Re: Apostasy - 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Date: Sun Mar 02 1997 - 10:24:33 EST

In a message dated 2/26/1997 8:22:24 AM, (Paul Dixon - Ladd
Hill Bible Church) wrote:

<<The pretrib position is forced to render the coming of the Lord and our
gathering together unto Him (2:1) as two entirely separate events. This
is necessarily so, because they are separated by 7 years and involve 2
separate comings of Christ (one for the church before the tribulation, one
7 years later).>>

As I have argued before the "coming" and "gathering" are not two distinct,
separated events but the Sharp impersonal construction points more to the
"gathering" to be an event within the larger event of the "parousia." The
"parousia" is a complex of events. The "gathering" may or may not be
temporally distinct. If it is then the "parousia" would include all the
events between the "gathering" and the "second coming."

>>Notice, I have not and never have appealled to the Granville-Sharp rule as
the basis of my interpretation of 2:1. The context itself is sufficient
to demonstrate the the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto
Him refer to the same event, not two comings separated by 7 years.<<

Whether you appeal to the rule or not, you still have to deal with the
construction, and as I have argued before, identity is the least likely
possibility. You seem to not want to deal with that issue.

>>If this is so, why doesn't Paul say something specifically about the
rapture before the tribulation? He mentions specifically only the day of
the Lord and its coming. If, as you say, the Thessalonians thought they
were in the tribulation, and if the rapture precedes the tribulation, why
wouldn't Paul simply say something like this: you are not in the
tribulation, because the rapture precedes it, and if this is so, then you
would even be here?

Aha, you say. Paul seeks to assure them the haven't missed the rapture
because subsequent tribulation events (apostasy and revelation of the man
of lawlessness) had not yet occurred. How does this prove they hadn't
missed the rapture? Some passage of time is surely required, under the
pretrib scheme, between the rapture and these tribulational events. They
could have been in that period of time. No, Paul never says these event
follow the rapture (our gathering together unto Christ). He says these
events precede the coming of the day of the Lord.<<

You've missed the point. Note what I sauid in the last post.>>Apparently a
false epistle was sent to the Thessalonians by Paul's enemies that taught
that the tribulation they were suffering was proof that they were in the Day
of the Lord. The Thessalonians were greatly disturbed by this teaching. Paul
seeks to correct this false teaching and connects it to their gathering with
the Lord, which, along with the parousia, is the topic orienter of the
section. The Day of the Lord would not come until the apostasy had come first
and the man of lawlessness was revealed.<< Paul was explicitly countering the
argument that they were in the Day of the Lord. That is the content of the
false teaching. Missing the rapture is merely an implication of this. This
false teaching is why he appeals to the primary elements and sine qua non of
the Day of the Lord. If these elements are not present, then they have no
reason to think that the Day of the Lord has come. The crux of the
interpretation of this passage then rests on 2:6-7. But you'll have to wait
for my Bib Sac article on that.

The posttrib position has one major difficulty. What is the meaning of
SALEUQHNAI? In most contexts, including this one, it has the idea of being
greatly disturbed. This makes no sense in a posttrib scheme since they expect
to go through the tribulation/DOL. If they though they were in the DOL they
would know that Jesus return is very soon. There would need to be no need for
the assurance of salvation that Paul gives in 2:13-14 which parallels the
exhortation not to be shaken and deceived in 2:1-2 in the chiasm.

Charles Powell

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