Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming
1 Now, brothers and sisters, we don’t need to write to you about times and dates. 2 You know very well that the day when the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief who comes at night. 3 People will say, “We have peace and we are safe.” At that time destruction will come to them quickly, like the pains of a woman giving birth. And those people will not escape.
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not living in darkness. And so that day will not surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all people who belong to the light. You belong to the day. We don’t belong to the night or to darkness. 6 So we should not be like other people. We should not be sleeping. We should be awake and have self-control. 7 People who sleep, sleep at night. People who drink too much, drink at night. 8 But we belong to the day, so we should control ourselves. We should wear faith and love to protect us. And the hope of salvation should be our helmet.
9 God did not choose us to suffer his anger. God chose us to have salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 Jesus died for us so that we can live together with him. It is not important if we are alive or dead when Jesus comes. 11 So encourage each other and help each other grow stronger in faith, just as you are already doing.
Final Instructions and Greetings
12 Now brothers and sisters, we ask you to recognize the value of those who work hard among you—those who, as followers of the Lord, care for you and tell you how to live. 13 Show them the highest respect and love because of the work they do.
Live in peace with each other. 14 We ask you, brothers and sisters, to warn those who will not work. Encourage those who are afraid. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. 15 Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong. But always try to do what is good for each other and for all people.
16 Always be full of joy. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.
19 Don’t stop the work of the Holy Spirit. 20 Don’t treat prophecy like something that is not important. 21 But test everything. Keep what is good, 22 and stay away from everything that is evil.
23 We pray that God himself, the God of peace, will make you pure—belonging only to him. We pray that your whole self—spirit, soul, and body—will be kept safe and be blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. 24 The one who chose you will do that for you. You can trust him.
25 Brothers and sisters, please pray for us. 26 Give all the brothers and sisters the special greeting of God’s people.* the special greeting of God’s people Literally, “a holy kiss.” 27 I tell you by the authority of the Lord to read this letter to all the believers there. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
*5:26 the special greeting of God’s people Literally, “a holy kiss.”