ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 128


who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is
rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each
other, for God himself has taught you to love one another. Indeed, you
already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even
so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and
working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people
who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need
to depend on others.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen
to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have
no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again,
we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the
believers who have died.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the
Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord
himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the
voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them,
we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the
clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
So encourage each other with these words.
Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and
sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the
day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.
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.
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.
For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to
darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay
alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. 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.
For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out
his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive

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