Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians

Greg Quail

When was it written?

When Paul first entered Macedonia with the gospel, the first city he visited was Philippi (Acts 16). From there he continued west through Amphipolis and Apollonia until he arrived at Thessalonica. The synagogue there was Paul’s second preaching point in Europe (Acts 17:1-3) and, although some of the Jews believed—together with many Greek proselytes and chief women—the majority violently opposed him because of their jealousy (v.4-9). Moving further west to Berea he found the Jews there to be more noble, willing to confirm his message by comparing it with the Scriptures. Many of them believed—as again did the upper class Greeks (v.10-12). But the Jews from Thessalonica then came to Berea to continue their aggressive antagonism, and this brought Paul’s work there—and in all of Macedonia—to an abrupt end. From there he moved southwards to Athens and Corinth, in the region of Achaia.

Although his time with them was relatively short, having preached in the synagogue for just three Sabbaths, Paul had quickly developed a deep affection for the believers of the Thessalonian assembly. He knew by first-hand experience the character of the persecution they suffered from the Jews. While he was at Athens he sent Timothy and Silas back to Thessalonica (1 Thess.3:1-5) and, having moved on to Corinth, as soon as Timothy returned with news of the brethren, Paul wrote his first letter to them (Acts 18:5; 1 Thess.3:6).

Paul then remained in Corinth for 18 months (Acts 18:11) before returning to he “home base” in Antioch (v.22-23). In his subsequent travels there is no mention of Silas, so it is very likely that his second letter to the Thessalonians was also written while he was at Corinth—while Silas was still with him.

Considering that the letters were written in fairly quick succession, it would be expected that there should be similarities in style and in subject matter. It is instructive therefore to take note of the similarities and the differences.

Similarities

In both letters Paul writes about:

  • the persecution the Christians in Thessalonica were experiencing, primarily from the Jews (1 Thess. 2:14–16; 3:3; 2 Thess. 1:4–7);
  • their love and their interpersonal relationships (1 Thess. 1:3; 3:12–4:9; 2 Thess. 1:3; 3:1–16);
  • the need to behave rightly and to work for a living (1 Thess. 4:11–12; 2 Thess.3:6–15);
  • practical relations in the assembly (1 Thess. 5:12–28; 2 Thess. 3);
  • the second coming of the Lord Jesus and the day of the Lord (1 Thess. 4:13–5:11; 2 Thess. 1:5–10; 2:1–12).

Differences

In 1 Thessalonians Paul wrote of the Lord’s coming because he did not wish the Thessalonians to be ignorant of the heavenly side of the Lord’s return, of our being caught up to meet the Lord (4:13ff). He did not write in detail about the day of the Lord because they already had knowledge of this subject and of its reference to unbelievers in particular (5:1ff). In 2 Thessalonians he did not write in detail about the Lord’s coming because their knowledge of it was such that he could use it as a basis for exhortation (2:1), but he did write in detail about the day of the Lord because they had been deceived by false teaching about it (2:2ff).

In 1 Thessalonians 1:3 he wrote of their faith, love and hope — the three primary colours of Christianity. In 2 Thessalonians 1:3 he could only speak of their faith and love. It would seem that their hope, having been under attack by false teaching, had diminished.

Chapter 1

(1:1–2) ‘Paul and Silvanus and Timotheus to the assembly of Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.’

Although the letter begins and ends with Paul (see also 3:17–18), he links Silas and Timothy with him as witnesses and as sharing the greetings he sends. It would surely have been a joy to the Thessalonians to receive such a message from such servants. These were men whose love for the brethren had been proved by their conduct amongst them. They had devoted their time — their lives — to the encouragement of the Lord’s people. The Thessalonians could not possibly have received this as a cold, hard information brochure. It was a personal letter written by men whose personal affections were already known and treasured.

It nevertheless has a place in the inspired Scriptures, and Paul’s style of writing seems to indicate that he was conscious of this as he wrote. Although written with and to intimate friends, it does not have the character of a private personal note. Rather, it was clearly intended for circulation and for public reading, and therefore contains elements of formality that would be unexpected in a private message.

(1:3) ‘We ought to thank God always for you, brethren, even as it is meet, because your faith increases exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all towards one another abounds’.

As mentioned previously, Paul does not here write about their hope. At the same time, there is nothing of even the slightest hint of criticism in these words. This was an assembly growing in exactly the right way, in faith and love — and not in half measures: He says, ‘exceedingly’ and ‘abounds’. If their hope had diminished due to their sufferings or the false teaching that had troubled them, Paul wrote not to criticise but to encourage. He would not speak about the soul’s need for hope; he would rather present positive objective truth so that it might be instilled in their souls afresh.

(1:4) ‘so that we ourselves make our boast in you in the assemblies of God for your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations, which ye are sustaining’.

The superlative language of verse 3 was not mere flattery. Paul was impressed with the way the Thessalonians were getting on and he held them out to others as an example. In the first epistle he had no need to speak about them (1:8), but here there was a need. Back then, their turning, serving and waiting (1:9–10) were matters of public knowledge and admiration. They had endurance and faith for, and in, persecutions and tribulations. As he later wrote to the Colossians, desiring strengthening for all endurance and longsuffering (Col. 1:11), so here Paul equates the proper sustaining of difficulties with vibrant and praiseworthy Christianity. It isn’t numerical growth; it isn’t material prosperity; but it is the manifestation of Christ-like moral qualities in a time of difficulty that Paul boasts in and publicises.

Many of the brethren had been well-off in their unconverted days. What a change they had experienced in coming to Christ! What a temptation these persecutions and tribulations would have put before them to turn their backs on this new-found faith! But no, they stood firm, stood faithful, and stood together in love.

(1:5) ‘a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, to the end that ye should be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for the sake of which ye also suffer’.

What an amazing statement! It flies in the face of everything human logic would pronounce. Their persecutions and tribulations were a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God. How was this? ‘Their sufferings proved that they were God’s people, and that rest would be their portion, with Paul and the others of God’s saints then on earth, when divine judgment from heaven should overtake the ungodly in the world’ (CES). ‘But more, the “day of the Lord” was the coming of the Lord in judgment; but it was not to make His own suffer that He was coming — it was to punish the wicked. Persecution therefore could not be the day of the Lord; for in persecution the wicked had the upper hand and did their own will and inflicted suffering on those whom the Lord loved. Could that be His day?’[1]

The thought he expresses here runs right through to the end of verse 10. When the Lord Jesus comes in judgment — the day of the Lord — the Thessalonians, and all Christians, will be resting with Paul — that is, with Christ. Before he even commences a formal apologetic statement to prove they were not enduring the day of the Lord, he demonstrates the truth of it in the encouragement he gives them. When the Lord comes thus, they will not be sufferers, they will be on display — a reward for their faithfulness, and a magnification of Christ’s glory.

(1:6–7) ‘if at least it is a righteous thing with God to render tribulation to those that trouble you, and to you that are troubled repose with us’.

This is the continuation of that same thought. God will do rightly. He is righteous. The troublers will receive tribulation; the troubled will receive rest.

(1:7) ‘at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven, with the angels of his power’.

Here he states clearly when this righteous dealing of God will come to fruition: when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven — the second, public, phase of His second coming.

(1:8) ‘in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who know not God, and those who do not obey the glad tidings of our Lord Jesus Christ’.

The character of this judgment will be vengeance — repaying what is rightly deserved by the persecutors. Two classes seem to be indicated here: Gentiles and Jews; those who know not God, and those who (professedly knowing God) obey not the gospel.

(1:9) ‘who shall pay the penalty of everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his might’.

The judgment will not only have the character of vengeance, which might be expressed in temporal judgments, but it will also be eternal. Eternal separation from the Lord; eternal separation from the source of love and light and glory and power.

(1:10) ‘when he shall have come to be glorified in his saints, and wondered at in all that have believed, (for our testimony to you has been believed,) in that day.’

Once more he confirms when this will be, and he reinforces the character of things that will then exist. When they are at rest they will be wondered at, and the wondering at them will be wondering at Christ, and will be for His glory.

(1:11–12) ‘To which end we also pray always for you, that our God may count you worthy of the calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and ye in him, according to the grace of our God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.’

Notice three points in v.11: (i) the end in view—‘to which end’; (ii) their recompense—‘count you worthy’; (iii) their present experience—‘and fulfil…’.

In v.3 he gave thanks for them. Here he prays for them. His prayers have an end in view, an objective, which he mentions first here—‘to which end’. This links with verses 4 and 5 where he indicated that their tribulations had the end in view that they should be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, and it is to this he refers here, showing that his prayers were not merely that they would be upheld in their suffering, but that the suffering would result in reward for them. But his prayers take things further: the first point (indicated by the words, ‘to which end) related to what he had previously mentioned in v.4-5, their being counted worthy of the kingdom; the second point was that they would be counted worthy of the calling.

Here he does not state what the calling is. In the first epistle he reminded them that when he was with them his exhortation had been, ‘that ye should walk worthy of God, who calls you to his own kingdom and glory’ (1 Thess.2:12). There, concerning their practice, their walk, he exhorted them; concerning their recompense, being counted worthy, he prayed for them. Here, concerning their practice, they were called to God’s kingdom and glory; concerning their recompense he simply says ‘the calling’. In ch.2:13-14 he says that God had called them to salvation. ‘The calling’ would embrace all that characterises true Christianity. Paul desired for the Thessalonians that, for them, it would not only be a doctrinal position but a practical recompense; and not only a future recompense but a present experience.

So he continues with a third point, ‘and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith with power’. Paul was both labouring and praying that this might be so. The goodness of God was operative towards the Thessalonians in their tribulations, but if the delusive teachings of the enemy were permitted to run their course, the good pleasure of God’s goodness would not be fulfilled. His good pleasure was not to see them limp to the finish line but to continue running on strongly. Tribulations? Yes. But as sustained in spirit and in knowledge, as triumphant in faith and as powerful in their endurance, the good pleasure of God’s goodness would be fulfilled in them.

The purpose for these prayers was both for Christ’s glory and for their blessing. Indeed, this is always true. Whatever is for His glory is for our blessing. All this is grace.

 

Chapter 2

(2:1-2) “Now we beg you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, nor troubled”.

Paul presents here, as a foundation upon which to base their certainty, the two phases of the second coming of the Lord. The little word “by” has the meaning, “by reason of”. What he means is this: “By reason of the Lord’s coming, please don’t be disturbed about false teaching concerning the day of the Lord”. In the first chapter he had shown that when the day of judgment comes, consequent upon the Lord’s coming, Christians will already be at rest in the Lord’s presence. In 1 Thessalonians 4 he had shown how Christians will come to be in the Lord’s presence—an event commonly called the “rapture”, our gathering together to Him.

This event which is in two phases, namely (i) the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; and (ii) our gathering together to Him, must take place before the day of judgment upon earth—known as the day of the Lord—can come. For this reason Paul presents it as the foundation for his exhortation not to be troubled. He uses known truth as the foundation, working backwards from what was most recently learned, his object being not to teach the chronology of the phases of the Lord’s coming[2] but to give a foundation for his exhortation[3].

It is particularly sad that in modern times translators have drifted from the truth spread by the faithful labours of scholars such as William Kelly in the second half of the 1800s. At that time Kelly warned strongly against mistranslating the word “by” as if it meant “concerning”, and yet virtually every commonly-used modern translation has fallen into this mistake. To use the word “concerning” makes it dangerously possible to read the first verse as if it were an introduction to the subject of the rest of the chapter, and this is certainly not the truth. The revelation of the man of sin (v.3) is not synonymous or synchronous with “our gathering together to” the Lord.

It’s important to be very clear about this. As a foundation for his exhortation, verse 1 looks backward; it does not look forward as if it were an introduction to a new subject. “Based on what you know already of the Lord’s coming and the rapture[4], don’t be troubled by this false idea that you are undergoing the judgments of the day of the Lord.”

Paul was concerned about their heads and their hearts. In the first epistle (5:8) he gave them as armour a breastplate and a helmet. Here he gives them the means by which not to be shaken in mind nor troubled in heart. It is interesting that the Lord Jesus Himself on the eve of His departure from this world gave the assurance of His coming again as the antidote to the troubled hearts of His disciples (John 14:1-3). Scripture is always consistent with itself.

(2:2) “neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as if it were by us, as that the day of the Lord is present.”

From this we learn that there had been a concerted attack of the enemy to turn away the Thessalonians from the hope of the Lord’s coming and to make them think they were already experiencing the day of the Lord. The attack was three-pronged: by spirit, by word and by letter. “By spirit” would signify a claim to have received a supernatural revelation, in the same sense as the apostle John warns to “prove the spirits” (1 Jn.4:1). A counterfeit revelation would certainly have as its source an evil spirit. “By word” would signify oral teaching. “By letter” would be, of course, a written communication. Concerning this he adds a specific detail— “as if it were by us”. Evidently he suspected that a counterfeit letter had been circulated, falsely claiming to have come from him. He does not here refute this, but at the close of the epistle he demonstrates what one of his true letters looked like. Many brethren have often wisely advised not to get occupied with what is false—the counterfeits—but to be saturated with what is true—the real thing. Paul exemplifies this here in the approach he takes regarding the counterfeit letter.

Although modern translators have not heeded William Kelly’s advice regarding the word “by” in v.1, at the end of v.2 they have remained faithful to a rendering discovered to be true during his lifetime[5]. Old Translations mistakenly say “at hand” or “near”; the correct translation is “is present” or “has come”.

That the day of the Lord is “at hand” is a fact. It is the uniform teaching of Scripture that the Lord’s coming is to be expected soon. If His coming is soon, then certainly the judgments that are consequent upon His coming are also soon.

(2:3-4) “Let not any one deceive you in any manner, because it will not be unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself on high against all called God, or object of veneration; so that he himself sits down in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

The day of the Lord will not be present unless other events have already taken place—the apostasy, the revelation of the man of sin, and his self-proclaimed deification. This man of sin is also called here the son of perdition. He is elsewhere named antichrist, false prophet, or the king. He is described as a beast that rises out of the earth, and as one who comes in his own name. These, together with several other names and descriptions, highlight the significance of this person as the great opposer of God and Christ in the future when God again commences His dealings with His earthly people Israel—after the assembly has been raptured to heaven.

It is evident that the temple of God in which he will sit down is the Jewish temple. Daniel had previously prophesied concerning this (Dan. 11:36-39) and some key points from that prophecy include:

  • This enemy of God is called the king
  • he shall exalt himself
  • he shall magnify himself above every god
  • he will not regard the God of his fathers
  • he will not regard the desire of women (to give birth to Messiah)
  • nevertheless he will honour the god of fortresses, indicating that he practices polytheism—willing to recognise another “god” provided it is one he can consider to be beneath him.
  • In Dan.9:27 and 12:11 it is evident that he will place an image of this other “god” in the holy place of the temple—a god of military power and protection.

The Lord Jesus in Matthew 24:15 refers to this same future event, giving warning to His Jewish disciples who were representative of the faithful Jews in a future day who will experience these things.

Paul’s intent here in writing to the Thessalonians is to reassure them that these events, with which Christian believers have nothing to do, must occur before the day of the Lord comes. He writes this to reassure them, and to remind them that he had previously taught them the same things orally (v.5).

(2:6-8) “And now ye know that which restrains, that he should be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness already works; only there is he who restrains now until he be gone, and then the lawless one shall be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the breath of his mouth, and shall annul by the appearing of his coming”.

Two things are here said to prevent the revelation of the lawless one—another name for the man of sin—during this present time when the mystery of lawlessness is at work. One is an impersonal entity, “that which restrains”. The other is a person, “he who restrains”. Together they restrain the working of evil. Together their presence prevents the revelation of the antichrist. When they are no longer present on earth, then the antichrist will be revealed.

The Spirit of God indwells the assembly of God. Although Paul does not here explain who the entity is or who the person is, it fits with the testimony of New Testament teaching that the entity is the assembly and the Person is the Holy Spirit. When both have been removed—at the time of the rapture—then the way will be open for the arising of the antichrist.

The destruction of this great opposer, together with his collaborator known as the beast, is also taught in Rev.19:20. At the time of the public coming of the Lord Jesus, as a mighty military conqueror, both will cast into the lake of fire. The consuming and annulment of the antichrist will not result in his annihilation. He will still be in the lake of fire a thousand years later (Rev.20:10).

(2:9-10) “whose coming is according to the working of Satan in all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, and in all deceit of unrighteousness to them that perish, because they have not received the love of the truth that they might be saved.”

The coming of this antichrist corresponds with a working of Satan. This working will function so as to attract the attention of men in order to gain their approval. It is remarkable that the three things mentioned here (power and signs and wonders) were exactly the three things used to authenticate the ministry of the Lord Jesus and His apostles at the beginning of Christianity. (See Acts 2:22; 6:8; Rom.15:19; 2 Cor.12:12; Heb.2:4.) What was seen in truth in the beginning will be seen in falsehood when the Christian dispensation has come to an end.  Living as we are at the end of the Christian era, anything which claims to manifest a revival of these things should signal a warning to any who desire to be faithful to Christ.

(2:11-12) “And for this reason God sends to them a working of error, that they should believe what is false, that all might be judged who have not believed the truth, but have found pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Where men “have not received the love of the truth that they might be saved”, God will send a working of error. It is frequently asked whether people “get a second chance” after the rapture. The clear answer is given here. No! Nothing is here said about those who have never heard the truth, but for any to whom it has been presented—and who have not received it—not only will they “not get a second chance”, but God will actively intervene so that they will be conditioned to believe what is false.

One might ask, “Could men be so gullible?”. The wholesale consumption today of evolutionary theory, as if it were undisputed fact, evidences that given appropriate conditions men will gladly believe what is false. How much greater in that day when God sends to them a working of error.

(2:13-14) “But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, that God has chosen you from the beginning to salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereto he has called you by our glad tidings, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Just as in 1 Thess.5 Paul had contrasted the Thessalonians—as sons of light—with the sons of darkness who would experience the day of the Lord, so here he contrasts them with those who will not be saved.

He speaks of this work of salvation in connection with the three Persons of the Godhead in the same manner and sequence as does Peter in his first epistle (1 Pet.1:2). First comes the electing, foreknowing, choosing by God the Father—and this from before the foundation of the world (Eph.1:4). Then comes the internal working of the Holy Spirit to produce the capacity to believe (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3; Eph.2:8). Finally comes the actual belief of the truth, faith in the finished sacrificial work of Christ (Eph.1:13; 1 Cor.15:3).

What a comfort and an assurance to the suffering Thessalonians! What a comfort to believers throughout the Christian era. What a comfort to us today! All is of God. God has chosen. God has called. We will—as definite and as certain as God’s choice and call are sure—obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the language of Romans 8 we are glorified already. For all who have faith in Christ, nothing is more secure than this. Any suggestion that a believer can lose their salvation is nothing but travesty of the truth and an affront to the work of God and Christ. Any suggestion that a believer might risk passing through the great tribulation is in like manner an insult to the grace of God.

(2:15-17) “So then, brethren, stand firm, and hold fast the instructions which ye have been taught, whether by word or by our letter. But our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us, and given us eternal consolation and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts, and establish you in every good work and word.”

It is noteworthy that the exhortation to stand firm and hold fast follows on from the assurance of salvation based on God’s sovereign work. A similar exhortation is based on a similar reassurance in 1 Corinthians 15, where the apostle concludes, “So then, my beloved brethren, be firm, immovable…”. Exhortation is based upon encouragement.

In some translations the word “instructions” in v.15 is translated “traditions”. Thayer’s Lexicon gives the primary meaning as: “objectively, that which is delivered, the substance of a teaching”, and while “tradition” is one valid option, it does not really fit with the context here. Paul used the same word in 1 Corinthians 11:2, “that as I have directed you, ye keep the directions”. In that verse, “directed” and “directions” come from the same root. Both there and here the meaning is divine instruction, not human traditional teaching.

Paul makes specific reference to “our letter”, meaning the first epistle to the Thessalonians.  Had they held fast to the teaching there concerning the rapture, they would not have been led into a state of distress by giving credence to the false teaching that they day of the Lord had come.

The chapter concludes, like chapter 1, with what is really a prayer, a request to the Lord Jesus Christ and to God the Father. Paul sets an example for us that we should not merely try to teach a thing, but to pray that it might take effect in the hearts and lives of the hearers or readers.

 

Chapter 3

(3:1-2) “For the rest, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified, even as also with you; and that we may be delivered from bad and evil men, for faith is not the portion of all.”

The chapter division here is correctly placed—which is not always the case with the man-made chapter breaks in our Bibles. Paul opens with the words, “For the rest” or, as some translate, “Finally”. He uses this word to introduce his closing remarks in several places, including 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 6:10; Phil. 3:1; Phil. 4:8; and 1 Thess. 4:1. It signifies not exactly the conclusion but, as we might say, “And one thing more…”.

Having prayed for them at the end of chapter 2, Paul now requests their prayers for him. Although he states it in an impersonal way, he is evidently thinking of his own ministry (in company with Silas and Timothy). But he calls it “the word of the Lord” not “our words”. We would all do well to follow Paul’s example here if we are called upon to give a report of our service.

(3:3-4) “But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you and keep you from evil. But we trust in the Lord as to you, that the things which we enjoin, ye both do and will do.”

He uses a helpful literary pattern here:

  1. The efficacy of the word of the Lord as to Paul’s company
  2. Protection for Paul’s company
  3. Protection for the Thessalonians
  4. The efficacy of the word of the Lord as to the Thessalonians.

(3:5) But the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of the Christ.

Again he prays for them. Some have attempted to make of this a Trinitarian statement, claiming that “the Lord” is the Holy Spirit. But there is neither precept nor example in Scripture for addressing prayer to the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 8:6 teaches what is fundamental to Christians—“to us there is … one Lord: Jesus Christ”. Paul here prays to the Lord Jesus. In view of the dangers of the pathway he desires for them two things: love—the consciousness of God’s love, and patience—the reproduction of Christ’s patience.

(3:6-15) Contrary to popular opinion, Christianity involves separation and imitation. We often hear that Christians ought to be tolerant, to never separate from believers; and that they ought to imitate only Jesus, never men. Paul teaches the reverse of these things. We are to withdraw from disorderly brothers, and we are to imitate Paul and his company.

The separation here is not excommunication by the assembly, neither is it withdrawal from the assembly by a faithful individual. It is the avoidance of social contact—“do not keep company with him”—coupled with admonition, so that the disorderly brother might feel ashamed. The issues about which Paul enjoins this include: not following apostolic instructions; not working; acting as busybodies.

In contrast with this he indicates that we are to imitate the positive example set by himself with Silas and Timothy.

(3:16) But the Lord of peace himself give you peace continually in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Again he concludes his exhortation and teaching with a prayer for them. The Lord Jesus promised to leave His peace with His own (Jn.14:27), and as with all His promises, to ask Him for the thing He promised is not an act of unbelief but an example of praying according to His declared will.

(3:17-18) Paul signs his letter to conclude. He opened by including his companions. He closes just one signature, his own. The letter is his.

Having prayed for love, patience, peace and the Lord’s companionship, he concludes with one last request for them—grace.

 

 

 

 

[1] J N Darby, Synopsis of the Books of the Bible (2 Thess. 1).

[2] Otherwise he would have said, “by our gathering together to our Lord Jesus Christ and His coming”.

[3] The other possibility is to take both, the “coming” and our “being gathered together unto him” as to expressions pointing to the rapture: one emphasizing that the Lord will come at this point, the other focusing on the consequence for us. However, the line of thought and the thrust of the argument remain the same. Biblecentre.

[4] See previous footnote.

[5] Kelly makes this very interesting remark in his lecture, The Rapture of the Saints Raised or Changed at Christ's Coming: “I remember the time when it might be doubted very much if there were six men in England that accepted it. I doubt very much whether there are six men in England, who, having weighed the subject with due care, would care to dispute this now.” Lectures on the Second Coming and Kingdom of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ p.209.