1 Thessalonians 4
Sanctification and Love
4 Finally, believers, we ask and admonish you in the Lord Jesus, that you follow the instruction that you received from us about how you ought to walk and please God (just as you are actually doing) and that you excel even more and more [pursuing a life of purpose and living in a way that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation]. 2 For you know what commandments and precepts we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, that you be sanctified [separated and set apart from sin]: that you abstain and back away from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor [being available for God’s purpose and separated from things profane], 5 not [to be used] in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God and are ignorant of His will; 6 and that [in this matter of sexual misconduct] no man shall transgress and defraud his brother because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we have told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us to impurity, but to holiness [to be dedicated, and set apart by behavior that pleases Him, whether in public or in private]. 8 So whoever rejects and disregards this is not [merely] rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you [to dwell in you and empower you to overcome temptation].
9 Now concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write you, for you have been [personally] taught by God to love one another [that is, to have an unselfish concern for others and to do things for their benefit].(A) 10 For indeed you already do practice it toward all the [a]believers throughout Macedonia [by actively displaying your love and concern for them]. But we urge you, brothers and sisters, that you excel [in this matter] more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to live quietly and peacefully, and to mind your own affairs and work with your hands, just as we directed you, 12 so that you will behave properly toward outsiders [exhibiting good character, personal integrity, and moral courage worthy of the respect of the outside world], and be dependent on no one and in need of nothing [be self-supporting].
Those Who Died in Christ
13 Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life]. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [as in fact He did], even so God [in this same way—by raising them from the dead] will bring with Him those [believers] who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are still alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede [into His presence] those [believers] who have fallen asleep [in death]. 16 For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the [b]archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain [on the earth] will simultaneously be caught up (raptured) together with them [the resurrected ones] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord!(B) 18 Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words [concerning our reunion with believers who have died].
1 Thessalonians 4
New International Version
Living to Please God
4 As for other matters, brothers and sisters,(A) we instructed you how to live(B) in order to please God,(C) as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 It is God’s will(D) that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;(E) 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body[a](F) in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust(G) like the pagans,(H) who do not know God;(I) 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b](J) The Lord will punish(K) all those who commit such sins,(L) as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.(M) 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.(N)
9 Now about your love for one another(O) we do not need to write to you,(P) for you yourselves have been taught by God(Q) to love each other.(R) 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia.(S) Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more,(T) 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands,(U) just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders(V) and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Believers Who Have Died
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed(W) about those who sleep in death,(X) so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.(Y) 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again,(Z) and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.(AA) 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,(AB) will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.(AC) 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven,(AD) with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel(AE) and with the trumpet call of God,(AF) and the dead in Christ will rise first.(AG) 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left(AH) will be caught up together with them in the clouds(AI) to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord(AJ) forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another(AK) with these words.