One of the major themes dealt with by Paul in his letters was
the second coming of Jesus Christ. He spoke of the imminence of the great
occasion and the need for Christians to lead a good life in readiness for Jesus
at his second coming.

Some Thessalonian Christians were led to the misconception that
the Parousia was just around the corner. They felt there was, therefore, no
need for them to exert themselves in further physical work, what mattered was
to watch and pray. When Paul received the news that some Thessalonians had
folded their hands and refused to work and that they had even constituted
themselves into a nuisance for the others, by either preventing them from their
work or by solely depending on them for their bread, he had to write to them in
very strong terms in order to disabuse the minds of such lazy people. Paul said
categorically that whoever refuses to work should not eat. People should
honestly apply themselves to work, without eye-service, as if they were serving
the Lord.
He reminded them that when he was with them he was not parasitic,
although he had the right to depend on them for his physical needs. He had
worked with his own hands in order to maintain himself and be, for them, an
example worthy of emulation. It was therefore compulsory for the lazy to get
down to work with their hands. But should they not
heed his advice they should be boycotted to their
However, he warned that they should not be treated as enemies, but
warned and re-directed with brotherly love, to retrace their steps and do the
right thing.

Some relevant lessons for Christians in the explanation of the
Parousia are: 

  • Christians should avoid excessive grief for their dead, 
  • Christians should prepare themselves and be alert for the second coming rather
    than speculating on when the day of the Lord would come, 
  • Death is only
    physical, life continues after death, 
  • Jesus will surely triumph over satan.