Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming
1Now, brothers and sisters, we don’t need to write to you about times and dates. 2You know very well that the day when the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief who comes at night. 3People will say, “We have peace and we are safe.” At that time destruction will come to them quickly, like the pains of a woman giving birth. And those people will not escape.
4But you, brothers and sisters, are not living in darkness. And so that day will not surprise you like a thief. 5You are all people who belong to the light. You belong to the day. We don’t belong to the night or to darkness. 6So we should not be like other people. We should not be sleeping. We should be awake and have self-control. 7People who sleep, sleep at night. People who drink too much, drink at night. 8But we belong to the day, so we should control ourselves. We should wear faith and love to protect us. And the hope of salvation should be our helmet.
9God did not choose us to suffer his anger. God chose us to have salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10Jesus died for us so that we can live together with him. It is not important if we are alive or dead when Jesus comes. 11So encourage each other and help each other grow stronger in faith, just as you are already doing.
Final Instructions and Greetings
12Now brothers and sisters, we ask you to recognize the value of those who work hard among you—those who, as followers of the Lord, care for you and tell you how to live. 13Show them the highest respect and love because of the work they do.
Live in peace with each other. 14We ask you, brothers and sisters, to warn those who will not work. Encourage those who are afraid. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. 15Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong. But always try to do what is good for each other and for all people.
16Always be full of joy. 17Never stop praying. 18Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.
19Don’t stop the work of the Holy Spirit. 20Don’t treat prophecy like something that is not important. 21But test everything. Keep what is good, 22and stay away from everything that is evil.
23We pray that God himself, the God of peace, will make you pure—belonging only to him. We pray that your whole self—spirit, soul, and body—will be kept safe and be blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. 24The one who chose you will do that for you. You can trust him.
25Brothers and sisters, please pray for us. 26Give all the brothers and sisters the special greeting of God’s people.#5:26 the special greeting of God’s people Literally, “a holy kiss.” 27I tell you by the authority of the Lord to read this letter to all the believers there. 28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.