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1Thessalonians  ◦   Chapter 5

1 My Thessalonian family, we don't need to write to you about the time and date for the Lord's return,2 because you already know that the date and time of his return are unknown, and will come like a thief — when not expected.3 When people are saying, "Everything is finally calm; we are safe," then events will unravel, and destruction will come: it will come like labor pains to a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape.

4 But your minds are not darkened by the lies of the world, so Christ's return should not surprise you like a thief.5 You are children of enlightenment–children who live in daylight. We don't operate in secret, cloaked with the night, and we are not part of the dark lies about God.6 So don't be like those who sleep–hypnotized by the routines of this world, unaware of the eternal realities of God's kingdom of love–but be alert, clear-minded, and self-controlled.7 For those who sleep, sleep in the dark–whether it is physical sleep in the darkness of night or mental sleep in the dark distortions of this world–and likewise those who get drunk, are drunk in darkness.8 We belong to the kingdom of light; so maintain self-control, let love and trust shield your hearts, and let the expectation of complete healing be a helmet to protect your minds.9 For God did not make us to let us go and be separated from him, but to be his–united to him in love through our Lord Jesus Christ10 who died to heal and restore us, so that those who are currently alive and those asleep in death will live together with him.11 Build each other up and continue encouraging each other with this truth, as you are already doing.

12 Also, be sure to respect those who give their time and energy ministering to you — those who are like the Lord in character. They are in the position to lead and teach you.13 Love and honor them, because they sacrifice themselves for you. And always live in peace with each other.14 And please, set healthy boundaries with the unruly (warn them of the consequences of allowing their feelings to overrule good judgment), buttress the overly sensitive, spend extra time helping the weak-willed, and be patient: healing doesn't happen overnight.15 Follow the treatment plan, and be sure not to respond with selfishness or evil to those who act selfishly or evil. Instead, always choose to live in harmony with God's design–the law of love–and be kind to everyone.

16 Always be joyful;17 keep an open conversation with God and talk with him about everything,18 and no matter what your situation–be thankful, because God is for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Don't suppress or quench the work of the Spirit in your hearts and minds;20 don't ignore the instructions from God's messengers.21But also be sure not to believe without thinking for yourself: whatever is said, test it against the evidence God has provided, and hold to that which is good — which is in harmony with God’s law of love.22 Avoid every kind of evil, selfishness, and deviation from God's design.

23 May God himself–the God who restores peace–heal you, so that your character, mind and body will be kept pure until the Lord Jesus Christ comes again.24 God — who calls you to be healed — always keeps his word, so you can be sure he will heal you.

25 My Thessalonian family, please remember us when you talk with God.26 Greet with a big, loving hug all those who have taken the Remedy.27 By the authority the Lord has given me, I instruct you to have this letter read to all those who have partaken of the Remedy.28 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.