1 Thessalonians 4 (Common English Bible)

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Living that pleases God

1 So then, brothers and sisters, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to keep living the way you already are and even do better in how you live and please God—just as you learned from us. 2 You know the instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 God's will is that your lives are dedicated to him.a This means that you stay away from sexual immorality 4 and learn how to control your own body in a pureb and respectable way. 5 Don't be controlled by your sexual urges like the Gentiles who don't know God. 6 No one should mistreat or take advantage of their brother or sister in this issue. The Lord punishes people for all these things, as we told you before and sternly warned you. 7 God didn't call us to be immoral but to be dedicated to him.c 8 Therefore, whoever rejects these instructions isn't rejecting a human authority. They are rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. 9 You don't need us to write about loving your brothers and sisters because God has already taught you to love each other. 10 In fact, you are doing loving deeds for all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. Now we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do so even more. 11 Aim to live quietly, mind your own business, and earn your own living, just as I told you. 12 That way you'll behave appropriately toward outsiders, and you won't be in need.

Believers who have died

13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about people who have diedd so that you won't mourn like others who don't have any hope. 14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose, so we also believe that God will bring with him those who have died in Jesus. 15 What we are saying is a message from the Lord: we who are alive and still around at the Lord's coming definitely won't go ahead of those who have died. 16 This is because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with the signal of a shout by the head angel and a blast on God's trumpet. First, those who are dead in Christ will rise. 17 Then, we who are living and still around will be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air. That way we will always be with the Lord. 18 So encourage each other with these words.
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