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1Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters,*5:1 Greek brothers; also in 5:4, 12, 14, 25, 26, 27.  we don’t really need to write you. 2For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.

4But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief.*5:4 Some manuscripts read comes upon you as if you were thieves.  5For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. 6So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. 7Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. 8But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

9For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Paul’s Final Advice

12Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.

14Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

15See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.

16Always be joyful. 17Never stop praying. 18Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

19Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20Do not scoff at prophecies, 21but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22Stay away from every kind of evil.

Paul’s Final Greetings

23Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

25Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.

26Greet all the brothers and sisters with a sacred kiss.

27I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers and sisters.

28May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.