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1 Thessalonians 4 New Living Translation (NLT)

Live to Please God

Finally, dear brothers and sisters,[a] we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body[b] and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife,[c] for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other,[d] for God himself has taught you to love one another. 10 Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers[e] throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.

11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. 12 Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.

The Hope of the Resurrection

13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died[f] so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.[g] 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died[h] will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1 Greek brothers; also in 4:10, 13.
  2. 4:4 Or will know how to take a wife for himself; or will learn to live with his own wife; Greek reads will know how to possess his own vessel.
  3. 4:6 Greek Never harm or cheat a brother in this matter.
  4. 4:9 Greek about brotherly love.
  5. 4:10 Greek the brothers.
  6. 4:13 Greek those who have fallen asleep; also in 4:14.
  7. 4:15 Greek those who have fallen asleep.
  8. 4:16 Greek the dead in Christ.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


1 Thessalonians 4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Plea for Purity

Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who[a] has also given us His Holy Spirit.

A Brotherly and Orderly Life

But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

The Comfort of Christ’s Coming

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen [b]asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who [c]sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are [d]asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:8 NU who also gives
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Died
  3. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 Or through Jesus sleep
  4. 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Dead
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Thessalonians 4 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Call to Sanctification

Additionally then, brothers and sisters, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received instruction from us on how you should live and please God—as you are doing[a]—do this even more. For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you knows how to control his own body[b] in holiness and honor, not with lustful passions, like the Gentiles, who don’t know God. This means one must not transgress against and take advantage of a brother or sister in this manner, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses, as we also previously told and warned you. For God has not called us to impurity but to live in holiness. Consequently, anyone who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Loving and Working

About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. 10 In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers and sisters in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do this even more, 11 to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business,[c] and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 so that you may behave properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.[d]

The Comfort of Christ’s Coming

13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For we say this to you by a word from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout,[e] with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage[f] one another with these words.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1 Lit walking
  2. 4:4 Or to acquire his own wife; lit to possess his own vessel
  3. 4:11 Lit to practice one’s own things
  4. 4:12 Or not need anything, or not be in need
  5. 4:16 Or command
  6. 4:18 Or comfort
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

1 Thessalonians 4 New International Version (NIV)

Living to Please God

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders 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 about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 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, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or learn to live with your own wife; or learn to acquire a wife
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:6 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family.
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.

1 Thessalonians 4 The Voice (VOICE)

So finally, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus, we ask you, we beg you to remember what we have taught you: live a life that is pleasing to God as you are already doing. Yes, we urge you to keep living and thriving in that life! For you know the instructions we gave you, instructions that came through the Lord Jesus. Now this is God’s will for you: set yourselves apart and live holy lives; avoid polluting yourselves with sexual defilement. Learn how to take charge over your own body, maintaining purity and honor. Don’t let the swells of lustful passion run your life as they do the outsiders who don’t know God. Don’t violate or take advantage of a fellow believer in such matters. As we told you before and warned you: the Lord will settle the score with anyone who does these things. Here’s why: God does not call us to live impure, adulterous, scandalous lives, but to seek holiness and purity. If you ignore this message, then you’re not only rejecting us but you’re rejecting God, the One who has given His Holy Spirit to live in you.

Paul uses the language of a loving faith family reaching out to others.

Now there’s no need for us to send you instructions on caring for your faith family because God Himself has already taught you how to love outside yourselves. 10 And it’s evident you learned that lesson well by the way you love all the people of Macedonia. Brothers and sisters, we urge you to love even more 11 and make it your goal to lead a peaceful life, mind your own business, and keep your hands busy in your work, as we have instructed you. 12 That way you will live peacefully with those on the outside, and all your needs will be met without depending on others.

What a beautiful, dramatic transformation! This is Paul’s progression from spoon-feeding people better moral choices to trusting them to live by love according to the conviction of the Spirit, their guide to becoming active participants in the kingdom of God. Paul is acknowledging that there is a power at work that is much greater than his pen. In fact, the same Spirit that inspires Paul’s words in these letters is teaching the believers in Thessalonica to live as true believers and teaches us still today.

13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to be fully informed about those who have fallen asleep in death so that you will not be overwhelmed with grief like those who live outside of the true hope. 14 Here’s what we believe: since Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, God will bring with Jesus all who have died through Him. 15 For we can say all this to you confidently because it is the word of the Lord: we who are still alive and left behind when the Lord comes will not precede those who have fallen asleep in death. 16 On that day, with a command that thunders into the world, with a voice of a chief heavenly messenger, and with a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord Himself will descend from heaven; and all those who died in the Anointed One, our Liberating King, will rise from the dead first. 17 Then we who are alive and left behind will be snatched up together with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This is how we, the resurrected and the living, will be with Him forever. 18 So comfort one another with this hope, and encourage one another with these words.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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