Holiness and Love
1And now, beloved brothers and sisters, since you have been mentored by us with respect to living for God and pleasing him, I appeal to you in the name of the Lord Jesus with this request: keep faithfully growing through our teachings even more and more. 2For you already know the instructions we’ve shared with you through the Lord Jesus.
3God’s will is for you to be set apart for him in holiness and that you keep yourselves unpolluted from sexual defilement. 4Yes, each of you must guard your sexual purity with holiness and dignity, 5not yielding to lustful passions like those who don’t know God. 6Never take selfish advantage of a brother or sister in this matter, for we’ve already told you and solemnly warned you that the Lord is the avenger in all these things. 7For God’s call on our lives is not to a life of compromise and perversion but to a life surrounded in holiness. 8Therefore, whoever rejects this instruction isn’t rejecting human authority but God himself, who gives us his precious gift—his Spirit of holiness.
9There’s no need for anyone to say much to you about loving your fellow believers, for God is continually teaching you to unselfishly love one another. 10Indeed, your love is what you’re known for throughout Macedonia. We urge you, beloved ones, to let this unselfish love increase and flow through you more and more. 11Aspire to lead a calm and peaceful life as you mind your own business and earn your living, just as we’ve taught you. 12By doing this you will live an honorable life, influencing others and commanding respect of even the unbelievers. Then you’ll be in need of nothing and not dependent upon others.
The Appearing of the Lord
13Beloved brothers and sisters, we want you to be quite certain about the truth concerning those who have passed away, so that you won’t be overwhelmed with grief like many others who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who died while believing in him. 15This is the word of the Lord: we who are alive in him and remain on earth when the Lord appears will by no means have an advantage over those who have already died, for both will rise together.
16For the Lord himself will appear with the declaration of victory, the shout of an archangel, and the trumpet blast of God. He will descend from the heavenly realm and command those who are dead in Christ to rise first. 17Then we who are alive will join them, transported together in clouds to have an encounter with the Lord in the air, and we will be forever joined with the Lord. 18So encourage one another with these truths.