4 Finally then, brothers and sisters, 1 we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received instruction from us about how 2 you must live and please God (as you are in fact living) 3 that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is God’s will: that you become holy, 4 that you keep away from sexual immorality, 4 that each of you know how to possess his own body 5 in holiness and honor, 5 not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. 6 In this matter no one should violate the rights of his brother or take advantage of him, 6 because the Lord is the avenger in all these cases, 7 as we also told you earlier and warned you solemnly. 7 For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8 Consequently the one who rejects this is not rejecting human authority 8 but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now on the topic of brotherly love 9 you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. 10 And indeed you are practicing it toward all the brothers and sisters 10 in all of Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 11 to aspire to lead a quiet life, to attend to your own business, and to work with your hands, as we commanded you. 12 In this way you will live 12 a decent life before outsiders and not be in need. 13
13 Now we do not want you to be uninformed, 14 brothers and sisters, 15 about those who are asleep, 16 so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that 17 God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians. 18 15 For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, 19 that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, 20 and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, 21 will be suddenly caught up 22 together 23 with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
5 Now on the topic of times and seasons, 1 brothers and sisters, 2 you have no need for anything to be written to you. 2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord 3 will come in the same way as a thief in the night. 4 3 Now when 5 they are saying, “There is peace and security,” 6 then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains 7 on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape. 4 But you, brothers and sisters, 8 are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would. 5 For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. 6 So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate 9 of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation. 10 9 For God did not destine us for wrath 11 but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died 12 for us so that whether we are alert or asleep 13 we will come to life together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing.
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, 14 to acknowledge those who labor among you and preside over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them most highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, 15 admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all. 15 See that no one pays back evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. 16 Always rejoice, 17 constantly pray, 18 in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not extinguish the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. 22 Stay away from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy and may your spirit and soul and body be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is trustworthy, and he will in fact do this. 16 25 Brothers and sisters, 17 pray for us too. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters 18 with a holy kiss. 27 I call on you solemnly in the Lord 19 to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. 20 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 21
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, 1 which God gave him to show his servants 2 what must happen very soon. 3 He made it clear 4 by sending his angel to his servant 5 John, 2 who then 6 testified to everything that he saw concerning the word of God and the testimony about 7 Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this 8 prophecy aloud, 9 and blessed are 10 those who hear and obey 11 the things written in it, because the time is near! 12
4 From John, 13 to the seven churches that are in the province of Asia: 14 Grace and peace to you 15 from “he who is,” 16 and who was, and who is still to come, 17 and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ – the faithful 18 witness, 19 the firstborn from among the dead, the ruler over the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and has set us free 20 from our sins at the cost of 21 his own blood 6 and has appointed 22 us as a kingdom, 23 as priests 24 serving his God and Father – to him be the glory and the power for ever and ever! 25 Amen.
7 (Look! He is returning with the clouds, 26
and every eye will see him,
even 27 those who pierced him, 28
and all the tribes 29 on the earth will mourn because 30 of him.
This will certainly come to pass! 31 Amen.) 32
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” 33 says the Lord God – the one who is, and who was, and who is still to come – the All-Powerful! 34
9 I, John, your brother and the one who shares 35 with you in the persecution, kingdom, and endurance that 36 are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus. 37 10 I was in the Spirit 38 on the Lord’s Day 39 when 40 I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 saying: “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches – to Ephesus, 41 Smyrna, 42 Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
12 I 43 turned to see whose voice was speaking to me, 44 and when I did so, 45 I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands was one like a son of man. 46 He was dressed in a robe extending down to his feet and he wore a wide golden belt 47 around his chest. 14 His 48 head and hair were as white as wool, even as white as snow, 49 and his eyes were like a fiery 50 flame. 15 His feet were like polished bronze 51 refined 52 in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar 53 of many waters. 16 He held 54 seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword extended out of his mouth. His 55 face shone like the sun shining at full strength. 17 When 56 I saw him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead, but 57 he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, 18 and the one who lives! I 58 was dead, but look, now I am alive – forever and ever – and I hold the keys of death and of Hades! 59 19 Therefore write what you saw, what is, and what will be after these things. 60 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands is this: 61 The seven stars are the angels 62 of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.