1I don't need to write you about the time or date when all this will happen. 2#Mt 24.43; Lk 12.39; 2 P 3.10. You surely know that the Lord's return#5.2 the Lord's return: The Greek text has “the day of the Lord.” will be as a thief coming at night. 3People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won't escape.
4My dear friends, you don't live in darkness, and so that day won't surprise you like a thief. 5You belong to the light and live in the day. We don't live in the night or belong to the dark. 6Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. 7People sleep during the night, and some even get drunk. 8#Is 59.17; Eph 6.13-17. But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armor. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet.
9God doesn't intend to punish us, but wants us to be saved by our Lord Jesus Christ. 10Christ died for us, so we could live with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11This is why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing.
Final Instructions and Greetings
12My friends, we ask you to be thoughtful of your leaders who work hard and tell you how to live for the Lord. 13Show them great respect and love because of their work. Try to get along with each other. 14My friends, we beg you to warn anyone who isn't living right. Encourage anyone who feels left out, help all who are weak, and be patient with everyone. 15Don't be hateful to people, just because they are hateful to you. Rather, be good to each other and to everyone else.
16Always be joyful 17and never stop praying. 18Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.
19Don't turn away God's Spirit 20or ignore prophecies. 21Put everything to the test. Accept what is good 22and don't have anything to do with evil.
23I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 24The one who chose you can be trusted, and he will do this.
25Friends, please pray for us.
26Give the Lord's followers a warm greeting.
27In the name of the Lord I beg you to read this letter to all his followers.
28I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you!