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Be Ready for the Lord's Coming

5 1Now, brothers [and sisters], we don't need to write to you about times and dates. 2You know very well that the day the Lord comes again will be [a surprise] like a thief who comes at night. 3People will say, "We have peace and we are safe." At that time destruction will come to them quickly. Destruction will come like the pains of a woman who is having a baby. And those people will not escape. 4But you, brothers [and sisters], are not living in darkness (sin). And so that day will not surprise you like a thief. 5You are all people who belong to the light (goodness). You belong to the day. We don't belong to the night or to darkness (evil). 6So we should not be like other people. We should not be sleeping. We should be awake and have self-control. 7People who sleep, sleep at night. People who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But we belong to the day (goodness), so we should control ourselves. We should wear faith and love to protect us. And the hope of salvation should be our helmet. 9God did not choose us to suffer his anger. God chose us to have salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10Jesus died for us so that we can live together with him. It is not important if we are alive or dead [when Jesus comes]. 11So encourage each other and make each other stronger [in faith]. And you are doing that now.

Final Instructions and Greetings

12Now brothers [and sisters], we ask you to respect those people who work hard with you--those who lead you in the Lord and teach you. 13Respect those people with a very special love because of the work they do [with you]. Live in peace with each other. 14We ask you, brothers [and sisters], to warn those people who don't work. Encourage the people who are afraid. Help the people who are weak. Be patient with every person. 15Be sure that no person pays back wrong for wrong. But always try to do what is good for each other and for all people. 16Always be full of joy. 17Never stop praying. 18Give thanks [to God] at all times. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus. 19Don't stop the work of the [Holy] Spirit.* 20Don't treat prophecy* like it is not important. 21But test everything. Keep what is good. 22And stay away from everything that is evil. 23We 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 without wrong when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. 24The One (God) who calls you will do that for you. You can trust him. 25Brothers [and sisters], please pray for us. 26Give all the brothers [and sisters] a holy kiss when you meet. 27I tell you by the authority (power) of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers [and sisters]. 28The grace (kindness) of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world. prophecy Teaching by a person who speaks for God.

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