Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming
1Now, brothers and sisters, we do not need to write you about times and dates. 2You know very well that the day the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief that comes in the night. 3While people are saying, “We have peace and we are safe,” they will be destroyed quickly. It is like pains that come quickly to a woman having a baby. 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 and to the day. We do not belong to the night or to darkness. 6So we should not be like other people who are sleeping, but we should be alert and have self-control. 7Those who sleep, sleep at night. Those who get drunk, get drunk 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 but to have salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10Jesus died for us so that we can live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11So encourage each other and give each other strength, just as you are doing now.
Final Instructions and Greetings
12Now, brothers and sisters, we ask you to appreciate those who work hard among you, who lead you in the Lord and teach you. 13Respect them with a very special love because of the work they do.
Live in peace with each other. 14We ask you, brothers and sisters, to warn those who do not work. Encourage the people 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 joyful. 17Pray continually, 18and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.
19Do not hold back the work of the Holy Spirit. 20Do not treat prophecy as if it were unimportant. 21But test everything. Keep what is good, 22and stay away from everything that is evil.
23Now may God himself, the God of peace, make you pure, belonging only to him. May your whole self—spirit, soul, and body—be kept safe and without fault when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. 24You can trust the One who calls you to do that for you.
25Brothers and sisters, pray for us.
26Give each other a holy kiss when you meet. 27I tell you by the authority of the Lord to read this letter to all the believers.
28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.