Online Bible


1 Thessalonians 4 - An Understandable Version (2005 edition)

Living to Please God

1. Finally then, brothers, we request and urge you, in [the fellowship of] the Lord, that you should live [dedicated lives] and please God. Just as you people received direction from us [on doing this], see that you [continue to] do it more and more.

2. For you know [i.e., are aware of] the instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

3. For it is God’s will that you should be dedicated to Him, [that is], you should avoid sexual immorality.

4. Each of you should know how to control his own body in a dedicated and honorable way,

5. not in passionate lust, as the [unconverted] Gentiles, who do not know God, do.

6. And none of you should violate and exploit his brother [or sister] in such a matter. For the Lord will punish people for all these things, just as we told you before and warned you.

7. For God did not call us to be morally impure, but to be dedicated to Him.

8. So, the person who rejects [this exhortation] is not [merely] rejecting what man says but God [Himself], who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

9. Now you people do not need anyone to write to you about loving [your] brothers, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.

10. For you certainly do practice it toward all the brothers [and sisters] throughout Macedonia. [Note: This was the province in which Thessalonica was located]. Yet we urge you, brothers, to continue doing it more and more.

11. [We also urge you to] make it your aim to live a quiet life, and to attend to your own business matters, and to work with your hands, as we urged you. [Note: Possibly this exhortation was directed toward the tendency of some people there to neglect ordinary responsibilities in view of an imminent return of Christ].

12. [Do these things] so that you will live in a proper way in front of outsiders [i.e., non-Christians], and not have [to depend on people for] any needs.

Believers Who Have Died

13. But we want you to be informed, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep [in death] so that you do not grieve, as other people do [i.e., the unsaved], who have no hope.

14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [from the dead], [we also believe] that God will bring [back to life], along with Jesus, those in [fellowship with] Him who have fallen asleep [in death].

15. For we say this to you by [the authority of] the word of the Lord [Note: Paul was either quoting what Jesus had previously said, or was giving a revelation he had received from the Lord. See I Cor. 14:37], that we [Christians] who are [still] alive, who are left [on earth] when the Lord returns, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. [Note: The point Paul is making is that the living will not be “changed” (I Cor. 15:51-52) and taken to heaven before the dead are raised].

16. For the Lord Himself [i.e., Jesus] will come down from heaven with a commanding shout [Note: This probably refers to Jesus’ voice. See John 5:25, 28], [and] with the archangel’s voice [i.e., Michael. See Jude 9] and with the sound of God’s trumpet; [at this] the dead in [fellowship with] Christ will rise [from the dead] first.

17. Then, we who [will still] be alive, that are left, will be caught up together with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so [from then on] we will always be with the Lord.

18. So, encourage one another with these words.