The Day of the Lord
1 Now as to the (a)times and dates, (b)brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the [return of the] Lord is coming just as a thief [comes unexpectedly and suddenly] in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety [all is well and secure!]” then [in a moment unforeseen] destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains on a woman with child, and they will absolutely not escape [for there will be no way to escape the judgment of the Lord]. 4 But you, (c)believers, [all you who believe in Christ as Savior and acknowledge Him as God’s Son] are not in spiritual darkness [nor held by its power], that the day [of judgment] would overtake you [by surprise] like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We do not belong to the night nor to darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep [in spiritual indifference] as the rest [of the world does], but let us keep wide awake [alert and cautious] and let us be sober [self-controlled, calm, and wise]. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we [believers] belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope and confident assurance of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us to [incur His] wrath [that is, He did not select us to condemn us], but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died [willingly] for us, so that whether we are awake (alive) or asleep (dead) [at Christ’s appearing], we will live together with Him [sharing eternal life]. 11 Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to appreciate those who diligently work among you [recognize, acknowledge, and respect your leaders], who are in charge over you in the Lord and who give you instruction, 13 and [we ask that you appreciate them and] hold them in the highest esteem in love because of their work [on your behalf]. Live in peace with one another. 14 We [earnestly] urge you, believers, admonish those who are out of line [the undisciplined, the unruly, the disorderly], encourage the timid [who lack spiritual courage], help the [spiritually] weak, be very patient with everyone [always controlling your temper].(A) 15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek that which is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always and delight in your faith; 17 be unceasing and persistent in prayer; 18 in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit. 20 Do not scorn or reject gifts of prophecy or prophecies [spoken revelations—words of instruction or exhortation or warning]. 21 But test (d)all things carefully [so you can recognize what is good]. Hold firmly to that which is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil [withdraw and keep away from it].
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [that is, separate you from profane and vulgar things, make you pure and whole and undamaged—consecrated to Him—set apart for His purpose]; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and [be found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful and absolutely trustworthy is He who is calling you [to Himself for your salvation], and He will do it [He will fulfill His call by making you holy, guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own].
26 Greet all the believers with a holy (e)kiss [as brothers and sisters in God’s family]. 27 I solemnly charge you by the Lord to have this letter read before all the (f)congregation.
a. 1 Thessalonians 5:1: The Greek word here for times refers to the length of time (indicating how long one must wait for something), while the word for dates refers to the particular time that a significant event will happen.
b. 1 Thessalonians 5:1: Lit brethren.
c. 1 Thessalonians 5:4: Lit brethren.
d. 1 Thessalonians 5:21: Or everyone, that is, anyone claiming to be a prophet.
e. 1 Thessalonians 5:26: Greeting other believers with a kiss on the cheek would be the equivalent of today’s handshake, pat on the back, or casual hug.
f. 1 Thessalonians 5:27: Lit brethren.