III. Specific Exhortations CHAPTER 4 4 General Exhortations. 1Finally, brothers, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God—and as you are conducting yourselves—you do so even more. 2For you know what instructions[J] we gave you through the Lord Jesus. Holiness in Sexual Contact. [K] 3This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, 4that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself in holiness and honor, 5not in lustful passion as do the Gentiles who do not know God; 6not to take advantage of or exploit a brother in this matter, for the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you before and solemnly affirmed. 7For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. 8Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who [also] gives his holy Spirit to you. Mutual Charity. 9On the subject of mutual charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. 10Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Nevertheless we urge you, brothers, to progress even more, 11and to aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your [own] hands, as we instructed you, 12that you may conduct yourselves properly toward outsiders and not depend on anyone. Hope for the Christian Dead. 13We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,[L] will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together[M] with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore, console one another with these words.
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