1 Now brothers, you do not need to have anything written to you about the times and dates [i.e., of Christ's second coming], 2 for you know perfectly well that the day of the Lord [i.e., when He returns, See II Thess. 2:1-2] will arrive like a thief coming in the night. 3 [For] when people are saying, "Peace," and "Safety," then [is when] destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not be able to escape it. 4 But you brothers are not in the dark about that day, so that it sneaks up on you like a thief, 5 for all of you people belong to the light; you belong to the daytime. We do not belong to the night or to darkness. [Note: In this passage "light" and "daytime" refer to spiritual illumination, while "darkness" and "night" refer to spiritual ignorance]. 6 So then, we should not be [spiritually] asleep, like the rest [i.e., the unsaved world], but we should be alert and sober [i.e., in control of our senses]. 7 For people sleep at night, and get drunk at night [i.e., generally speaking]. 8 But, since we belong to the daytime [i.e., are enlightened], we should be sober. We should put on the "flack jacket" of faith and love, and for a helmet, the hope of being saved. 9 For God did not appoint us to [suffer His] wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep [i.e., alive or dead], we could live together with Him. 11 Therefore, [continue to] encourage one another, and build each other up [spiritually], just as you are also doing.
12 But we urge you, brothers, to know [i.e., appreciate and respect] those who work hard among you, and who lead you and warn you in [the fellowship of] the Lord. [Note: These men were probably the elders. See Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17]. 13 And regard them very highly, in a loving way, because of the work they do. You should live at peace with one another. 14 And we urge you, brothers, to warn those who are idle [Note: The word "idle" originally meant, "insubordinate, or unruly." See II Thess. 3:6-7, 11], encourage those who are timid, help the [spiritually] weak and be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that no one does anything wrong to someone who wrongs him, but always look for something good you can do for one another and for everyone.
16 You should be joyful at all times. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Thank [God] for everything, for this is what God wants for you in [the fellowship of] Christ Jesus. 19 Do not squelch the [influence of the] Holy Spirit [in your lives]. 20 Do not look down on prophetic messages. 21 Put everything [i.e., speakers and their messages] to the test, [then] hold onto what is good. 22 Avoid [the practice of] every kind of evil.
23 And may God Himself, who gives peace, dedicate you completely, and may your spirit, soul and body [i.e., your entire person] be kept without just blame at [i.e., until] the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 God, who calls you [into His fellowship] is faithful; He will also do [what He promises]. 25 Brothers, pray for us. 26 Greet all of the brothers [and sisters] with a holy kiss [i.e., to signify affection, yet without sensuality]. 27 I am ordering you, by [the authority of] the Lord, that this letter be read to all the brothers. 28 May the unearned favor of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.