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1Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,a 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

There are two events here:

  1. Rapture - coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him
  2. Day of the Lord

On a purely grammatical basis, it seems the order is

  1. Day of the Lord starts
  2. Rapture happens

Grammatically, it seems Paul is saying the equivalent of: if someone says the rapture has happened, then they are saying the day of the Lord has started

QUESTION

Grammatically, is Paul placing the rapture after the start of the day of the Lord?

Also: day of the Lord is after antichrist sits in temple of God

2 Answers 2

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The grammar certainly joins the return of Christ to the Christians alive at the time of that event being gathered to him. It is clear from the construction of verse 1 that when Christ returns, then Christians will be gathered to him. Not before. There is no problem with the grammar.

Verse 3 substantiates that for Paul shows that a falling away (apostasy) from the faith must happen first and "the man of sin revealed". From what Paul wrote, it's clear that neither event had yet happened.

Verse 2 is really where some difficulty lies with its reference to "the day of the Lord" having come. Different people take that to mean different things, and contradictory doctrines about when events will happen, and in what order, have arisen. There are those who teach "a secret rapture", but not on the basis of anything in the letter to the Thessalonians. They have interpreted Revelation 4:1 to mean that somewhere between the end of Revelation chapter 3 and the 4th verse of chapter 4, a rapture involving a secret return of Christ and the glorified resurrection of the bodies of myriads of saints took place, but secretly. This view started to circulate in some Protestant groups from the 1930s onward.

However, if just the text of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 (actually, to verse 3, I would suggest) is considered, the construction is simple: The coming of Christ means Christians being gathered to him, but that "day of the Lord" won't happen until first an apostate 'falling away' happens, and 'the man of sin, the son of perdition' is revealed.

In every generation of Christians, the exhortation applies: to look for that gloriously spectacular return of Christ in faith that it could happen suddenly, while they are alive, but that if it doesn't, the next generation of Christians will hold to the same faith, which will enable them to endure all and any persecution, no matter how long Christ's return seems to take, from our point of view.

The book of Revelation really goes into that in much more detail, showing a time of massive apostasy and terrible deceptions luring mankind away from God and Christ. But at God's appointed hour, Christ will suddenly appear, all his deceased believers already with him, and those alive on earth will be caught up to join them. Immediately there follows the fleeing of heaven and earth from the great white throne, and him who sits on it - no place being found for them - and the Day of Judgment begins. (Rev. 20:8-15, which harmonises perfectly with 2 Thessalonians, the whole of chapter 2.)

To answer the question: Paul is saying the rapture happens instantly AT the day of the Lord. This is confirmed in what he says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:3.

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  • Can you expand on verse 2? What is the grammar that specifically links the rapture (verse 1) to the start of the day of the Lord? The structure of the sentence is very indirect: concerning the rapture . . . the day of the Lord has not already come. It links the rapture with the day of the Lord but how? Mar 1, 2023 at 20:12
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    From vs.1 Young's Literal Trs. has being gathered to Christ at his presence as future. Vs. 2 has present tense for not being persuaded that his return has happened; "as though that day has arrived" - it has not, and won't until a certain event happens (future - vs. 3). That still future event is the deception of 'the Lawless One' (vs. 8), which will cause them to be judged by God (vs.12). That points to the still future Day of Resurrection & Judgment (Rev. 20:7-15). Grammar in one verse does not do the business here. Other sections with more details on the sudden return of Christ must be seen.
    – Anne
    Mar 2, 2023 at 12:14
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QUESTION POSED BY MAXIMUS1987: "Can you expand on verse 2? What is the grammar that specifically links the rapture (verse 1) to the start of the day of the Lord? The structure of the sentence is very indirect: concerning the rapture . . . the day of the Lord has not already come. It links the rapture with the day of the Lord but how?" THIS IS DEFINITELY THE QUESTION. THE ANSWER IS, THEY ARE NOT LINKED, BECAUSE DAY OF THE LORD (GOD'S WRATH ON UNBELIEVERS) IS NOT IN THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS. IT IS RATHER, DAY OF CHRIST, WHICH IS THE RESURRECTION/TRANSLATION OF BELIEVERS TO BE WITH CHRIST. DAY OF THE CHRIST (AS SEEN IN SEVERAL OTHER NT PASSAGES IS NOT THE SAME AS THE DAY OF THE LORD (GOD'S WRATH). VERSE 2 SHOULD BE DAY OF CHRIST, AND WHEN YOU READ IT AS SUCH, YOU SEE THAT PAUL DID NOT SUDDENLY CHANGE SUBJECTS FROM RAPTURE TO DAY OF THE LORD. THE RAPTURE WOULD THEREFORE COME SHORTLY AFTER THE APOSTASY AND THE REVELATION OF ANTICHRIST AT THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. THEN THE DAY OF THE LORD WOULD FALL ON UNBELIEVERS AFTER THE RAPTURE.

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  • If you have a new question, please ask it by clicking the Ask Question button. Include a link to this question if it helps provide context. - From Review
    – agarza
    Nov 20, 2023 at 4:39
  • @RuthL Thanks for joining in. I think your answer would be easier to read if separate points had separate paragraphs. And I am not sure that your use of capitals is effective. I feel sort of shouted at.
    – C. Stroud
    Nov 20, 2023 at 12:08
  • Sorry. was commenting on his question, and used caps only to delineate my comments from his quote. I probably won't be commenting in the future anyway.
    – RuthL
    Nov 21, 2023 at 5:50

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