We believers should be prepared for the time when the Lord Jesus returns and not be as unbelievers who will be unprepared. We must not be like them. On the contrary, we must be vigilant and self-controlled.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-8
1 My fellow believers, I want to tell you more about the time or period when the Lord Jesus will come back. Really, you do not need me to you about that, 2 because you yourselves know accurately what will happen! You know that the Lord Jesus will return [MTY] unexpectedly (OR, when some people are unprepared). People will not expect him, just like no one knows when a thief comes unexpectedly at night [SIM]. 3 At a future time many people will say, “ All is peaceful and we are safe!” Then suddenly the Lord Jesus will come to punish people severely! Just like a pregnant woman who experiences birth pains cannot stop those pains, those people will definitely not have any way to escape their punishment. 4-5 Just like people in the dark are unaware of what is happening around them, most people will not be aware of what is about to happen to them [MET, PRS]. Just like a thief comes unexpectedly for people who are unaware, that time of punishment will come when people are not expecting it [SIM]. But you, my fellow believers, are people who are very much aware [LIT] of what is going to happen. As a result, you will be expecting [LIT] those things [MTY] to happen [PRS]. All of us believers are people [IDM] who do what is right, as people usually do in the daytime [MET] when their actions can be seen. We are not people who do evil things, as some people do when it is dark [MET]. 6 So we believers must be aware of what is happening. We must be watching carefully, as people who are awake watch for a thief [MET]. We must be self-controlled, as people who are ◄sober/not drunk► are able to control what they do [MET]. People who sleep [MET] are unaware of what is happening, and unbelievers are like that. 7 It is at night when people become drunk and they do very wrong actions/things, and are unaware of what is happening because they are asleep. 8 But we believers are people who should do what is right [MET], so we must be self-controlled, as people in the daytime are usually not drunk and are able to control what they do [MET]. As Roman soldiers protect themselves by putting on breastplates and helmets [MET], we believers must protect ourselves by continuing to trust and love the Lord Jesus and by continuing to confidently expect that he will save us from God's punishing us at the time when he will punish other people.
God has destined us believers to be saved from future punishment and to be able to live together with our Lord Jesus after he returns. Since this is true, encourage each other.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
9 When God chose us, he did not plan for us to be people whom he will severely punish [MTY]. On the contrary, he decided that he would save us because of our trusting in what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us. 10 Jesus died to atone/pay for our sins in order that we might be able to live together with him, whether we are alive [MET] or whether we are dead [EUP] when he returns to earth. 11 Because you know that this is true, continue to encourage/comfort each other, as indeed you now are doing.
Recognize as leaders those people who care for and instruct you; highly esteem and love them. Live peacefully with each other.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
12 My fellow believers, we three ask that you recognize/honor as leaders those people who work hard for you. Specifically, respect those who lead you as fellow believers who ◄have a close relationship with/are united to► the Lord Jesus. They warn you to stop doing what is wrong (OR, they teach you to do what is right). 13 That is, we ask that you consider those leaders to be very important and that you love them, because they work hard to help you. We also urge you to live peacefully with each other.
Warn believers who will not work, and encourage and help those who need it. Be patient with all people. Do good things for all of them, including those who do evil things to you.
1 Thessalonians 5:14-15
14 My fellow believers, we urge that you warn believers who will not work in order to ◄ obtain/earn the money to buy► things that they need to live. Tell them that they are behaving wrongly. We urge you that you encourage believers who are fearful (OR, discouraged), and that you help all people who are weak in any way. We also urge you to be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that none of you does evil things to anyone who has done evil to you. On the contrary, you must always try to do good things for each other (OR, to fellow believers) and to everyone else.
Always rejoice, pray, and thank God.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Be joyful ◄at all times/always►, 17 pray continually, 18 and thank God ◄in all circumstances/regardless of what happens►. God wants you to behave like that because of what Christ Jesus has done for you (OR, because you have a close relationship with Christ Jesus).
Evaluate all messages that people claim that the Holy Spirit gave them. Accept authentic messages and obey them.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
19 Do not refuse the urging from God's Spirit when he is working [MTY] among you. That would be like throwing water on a fire [MET]! 20 Specifically, do not despise messages that the Holy Spirit reveals to someone, and reject them automatically. 21 On the contrary, evaluate all such messages. Accept the messages that are truly from God, and obey them. 22 Do not obey any kind of evil message.
We pray that God will cause you to be distinct people who behave right in every way, and I am sure that he will do this.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
23 We pray to God that he will change you to become more and more like his people should be. He is the one who causes his people to have inner peace. That is, we pray that he will help you so that in all that you think, in all that you desire, and in all that you do, you will be without fault. We ask him that he will keep doing that until our Lord Jesus Christ comes back to earth. 24 Because God has invited you to be his people, you can certainly trust him to keep on helping you to do that.
Pray for us. Affectionately greet all your fellow believers, and make certain that someone reads this letter aloud to all of them. May the Lord bless you.
1 Thessalonians 5:25-28
25 My fellow believers, pray for me and for Silas and for Timothy. 26 When you gather together as believers, greet each other affectionately, as fellow believers should. 27 Make certain that you read this letter to all the believers who may be absent when you read it at first, knowing that the Lord Jesus wants you to do it. 28 I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will continue to act kindly toward you all.