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1To sum up, my brothers, we beg and pray you by the Lord Jesus, that as you have learned from us the way of life that pleases God, you may continue in it, as indeed you are doing, and deepen your experience of it.

2You will remember the instructions we gave you then in the name of the Lord Jesus.

3God's plan is to make you holy, and that means a clean cut with sexual immorality.

4Every one of you should learn to control his body, keeping it pure and treating it with respect,

5and never allowing it to fall victim to lust, as do pagans with no knowledge of God.

6You cannot break this rule without cheating and exploiting your fellowmen. Indeed God will punish all who do offend in this matter, as we have plainly told you and warned you.

7The calling of God is not to impurity but to the most thorough purity,

8and anyone who makes light of the matter is not making light of a man's ruling but of God's command. It is not for nothing that the Spirit God gives us is called the [Holy] Spirit.

9Next, as regards brotherly love, you don't need any written instructions. God himself is teaching you to love each other,

10and you are already extending your love to all the Macedonians. Yet we urge you to have more and more of this love,

11and to make it your ambition to have, in a sense, no ambition! Be busy with your own affairs and do your work yourselves, as we instructed you.

12Then the world outside will respect your life, and you will never be in want.

13Now we don't want you, my brothers, to be in any doubt about those who "fall asleep" in death, or to grieve over them like the rest of men who have no hope.

14If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then we can believe that God will just surely bring with Jesus all who are "asleep" in him.

15Here we have a definite message from the Lord. It is that those who are still living when he comes will not in any way precede those who have previously fallen asleep.

16One word of command, one shout from the archangel, one blast from the trumpet of God and the Lord himself will come down from Heaven! Those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and

17then we who are still living will be swept up with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And after that we shall be with him for ever.

18So by all means use this message to encourage one another.

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