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1 Thessalonians 4-5 Good News Translation (GNT)

A Life That Pleases God

Finally, our friends, you learned from us how you should live in order to please God. This is, of course, the way you have been living. And now we beg and urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to do even more. For you know the instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy and completely free from sexual immorality. Each of you should know how to live with your wife[a] in a holy and honorable way, not with a lustful desire, like the heathen who do not know God. In this matter, then, none of you should do wrong to other Christians or take advantage of them. We have told you this before, and we strongly warned you that the Lord will punish those who do that. God did not call us to live in immorality, but in holiness. So then, whoever rejects this teaching is not rejecting a human being, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

There is no need to write you about love for each other. You yourselves have been taught by God how you should love one another. 10 And you have, in fact, behaved like this toward all the believers in all of Macedonia. So we beg you, our friends, to do even more. 11 Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living, just as we told you before. 12 In this way you will win the respect of those who are not believers, and you will not have to depend on anyone for what you need.

The Lord's Coming

13 Our friends, we want you to know the truth about those who have died, so that you will not be sad, as are those who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him.

15 What we are teaching you now is the Lord's teaching: we who are alive on the day the Lord comes will not go ahead of those who have died. 16 There will be the shout of command, the archangel's voice, the sound of God's trumpet, and the Lord himself will come down from heaven. Those who have died believing in Christ will rise to life first; 17 then we who are living at that time will be gathered up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 18 So then, encourage one another with these words.

Be Ready for the Lord's Coming

There is no need to write you, friends, about the times and occasions when these things will happen. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night. When people say, “Everything is quiet and safe,” then suddenly destruction will hit them! It will come as suddenly as the pains that come upon a woman in labor, and people will not escape. But you, friends, are not in the darkness, and the Day should not take you by surprise like a thief. All of you are people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, we should not be sleeping like the others; we should be awake and sober. It is at night when people sleep; it is at night when they get drunk. But we belong to the day, and we should be sober. We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet. God did not choose us to suffer his anger, but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us in order that we might live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11 And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.

Final Instructions and Greetings

12 We beg you, our friends, to pay proper respect to those who work among you, who guide and instruct you in the Christian life. 13 Treat them with the greatest respect and love because of the work they do. Be at peace among yourselves.

14 We urge you, our friends, to warn the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but at all times make it your aim to do good to one another and to all people.

16 Be joyful always, 17 pray at all times, 18 be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.

19 Do not restrain the Holy Spirit; 20 do not despise inspired messages. 21 Put all things to the test: keep what is good 22 and avoid every kind of evil.

23 May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being—spirit, soul, and body—free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you will do it, because he is faithful.

25 Pray also for us, friends.

26 Greet all the believers with the kiss of peace.

27 I urge you by the authority of the Lord to read this letter to all the believers.

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

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 live with your wife; or control your body.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

1 Thessalonians 4-5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

A Life Pleasing to God

Finally, brothers and sisters,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; that each one of you know how to control your own body[b] in holiness and honor, not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one wrong or exploit a brother or sister[c] in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters,[d] you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters[e] throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved,[f] to do so more and more, 11 to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, 12 so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and be dependent on no one.

The Coming of the Lord

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,[g] about those who have died,[h] so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.[i] 15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died.[j] 16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters,[k] you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved,[l] are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

Final Exhortations, Greetings, and Benediction

12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[m] to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13 esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, beloved,[n] to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets,[o] 21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound[p] and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

25 Beloved,[q] pray for us.

26 Greet all the brothers and sisters[r] with a holy kiss. 27 I solemnly command you by the Lord that this letter be read to all of them.[s]

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.[t]

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Gk brothers
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or how to take a wife for himself
  3. 1 Thessalonians 4:6 Gk brother
  4. 1 Thessalonians 4:9 Gk brothers
  5. 1 Thessalonians 4:10 Gk brothers
  6. 1 Thessalonians 4:10 Gk brothers
  7. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Gk brothers
  8. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Gk fallen asleep
  9. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 Gk fallen asleep
  10. 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Gk fallen asleep
  11. 1 Thessalonians 5:1 Gk brothers
  12. 1 Thessalonians 5:4 Gk brothers
  13. 1 Thessalonians 5:12 Gk brothers
  14. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 Gk brothers
  15. 1 Thessalonians 5:20 Gk despise prophecies
  16. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Or complete
  17. 1 Thessalonians 5:25 Gk Brothers
  18. 1 Thessalonians 5:26 Gk brothers
  19. 1 Thessalonians 5:27 Gk to all the brothers
  20. 1 Thessalonians 5:28 Other ancient authorities add Amen
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Thessalonians 4-5 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Therefore, brothers, just as you learned from us how you had to live in order to please God, and just as you are living this way now, we ask you — indeed, united with the Lord Yeshua, we urge you — to keep doing so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you on the authority of the Lord Yeshua. What God wants is that you be holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to manage his sexual impulses in a holy and honorable manner, without giving in to lustful desires, like the pagans who don’t know God. No one should wrong his brother in this matter or take advantage of him, because the Lord punishes all who do such things — as we have explained to you before at length. For God did not call us to live an unclean life but a holy one. Therefore, whoever rejects this teaching is rejecting not a man but God, indeed, the One who gives you the Ruach HaKodesh, which is his.

Concerning love for the brothers we do not need to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other; 10 and you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do it even more.

11 Also, make it your ambition to live quietly, to mind your own business and to earn your living by your own efforts — just as we told you. 12 Then your daily life will gain the respect of outsiders, and you will not be dependent on anyone.

13 Now, brothers, we want you to know the truth about those who have died; otherwise, you might become sad the way other people 14 do who have nothing to hope for. For since we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, we also believe that in the same way God, through Yeshua, will take with him those who have died. 15 When we say this, we base it on the Lord’s own word: we who remain alive when the Lord comes will certainly not take precedence over those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise; 17 then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

But you have no need to have anything written to you, brothers, about the times and dates when this will happen; because you yourselves well know that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is so peaceful and secure,” then destruction will suddenly come upon them, the way labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there is no way they will escape.

But you, brothers, are not in the dark, so that the Day should take you by surprise like a thief; for you are all people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We don’t belong to the night or to darkness, so let’s not be asleep, like the rest are; on the contrary, let us stay alert and sober. People who sleep, sleep at night; and people who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us stay sober, putting on trust and love as a breastplate and the hope of being delivered as a helmet.[a] For God has not intended that we should experience his fury, but that we should gain deliverance through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, 10 who died on our behalf so that whether we are alive or dead, we may live along with him. 11 Therefore, encourage each other, and build each other up — just as you are doing.

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are working hard among you, those who are guiding you in the Lord and confronting you in order to help you change. 13 Treat them with the highest regard and love because of the work they are doing. Live at peace among yourselves; 14 but we urge you, brothers, to confront those who are lazy, your aim being to help them change, to encourage the timid, to assist the weak, and to be patient with everyone.

15 See that no one repays evil for evil; on the contrary, always try to do good to each other, indeed, to everyone.

16 Always be joyful. 17 Pray regularly. 18 In everything give thanks, for this is what God wants from you who are united with the Messiah Yeshua.

19 Don’t quench the Spirit, 20 don’t despise inspired messages. 21 But do test everything — hold onto what is good, 22 but keep away from every form of evil.

23 May the God of shalom make you completely holy — may your entire spirit, soul and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 24 The one calling you is faithful, and he will do it.

25 Brothers, keep praying for us.

26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

27 I charge you in the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

28 The grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 Isaiah 59:17
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

1 Thessalonians 4-5 The Message (MSG)

You’re God-Taught

1-3 One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life.

Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.

4-5 Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.

6-7 Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns, and he will take care of them. We’ve warned you about this before. God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.

If you disregard this advice, you’re not offending your neighbors; you’re rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit.

9-10 Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.

11-12 Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.

The Master’s Coming

13-14 And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.

15-18 And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.

1-3 I don’t think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other—“We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!”—suddenly everything will fall apart. It’s going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.

4-8 But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.

9-11 God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

The Way He Wants You to Live

12-13 And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

13-15 Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

16-18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

19-22 Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

23-24 May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!

25-27 Friends, keep up your prayers for us. Greet all the followers of Jesus there with a holy embrace. And make sure this letter gets read to all the brothers and sisters. Don’t leave anyone out.

28 The amazing grace of Jesus Christ be with you!

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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