5 Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters,[a] we don’t really need to write you. 2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.
4 But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. 5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. 6 So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. 7 Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. 8 But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.
9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Paul’s Final Advice
12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.
Paul’s Final Greetings
23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.
25 Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a sacred kiss.
27 I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers and sisters.
28 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Some great practical advice for each of us today
- be on your guard
- stay alert
- be clear-headed
- encourage each other
- build each other up
- give your spiritual leaders honor and respect
- live peacefully with one another
- warn those who are lazy
- encourage the timid
- care for the weak
- be patient with each other
- do good to each other
- be joyful
- pray always
- be thankful
- don’t stifle the Holy Spirit
- don’t scoff at prophecies
- test everything said
- stay away from evil
Paul’s reason for reminding us of all this is that we don’t know the day or hour of Christ’s return. We need to be prepared and ready. Don’t put off doing what you know you must just because you think you have time and can do it later. Not one person reading this can say for sure they will be alive tomorrow, so right now is the right time to accept Christ as your savior. Christ is coming and it will be without warning.
We have quite a job as Christians, the list above is just a small bit of proof of this. But that is not what will save us. Only accepting the forgiveness Jesus offered by dying on the cross for each of our sins. The list above is stuff we should want to do because of the forgiveness and grace God has given us. I once had one of our church elders say “we don’t work to be a Christian, we work because we are one”, and our work is sharing the Good news with everyone. Let’s not put off getting right with God until tomorrow, do it right now. It is the most urgent thing in your life. If you have not been doing your part to build his kingdom, today is a great day to start.
“if you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”
Have a great day!