When is all this going to happen? I really don’t need to say anything about that, dear brothers, for you know perfectly well that no one knows. That day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “All is well; everything is quiet and peaceful”—then, all of a sudden, disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman’s birth pains begin when her child is born. And these people will not be able to get away anywhere—there will be no place to hide.

But, dear brothers, you are not in the dark about these things, and you won’t be surprised as by a thief when that day of the Lord comes. For you are all children of the light and of the day, and do not belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Watch for his return and stay sober. Night is the time for sleep and the time when people get drunk. But let us who live in the light keep sober, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the happy hope of salvation.

For God has not chosen to pour out his anger upon us but to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ; 10 he died for us so that we can live with him forever, whether we are dead or alive at the time of his return. 11 So encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing.

12 Dear brothers, honor the officers of your church who work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong. 13 Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because they are straining to help you. And remember, no quarreling among yourselves.

14 Dear brothers, warn those who are lazy, comfort those who are frightened, take tender care of those who are weak, and be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to everyone else. 16 Always be joyful. 17 Always keep on praying. 18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

19 Do not smother the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at those who prophesy, 21 but test everything that is said to be sure it is true, and if it is, then accept it. 22 Keep away from every kind of evil. 23 May the God of peace himself make you entirely pure and devoted to God; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept strong and blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes back again. 24 God, who called you to become his child, will do all this for you, just as he promised. 25 Dear brothers, pray for us. 26 Shake hands for me with all the brothers there. 27 I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the Christians. 28 And may rich blessings from our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, every one.

Sincerely, Paul

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Day of the Lord

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates(A) we do not need to write to you,(B) for you know very well that the day of the Lord(C) will come like a thief in the night.(D) While people are saying, “Peace and safety,”(E) destruction will come on them suddenly,(F) as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.(G)

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness(H) so that this day should surprise you like a thief.(I) You are all children of the light(J) and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep,(K) but let us be awake(L) and sober.(M) For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.(N) But since we belong to the day,(O) let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate,(P) and the hope of salvation(Q) as a helmet.(R) For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath(S) but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.(T) 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.(U) 11 Therefore encourage one another(V) and build each other up,(W) just as in fact you are doing.

Final Instructions

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard(X) among you, who care for you in the Lord(Y) and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.(Z) 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle(AA) and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak,(AB) be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong,(AC) but always strive to do what is good for each other(AD) and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always,(AE) 17 pray continually,(AF) 18 give thanks in all circumstances;(AG) for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not quench the Spirit.(AH) 20 Do not treat prophecies(AI) with contempt 21 but test them all;(AJ) hold on to what is good,(AK) 22 reject every kind of evil.

23 May God himself, the God of peace,(AL) sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul(AM) and body be kept blameless(AN) at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.(AO) 24 The one who calls(AP) you is faithful,(AQ) and he will do it.(AR)

25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us.(AS) 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss.(AT) 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.(AU)

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.(AV)

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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