This is now the third time that I am coming to visit you. "Any accusation must be upheld by the evidence of two or more witnesses" - as the scripture says.
I want to tell those of you who have sinned in the past, and all the others; I said it before during my second visit to you, but I will say it again now that I am away: the next time I come nobody will escape punishment.
You will have all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. When he deals with you, he is not weak; instead, he shows his power among you.
That is why I write this while I am away from you; it is so that when I arrive I will not have to deal harshly with you in using the authority that the Lord has given me - authority to build you up, not to tear you down.