First Thessalonians dealt with the Rapture. Second Thessalonians deals with the Second Coming. The Thessalonians received a letter, allegedly from Paul (it was not), claiming that the Day of Christ had begun. Paul writes 2 Thessalonians to correct this error. Chapter 2 deals with what happens before the Day of Christ, what will happen during the Day of Christ, and how we must stand till the Day of Christ.
Today we will look at what must happen before the Day of Christ.
The Believer’s Comfort concerning the Prophetic Day of Christ
A. What must happen before the Day of Christ? (2:1-7)
- Paul admonishes the Church not to fear that they are in the Day of Christ, based upon the fact of the Rapture. (2:1-2)
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
- Paul admonishes the Church not to be deceived into believing that they have entered the Tribulation because of three events which must occur before the Tribulation can begin. (2:3)
a. The first event that must occur first is a “falling away” or literally, a “Departure”. This has been interpreted in two ways:
1) The “Departure from the faith – A wholesale and total apostasy. (1Timothy 4:1)
2) The “Departure” of the Saints at the Rapture.
b.The second event which must occur first is the Revelation of the Antichrist – “…and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
1) Until the Antichrist is Revealed, the Tribulation cannot begin. (2:3)
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2) When the Antichrist is revealed, he will blaspheme God. (2:4-5)
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
c.The third event which must occur first is the Removal of the restrainer. (2:6-7)
1) He who “withholdeth” and “letteth” and will “let” must be removed before the Antichrist can be revealed. These terms mean to restrain or to hinder. (2:6-7)
2) The Holy Spirit is the Restrainer of the evil in the world today.
3) The Spirit of God cannot be removed until believers are taken out at the Rapture because He is joined to them eternally.
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
The Tribulation period would be a terrible time to be alive.
Paul comforts the Thessalonians that they will not have to endure this period of time. He explains that they had not missed the Rapture. Then he teaches them what must happen prior, during, and after the Tribulation.
When we talk of the Rapture, Tribulation, and the Second Coming of Christ, how do you respond? Is it with joy that we will soon be with Jesus or is it with fear because of the judgment of God?
The answer to these questions tells a lot about your spiritual condition. If you fear the Lord’s return you need to repent of your sin, believe and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Then you will not go through the Tribulation.
Questions? Contact me.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001