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1 Thessalonians 4 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 One final word, friends. We ask you - urge is more like it - that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. 1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
2 You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity. 3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
4 Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,
5 not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God. 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
6 Don't run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God's concerns, and he will take care of them. We've warned you about this before. 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
7 God hasn't invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful - as beautiful on the inside as the outside. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
8 If you disregard this advice, you're not offending your neighbors; you're rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don't need me to tell you what to do. You're God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! 9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
10 You're already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it. 10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.
11 Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You've heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. 11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,
12 We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends. 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
13 And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. 13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.
14 Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
15 And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence - we have the Master's word on it - that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they'll be ahead of us. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16 The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God's trumpet blast! He'll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise - they'll go first. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
18 Oh, we'll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.