1 Thessalonians 4-5 Common English Bible (CEB)
Living that pleases God
4 So then, brothers and sisters, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to keep living the way you already are and even do better in how you live and please God—just as you learned from us. 2 You know the instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 God’s will is that your lives are dedicated to him.[a] This means that you stay away from sexual immorality 4 and learn how to control your own body in a pure[b] and respectable way. 5 Don’t be controlled by your sexual urges like the Gentiles who don’t know God. 6 No one should mistreat or take advantage of their brother or sister in this issue. The Lord punishes people for all these things, as we told you before and sternly warned you. 7 God didn’t call us to be immoral but to be dedicated to him.[c] 8 Therefore, whoever rejects these instructions isn’t rejecting a human authority. They are rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 You don’t need us to write about loving your brothers and sisters because God has already taught you to love each other. 10 In fact, you are doing loving deeds for all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. Now we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do so even more. 11 Aim to live quietly, mind your own business, and earn your own living, just as I told you. 12 That way you’ll behave appropriately toward outsiders, and you won’t be in need.
Believers who have died
13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about people who have died[d] so that you won’t mourn like others who don’t have any hope. 14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose, so we also believe that God will bring with him those who have died in Jesus. 15 What we are saying is a message from the Lord: we who are alive and still around at the Lord’s coming definitely won’t go ahead of those who have died. 16 This is because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with the signal of a shout by the head angel and a blast on God’s trumpet. First, those who are dead in Christ will rise. 17 Then, we who are living and still around will be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air. That way we will always be with the Lord. 18 So encourage each other with these words.
The Lord’s coming
5 We don’t need to write to you about the timing and dates, brothers and sisters. 2 You know very well that the day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. 3 When they are saying, “There is peace and security,” at that time sudden destruction will attack them, like labor pains start with a pregnant woman, and they definitely won’t escape. 4 But you aren’t in darkness, brothers and sisters, so the day won’t catch you by surprise like a thief. 5 All of you are children of light and children of the day. We don’t belong to night or darkness. 6 So then, let’s not sleep like the others, but let’s stay awake and stay sober. 7 People who sleep sleep at night, and people who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 Since we belong to the day, let’s stay sober, wearing faithfulness and love as a piece of armor that protects our body[e] and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 God didn’t intend for us to suffer his wrath but rather to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 Jesus died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with him. 11 So continue encouraging each other and building each other up, just like you are doing already.
Final instructions and blessing
12 Brothers and sisters, we ask you to respect those who are working with you, leading you, and instructing you. 13 Think of them highly with love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are disorderly. Comfort the discouraged. Help the weak. Be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure no one repays a wrong with a wrong, but always pursue the good for each other and everyone else. 16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray continually. 18 Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Don’t suppress the Spirit. 20 Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages, 21 but examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil. 23 Now, may the God of peace himself cause you to be completely dedicated to him; and may your spirit, soul, and body be kept intact and blameless at our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming. 24 The one who is calling you is faithful and will do this.
25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27 By the Lord’s authority, I order all of you to have this letter read aloud to all the brothers and sisters. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.