose.
Of course, since Christians are always watching the return of the king (that is, Jesus) they're not gonna be fast asleep when that thief breaks open their window and tries to creep into their bedroom. They'll be sitting in the corner with their trusty baseball bat ready to give him a good whack…
Nope. When that day comes, Christians are gonna be wide awake and dressed in faith, hope, and love. Paul believes that God has destined all of them for salvation. Other folks, not so much.
Some Advice for the Road
Paul tells the Thessalonians that they need to remember all this when they're feeling down or they've got a case of the Mondays.
He also gives them some practical advice. Be respectful to the leaders in the community. Don't fight with each other. Do point out when other Christians are doing the wrong thing. But don't "repay evil for evil." Be happy. Pray. Be thankful. Listen to the prophets among them who are filled with the Holy Sprit. In short, be excellent to each other.
Paul ends the letter with a little prayer for his friends in Thessalonica. He hopes that God will make them holy and awesome and that they'll be in good shape when Jesus comes again.
He also asks them to pray for him (and presumably Silvanus and Timothy, too). Grace and peace and the Force be with you.