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. Chapter 4.

A Life Pleasing to God

1 AND NOW, MY FRIENDS, we have one thing to beg and pray of you, by our fellowship with the Lord Jesus. We passed on to you the tradition of the way; we must live to please God; you are indeed already following it, but we beg you to do so yet more thoroughly.

2 For you know what orders we gave you, in the name of the Lord Jesus. 3 This is the will of God, that you should be holy: you must abstain from fornication; 4 each one of you must leam to gain mastery over his body, to hallow and honour it, 5 not giving way to lust like the pagans who are ignorant of God; 6 and no man must do his brother wrong in this matter, [Or: must overreach his brother in his business (Or: in lawsuits).] or invade his rights, because, as we told you before with all emphasis, the Lord punishes all such offences. 7 For God called us to holiness, not to impurity. 8 Anyone therefore who flouts these rules is flouting, not man, but God who bestows upon you his Holy Spirit.

9 About love for our brotherhood you need no words of mine, for you are yourselves taught by God to love one another, 10 and you are in fact practising this rule of love towards all your fellow-Christians throughout Macedonia. Yet we appeal to you, brothers, to do better still. 11 Let it be your ambition to keep calm and look after your own business, and to work with your hands, as we ordered you, 12 so that you may command the respect of those outside your own number, and at the same time may never be in want.

The Lord's Coming

13 WE WISH YOU not to remain in ignorance, brothers, about those who sleep in death; you should not grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again; and so it will be for those who died as Christians; God will bring them to life with Jesus. [Or: will bring them in company with Jesus.]

15 For this we tell you as the Lord's word: we who are left alive until the Lord comes shall not forestall those who have died; 16 because at the word of command, at the sound of the archangel's voice and God's trumpet-call, the Lord himself will descend from heaven; first the Christian dead will rise, 17 then we who are left alive shall join them, caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Console one another, then, with these words.

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