1 Thessalonians 5

We must be ready for Jesus to return

1 Friends, we do not need to write anything to you about the dates and times when these things will happen. 2 You know very well about how the great day of the Lord's return will happen. That day will surprise people very much, like when a robber comes in the night. 3 At that time, people will be saying, ‘We are safe and there is no trouble for us.’ But then, when they are not ready for it, great punishment will suddenly happen to them. It will be impossible for them to run away. They will receive sudden pain, like a woman who is giving birth to a baby.

4 But you, our Christian friends, know about these things. You are not like people who live in the dark. So when the great day of the Lord happens, it should not suddenly surprise you, like a robber might surprise you. 5 All of you are people who belong to the light and to the day. We who are believers do not belong to the night or to the dark. 6 So, we must watch carefully. We should be like people who stay awake. We should not be like other people who are sleeping. 7 It is at night that people sleep. It is at night that people become drunk.

8 But we belong to the day, not to the night. So we should think clearly. We must prepare ourselves like a soldier who puts on his armour. We must continue to trust God and to love him. That will be like a metal shirt that keeps our body safe. We must also continue to hope that God will save us. That will be like a strong hat that keeps our head safe.

9 God did not choose us as his people so that he could be angry with us. He chose us so that he could save us because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done. 10 Jesus died on our behalf so that we can live together with him. It does not matter whether we are alive or dead when he returns. We will all go to live with him. 11 Because of that, you should help each other to become stronger as believers. I know that you are already doing that.

Paul finishes his letter

12 Our friends, we ask you to respect your leaders who work hard among you. They lead you and they teach you what is right on the Lord's behalf. 13 Show them how valuable they are to you. And love them very much because of the work that they do. Live at peace among yourselves.

14 Friends, you must warn lazy people that they should work. If people are afraid, help them to be brave. If people are weak, take care of them. Be patient with everyone.

5:14All the Christians at Thessalonica were waiting for Jesus to return. They thought that he would come soon. Some of them may have thought that they did not need to continue to work. But nobody knows when the Lord will return. So Paul is teaching them about that. They must continue to work. They must go on living in a way that makes God happy.

15 If someone does something bad against you, do not do anything bad against them in return. Never do that. Instead, always try to do good things that will help one other and help everyone else.

16 Always be happy. 17 Pray at all times. 18 Whatever may happen to you, continue to thank God. God wants you to do that, because you belong to Christ Jesus. 19 Do not stop the work of God's Spirit. 20 When people speak messages on God's behalf, do not refuse to listen. 21 Instead, think carefully about everything, to see if it is true. Remember to obey anything that is good. 22 But keep away from any kind of bad thing.

23 I pray that God will help you to be completely good, as his people should be. He is the one who gives us peace in our minds. I pray that he will take care of you in every way, in your spirit, in your soul and in your body. Then you will not be guilty of anything that is bad, when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 24 God has chosen you to be his people. We can trust him to do what he has promised to do. So, he will do all this for you.

25 Our Christian friends, please pray for us. 26 Say ‘hello’ to all the believers on our behalf, and kiss them as Christian brothers and sisters.

27 I tell you very seriously on the Lord's behalf, please read this letter to all the believers there. 28 I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will continue to be very kind to you.