Gunn (Shasta Bible College, Redding, CA)
2Thessalonians 2:13, "But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you, a first fruit, for deliverance by the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."
Synopsis: 2Thessalonians 2:13, though frequently cited in theological works as a proof text for the soteriological doctrine of election, is probably best understood eschatologically as descriptive of God's promise to deliver the church from the persecution and worldwide judgments of the Day of the Lord by means of a pretribulational rapture.
The real issue here is NOT
whether this verse is soteriological or eschatological.
This violates the proper
definition of the Day of the Lord.
It is true that the church will be delivered from the “worldwide judgments of the Day of the Lord.” But it is not true that this will be accomplished “by means of a pretribulational rapture.”
The tribulation is NOT the
same as the 70th week of Daniel, but occurs only at the midpoint of
the 70th week according to Matthew 24:9-21.
We also learn from 2Thes. 1:6-10, that the church will be on the earth, experiencing tribulational persecution AT THE TIME of “the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.”
We learn from Matthew 24:22 that the tribulation will be cut short by the sovereign decree of God. And at Matthew 24:29, that after the tribulation is cut short, God will bring about the second coming of Christ “in his own time” (1Tim. 6:15).
It is at this time that the relief promised in 2Thes. 1:6-10 will be accomplished for the church. It is the same promise stated by Jesus at Matthew 24:29-44 and John 14:1-3; and by Paul at 1Thes. 4:14-17.
2Thes. 2:13 is definitely NOT
a promise of a pretrib deliverance from the tribulation.
©Ron Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com.
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