1 I don't need to write you about the time or date when all this will happen. 2 You surely know that the Lord's return will be as a thief coming at night. 3 People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won't escape.
4 My dear friends, you don't live in darkness, and so that day won't surprise you like a thief. 5 You belong to the light and live in the day. We don't live in the night or belong to the dark. 6 Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. 7 People sleep during the night, and some even get drunk. 8 But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armor. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet.
9 God doesn't intend to punish us, but wants us to be saved by our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 Christ died for us, so we could live with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11 This is why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing.
Final Instructions and Greetings
12 My friends, we ask you to be thoughtful of your leaders who work hard and tell you how to live for the Lord. 13 Show them great respect and love because of their work. Try to get along with each other. 14 My friends, we beg you to warn anyone who isn't living right. Encourage anyone who feels left out, help all who are weak, and be patient with everyone. 15 Don't be hateful to people, just because they are hateful to you. Rather, be good to each other and to everyone else.
16 Always be joyful 17 and never stop praying. 18 Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.
19 Don't turn away God's Spirit 20 or ignore prophecies. 21 Put everything to the test. Accept what is good 22 and don't have anything to do with evil.
23 I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 24 The one who chose you can be trusted, and he will do this.
25 Friends, please pray for us.
26 Give the Lord's followers a warm greeting.
27 In the name of the Lord I beg you to read this letter to all his followers.
28 I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you!
© Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®) © 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.