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Christian conduct

1AND now, friends, we have one thing to ask of you, as fellow-Christians. We passed on to you the tradition of the way we must live if we are to please God; you are indeed already following it, but we beg you to do so yet more thoroughly.

2You know the rules we gave you in the name of the Lord Jesus.

3This is the will of God, that you should be holy: you must abstain from fornication;

4each one of you must learn to gain mastery over his body, to hallow and honour it,

5not giving way to lust like the pagans who know nothing of God;

6no one must do his fellow-Christian wrong in this matter, or infringe his rights. As we impressed on you before, the Lord punishes all such offences.

7For God called us to holiness, not to impurity.

8Anyone therefore who flouts these rules is flouting not man but the God who bestows on you his Holy Spirit.

9About love of the brotherhood you need no words of mine, for you are yourselves taught by God to love one another,

10and you are in fact practising this rule of love towards all your fellow-Christians throughout Macedonia. Yet we appeal to you, friends, to do better still.

11Let it be your ambition to live quietly and attend to your own business; and to work with your hands, as we told you,

12so that you may command the respect of those outside your own number, and at the same time never be in want.

Christ's return

13WE wish you not to remain in ignorance, friends, about those who sleep in death; you should not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

14We believe that Jesus died and rose again; so too will God bring those who died as Christians to be with Jesus.

15This we tell you as a word from the Lord: those of us who are still alive when the Lord comes will have no advantage over those who have died;

16when the command is given, when the archangel's voice is heard, when God's trumpet sounds, then the Lord himself will descend from heaven; first the Christian dead will rise,

17then we who are still alive shall join them, caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord.

18Console one another, then, with these words.

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