The closing of this letter is no more a light dessert than the opening is simply an appetizer; it ties together the theme of the letter and would have been written with Paul's own hand.
Paul knows that he is leaving the Thessalonians in a situation where there is conflict and persecution and he wants to show them how to have peace amidst such stormy circumstances.
Here the apostle Paul reminds the Thessalonians of the return of Christ and the coming judgment; giving them a word of warning, of comfort, and command.
Paul speaks to the Thessalonians about death so that rather than grieving about it they will be encouraged about their future and encourage others with what he tells them.
Paul commends the Thessalonians for their great brotherly love which was becoming well known even beyond their own city; and yet he still exhorts them to love each other more and more.
Paul addresses the issue of sexual immorality in the Thessalonian church, calling them out of impurity and into holiness.
Paul's worries about the difficulties the young church in Thessalonica faced are relieved by Timothy's report of their great faith and love which gives Paul himself great encouragement amidst his own difficulties.
Paul longs to see the Thessalonians face to face because he loves them and wants to be with them in person and not merely in spirit. It is this love that drives him to send Timothy so they will not be alone.
The Apostle Paul invites us to consider the significance of the Word of God which the Thessalonians recognized immediately in Paul's preaching of the Gospel.
When it comes to spreading the message of the Gospel, how that message is lived out in the lives of God's people and presented to the world is as important as the message itself.
Among the Thessalonians, Paul observed the same transforming power of God's love and grace that he had experienced himself, and which propelled the Thessalonians to become imitators of Christ.