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1Thessalonians  ◦   Chapter 4

1 In closing, my dear Thessalonian family: We taught you how to live in harmony with God’s design for life–the law of love–just as you are now doing, so now we implore you on behalf of our Lord Jesus to do so more and more every day.2 Remember the treatment guidelines we laid out for you, exactly as the Lord Jesus prescribed.3 These are to help you experience God's will–the healing of your mind, the restoration of Christlike character in you–that you will no longer be controlled by lustful impulses, and4 that each of you will experience governance over your own body in harmony with God's design: healthy and honorable,5 and not in hedonistic self-gratification, like those who don't know God do.6 It is damaging to wrong another person sexually: don’t do it! For we have already told you that such acts of selfishness violate God’s design and thus result in self-destruction; and God diagnoses the state of each heart accurately.7 For God called us not to be defective, selfish and deformed in character, but to live pure, selfless and loving lives.8So understand this: The one who rejects these instructions rejects not human rules, but rejects God and his design for life — the law of love, the principle of giving, and the Holy Spirit whom God gives.

9 We don't have to describe the amazing love, unity and affection that occur among those who have taken the Remedy, because you have already experienced this from God himself.10 And you have lived your love in action toward all those who have taken the Remedy in Macedonia. We urge you to continue to do so more and more.

11 Stay focused on your own responsibilities, fulfilling your duties, leading a tranquil, peaceful life, supporting yourself–just as we have taught you.12 Living like this will enhance your autonomy and demonstrate the transforming power of the Remedy, which will attract the unhealed to God and his Remedy.

13 My Thessalonian family, we want you to understand the truth about those who sleep in death, so that you won't grieve like those who haven't taken the Remedy and therefore have no hope of seeing their loved ones again.14 We know that Jesus died, destroying the infection of selfishness and restoring God's law of love into humanity, and thus he rose from the dead in a humanity he cured. We also know that the individualities of those who have partaken of the Remedy Christ achieved are secure with God in heaven, and when Jesus returns, God will bring with Jesus the individualities of those who currently are asleep in him.15 So don't worry: according to God's own word, we who are alive when Christ returns will be taken to heaven, but not without those who are asleep.16 For the Lord will come down from heaven in humanity, as commander of the angelic host, and his voice will resound over the entire earth; and the trumpet of God will sound, and the dead who have partaken of Christ will have their individualities downloaded into perfect bodies–and they will rise first.17 And then, after they have arisen, those of us who have partaken of the Remedy and are still alive on earth will join them in the air, and together, all of us will meet Christ in the clouds. And then we will live forever with the Lord.18 So please, encourage each other with this truth.