Some background about my question, I have a Muslim friend who really loves and studies theology and when discussing Christianity. He asked me how there seems to be incongruencies and he pointed out 1 Thessalonians 4 and so I replied to him that Paul had actually mentioned and explained what He by in 1 Thessalonians and had rectified it in 2 Thessalonians, but He said that according to known biblical scholars 2 Thessalonians was not written by Paul himself but others which we seen continued to argue about because I kept saying that even if it wasn't Paul himself who wrote it, it was someone really close to Him.

Now, I really wanted to hear the perspective of someone who is well versed on the bible to explain to me this disjoint. Was Paul just being hopeful that the Second Coming was to happen in his lifetime and not anything more than that?

Why is it mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4, “According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. [1 Thessalonians 4:15-17]” but it didn't seem that this was what had happened during the time of Paul?

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    I am not sure that the verse quoted makes Paul "adamant" that Jesus would return during his life-time. All it says that he had a unique way of writing so that he identified with his audience.
    – Dottard
    Commented May 16 at 12:08
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    Paul based his writings on Torah and the Gospels, including Matthew 24. Ask your Muslim friend how many mentions of the gospels there are in the Quran and whether the Quran is wrong in any of them. Have your friend read them to you--there should be twelve. That should answer the question.
    – Dieter
    Commented May 16 at 16:46
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    Maybe it would help if you would explain what part of this passage makes you (or your Muslim friend) think Paul is saying that Christ will return during his lifetime. I don't see it. I could guess at what part might be construed that way, but answers could be more helpful if they address your specific points. As it stands, the question title seems to beg the key question, is Paul actually saying that?
    – LarsH
    Commented May 17 at 20:14
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    @LarsH I completely agree, it seems a strange reading of this text. To me, a paraphrase of this would be "those still alive when Christ returns will not precede those who have died already... The dead will rise first" Commented May 17 at 23:40
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    @Cork88 That is very much a minority position. The claim that Paul based his writings on Matthew ignores the vast majority of Biblical scholars. See: earlychristianwritings.com/matthew.html
    – F2Andy
    Commented May 18 at 7:21

10 Answers 10


Disciples to be Martyred

Jesus said with certainty that His disciples will be killed:

“Then they will deliver you up to affliction, and will KILL you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name” (Mat 24:9).

“And ye shall be delivered up also by parents, and brothers, and kindred, and friends, and they shall put of you to death” (Luke 21:16; YLT).

In fact, when alone with His inner circle of disciples, Jesus was very strong in prophesying that the disciples would be killed:

“They will put you out of the synagogue, but an hour is coming that everyone killing you will think to bear a service before God” (John 16:2).

Disciples Knew This

Peter knew this:

“knowing that the putting off of my tabernacle is soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me” (2 Pet 1:14).

What did Jesus make clear to Peter?

“Truly, truly, I say to you, When you were younger, you girded yourself, and you walked where you desired. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you, and will carry you where you do not desire” (John 21:18).

John knew the meaning of this:

“But He (Jesus) said this signifying by what death he would glorify God.” (verse 19).

And history says that Peter was crucified “stretching out his hands” and head down!

The disciple James, the brother of John was martyred with a sword by King Herod (Acts 12:2). Stephen was martyred.

The only exception was the apostle John of whom Jesus gave a hint (John 21:22-23). John was kept alive to an old age to write the book of Revelation.

So, if Lord Jesus prophesied that His disciples will be killed and if His disciples knew this, how can people claim that the disciples “thought” Jesus would come in their life time?

That is weird logic.

Why Paul Wrote “We”

Paul, through his association with the disciples especially Peter (Gal 1:18) knew all these prophecies.

He knew that Jesus prayed:

“And I do not pray concerning these only, but also concerning those who will believe in Me through their word: (John 17:20).

Jesus was praying for the true Christians, in all the ages, who would come to God through the Word of God written by the apostles.

So whichever age Jesus came, there would be a group of true Christians. And Paul, in a spirit of prophecy (Eph 3:5), was prophesying about them when he said “we”.

He knew he was writing Scripture!

Compelling Evidence from Paul

This becomes all the more compelling when we learn that Paul himself gives the proof that he never gave any false hope to the believers!

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to be with him: I beg you, my friends, not to be so easily confused in your thinking or upset by the claim that the Day of the Lord has come. Perhaps it is thought that we said this while prophesying or preaching, or that we wrote it in a LETTER. Do not let anyone deceive you in any way. For the Day will not come until…….” (2 Thessa 2:1-3).

Paul clearly says here that he never gave any false prophecy regarding the second coming of the Lord either in word or in writing!

He also says that several things have to occur prior to the second coming. “Until” these prior things happen, that Day will not come.

So it becomes clear that he meant the true Christians at the time of second coming in a spirit of prophecy when he said, “we”.


In Thessalonians 1 itself, Paul says:

“He (Jesus) dying on our behalf, so that whether we watch (live) or WE SLEEP (die), we may live together with Him” (1 Thessa 5:10).

So, Muslim or no-Muslim, none can say that Paul was adamant that he should live during the Second Coming.

That is simply untrue.

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    +1 For an excellent answer. The Bible is easy to misinterpret by those who are motivated to find fault. In many cases it's vital to understand the context, trajectory of thought, hyperbole, and allusions.
    – Dieter
    Commented May 16 at 16:40
  • Thank you, Dieter for the up vote and the refreshing encouragement. Commented May 16 at 17:21
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    +1 God bless you. This answer was just perfect, it not only restored my reassurance on my stance but also will convince any skeptic when it comes to the topic at hand. Great answer!
    – How why e
    Commented May 18 at 22:29
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    All glory to God. A couple of years before, I had a debate with an aggressive atheist. I got this answer when I studied the Scripture then. But, as usual he never got convinced. But I was confirmed in faith. Only God can convert a person. Thank you for your good words. +1. Commented May 19 at 2:34

1 Possibility:

Some people suggest that Paul was simply including himself among those “who are alive” because he was alive at that moment, but he didn’t mean to imply that he would necessarily live to see Jesus’ second coming. [1]

Reasons that this interpretation may be true:

  1. Christians had already been dying
  2. He himself was aware of the possibility of dying before Jesus’ return. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10)
  3. If Paul’s use of the word “we” implied that he thought he would still be alive when Jesus returned, it must also have implied that his Thessalonian readers would all be alive too. [1]

if we read Paul’s words carefully, they actually can’t mean that he would definitely live to see Jesus’ second coming. Remember, he was consoling his readers because some members of their congregation had died, so the point of the passage was not just to talk about the living and the dead in general. Rather, Paul was applying that general principle to the living and dead members of the the Thessalonian church, so when he said that “we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them [those who have died] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,” he was including his readers in the “we.” He was telling them that they would “be caught up together” with their deceased loved ones, and all would receive the same eternal reward. [1]

Evidence For Christianity has this to say:

Those who see strong evidence for the New Testament writers giving the impression that Jesus might come back very soon–even in their own lifetime–are correct. Paul, Peter and arguably Jesus himself left the disciples with the impression that the second coming of Jesus was immanent. However, what none of them said was that it would definitely come in the lifetime of their hearer. Jesus wants his followers to live at every moment as if that moment might mark his return. He wants us to be on our guard, to be ready at all times for him to come back. Yet, he wants us to keep our lamps full. He wants us to be ready for him to come back at any moment, yet also to prepared for the long haul. No one knows when he will return.

In conclusion: While the New Testament writers, including Paul, Peter, and arguably Jesus Himself, did give the impression that the second coming of Jesus was imminent, they did not definitively state that it would occur within their or their hearers’ lifetimes. As seen, the phrase “we who are alive, who are left” does not necessarily imply that Paul believed he would live to see Jesus’ return. Instead, it can be seen as a general reference to those believers who would be alive at the time of the second coming. Furthermore, Paul’s primary intention in this passage was to comfort his readers with the assurance that both the living and the dead would be united with Christ at His return. Therefore, the focus is on the promise of eternal life for all believers, regardless of whether they are alive or have passed away at the time of Jesus’ second coming.


1 Thessalonians 4

15 Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.16 For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

It is hard to interpret this any way except that people currently alive at the time of writing will witness the coming of Christ on the clouds. The OP explained the issue to his Muslim friend by referring to 2 Thess. but ran into the objection that many scholars think this was not written by Paul. Rather than arguing this point, it may be best to admit the plain fact that the Second Coming did not occur in Paul's lifetime, whether or not he "corrected" his doctrine later on.

Not only Paul, but the entire early church had to contend with the problem that their hopes about the Second Coming did not come to pass as expected. After all, Jesus himself is quoted as saying:

You will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Mt. 10:23) {and}

There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. (Mt. 16:28)

Conclusions: Christians were taught to expect the Second Coming in their lifetimes. The best approach to such prophecies is to admit that they did not come to pass. In that context, one may refer to another teaching of Paul:

1 Cor. 13

If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing {or fail}; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. 9 For we know partially and we prophesy partially, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.

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    Wouldn't this make both the apostles and Jesus false prophets per Deuteronomy 18:21/22?
    – tnknepp
    Commented May 16 at 16:47
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    It's possible that Peter, James, and John did indeed witness Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration and later, hundreds more disciples during the 40 days Jesus spent with his disciples after his resurrection. But remember that Jesus warned his disciples that his final return would not be predictable.
    – Dieter
    Commented May 16 at 17:03
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    @tnknepp that doesn’t make Jesus false, these are Paul’s words and only his words make himself a prophet, not a very inspired one Commented May 17 at 8:41
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    "False prophet" is a loaded term, implying opposition to God's will. Since Paul admits that his prophecies may be imperfect, I would not include him in that category. Jesus likewise admitted that even the Son does not know the timing of the second coming. Matthew 24:36 Commented May 17 at 12:03
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    "It is hard to interpret this any way except ..." Citation needed. To me, it is very natural to interpret "we who are alive" as referring to us, the followers of Christ, and not necessarily to Paul himself. "It may be best to admit the plain fact that the Second Coming did not occur in Paul's lifetime" - this is uncontroversial. The question is whether Paul ever claimed otherwise.
    – LarsH
    Commented May 17 at 20:18

Paul developed and changed his stance in the course of his life, because in 2 Tim. 4:7 he already speaks about his imminent death without a reference to the Second Coming of Christ. But he is still right in his first prophesy also in 1 Cor. 15:51, that not all will die at the Second Coming, but some will meet Christ alive, without experiencing death, and be with Him eternally (1 Thes. 4:17). Moreover, when he says, "not all of us shall die", Paul in "us" can simply imply not his contemporary listeners and himself, but generally all humankind in any epoch. Also, when he says that he'd rather prefer to die and be always with Christ, but to be alive is more beneficial to his students (Philippians 1:23), it is more plausible to conjuncture, that Paul does not already think that Christ's Second Coming will be in his lifetime.

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    +1 I agree that Paul's view developed over time but I also agree with the OP that Paul thought the second coming was imminent in 1 Thess. Commented May 16 at 16:18
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    @DanFefferman Thanks. I agree that Paul in 1 Thes. conveys rather the sense of imminence; however, even when he became more, so to say, cooled down on account of the Second Coming, the same truthful prophesy already could be understood as related to any epoch mankind that would meet the Lord's second coming, namely, that some people would meet Him alive and not experience a physical death at all. Commented May 16 at 19:14

The Bible has always spoken of the Second Coming as an imminent event, one that Christians of all ages are to be ready for within their lifetimes. A few examples:

Genesis 3:15 KJV

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

It was 4000 years between this prophecy and even the first coming of Christ, but the prophecy is readily interpretable as if the Messiah would be Eve's literal son.

Isaiah 66:5 KJV

Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

Again, Isaiah appears to teach that the Second Coming will be within his hearer's lifespan.

So it's not just the New Testament that can be read to predict the Second Coming within its reader's lifetime.

There are two reasons why it is written that way. One is that the Bible is written for those who will read it in the future, especially those alive when Jesus comes back. Two verses on this:

1 Corinthians 10:11 KJV

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

1 Peter 1:12 KJV

Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Just as the Old Testament was written not only for people at the time, but much more for people in the New Testament period, so too the New Testament is written especially for those living in the last days, who will be alive when Jesus comes.

Second, the Bible presents the Coming of Christ as near, to exhort us to constantly be on watch and be ready for it.

Luke 12:36-37 KJV

36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 37 Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

1 John 3:2-3 KJV

2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

If we thought the Second Coming was a long way off, we might put off preparing for it, instead, thinking we can prepare later.

But we must prepare for the Second Coming during our lifetimes; when we die, we go directly to the final judgment:

Hebrews 9:27 KJV

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

(which means, for us, if Jesus does not come during our lifetimes, He comes at our death, even though for others the Second Coming may be a long time after our death).

So we cannot put off preparation for the Second Coming until after death. But we may die at any time! You could die tomorrow, or in 5 minutes:

Luke 12:20 KJV

But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

So the Bible never portrays a long time between now and the Second Coming, for fear we will get comfortable and put off preparation for that event, and then be unprepared for it when we die.

  • A very good answer. Up voted. Commented May 17 at 14:49

It is so difficult to throw off false teaching that has taken such a hold on the Christian world to such a degree that people are willing to call Paul into question and even to preach from the pulpit as I have heard them say with my own ears that Paul was just wrong. Why is an Apostle of Christ, a man filled with the Holy Spirit the one that is wrong? Why is it that we will be persuaded to think that Paul was in error rather than to question our own underlying premise of what we have been taught? Who is it that is wrong - Paul, or the teaching of men that we have been exposed to?

1 Corinthians 1:1, YLT

Paul, a called apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God,...

2 Corinthians 1:1, YLT

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God,...

Galatians 1:1, YLT

Paul, an apostle -- not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, ...

1 Timothy 1:1, YLT

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to a command of God our Saviour, and of the Lord Jesus Christ our hope,

Isn't it more probable that our understanding is wrong and that Paul an Apostle called by Christ is right? And, not only are men teaching that Paul was wrong, but that Jesus lied to His disciples. Jesus told those living in the first century AD that was coming back soon, and if men teach that He has not, then they are anti-Christ.

Speaking to His disciples in Matthew 10:23,

for verily I say to you, ye may not have completed the cities of Israel till the Son of Man may come.

Speaking to the scribes and Pharisees before His crucifixion,

Matthew 23:36, YLT

verily I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation.

Speaking to His disciples in the prophecy of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem,

Matthew 24:34, YLT

Verily I say to you, this generation may not pass away till all these may come to pass.

The prophesy of Jesus' return that He gave to John,

Revelation 1:1, YLT

A revelation of Jesus Christ, that God gave to him, to shew to his servants what things it behoveth to come to pass quickly; and he did signify [it], having sent through his messenger to his servant John,

Five times in the last book of Revelation,

Revelation 22:6-7, YLT

And he said to me, 'These words [are] stedfast and true, and the Lord God of the holy prophets did send His messenger to shew to His servants the things that it behoveth to come quickly: 7 Lo, I come quickly; happy [is] he who is keeping the words of the prophecy of this scroll.'

Revelation 22:10, 12 YLT

10 And he saith to me, 'Thou mayest not seal the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is nigh;
12 And lo, I come quickly, and my reward [is] with me, to render to each as his work shall be;

Revelation 22:20, YLT

he saith -- who is testifying these things -- `Yes, I come quickly!' Amen! Yes, be coming, Lord Jesus!

From the first of the book to the last of the book, Jesus told John that ALL of the events depicted in Revelation were to happen soon, that they were near (nigh) when He spoke. The word translated as "quickly" is Strong's Gr. 5034, "tachos" and means in a short space of time, immediately, soon, speedily. (Biblehub) Contrary to what many have been teaching, it does not mean that when Jesus came it would be in a quick manner. The use of the word "tachos" was always an immediate, urgent sense of soon to happen.

John affirmed the time was near.

1 John 2:18, YLT

Little youths, it is the last hour; and even as ye heard that the antichrist doth come, even now antichrists have become many -- whence we know that it is the last hour;

Shall we say that John, an apostle of Christ, was also wrong? Heaven forbid, or we will soon not be able to trust any of the word of God.

Paul told those in Thessalonica that they knew the time.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, YLT

And concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need of my writing to you, 2 for yourselves have known thoroughly that the day of the Lord as a thief in the night doth so come,

They had been told by Jesus and His apostles what to watch for, and what was it they were watching for? The destruction of that temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 24-25, Mark 14, Luke 21, all of Revelation) The error that has crept into the churches and assemblies of Christ is the misunderstanding of "the end" or "The end of the age", often mistranslated as "the end of the world."

Jesus wasn't telling them to watch for the end of the physical world but to warn them of the end of that Mosaic age, the end of that animal sacrificial temple in Jerusalem. Those days were the last days of the tribes of Israel (Genesis 49), of the old law, and of the worship at Jerusalem in that old temple. The last times were when Peter told those of that century in which Jesus appeared on earth,

1 Peter 1:20, YLT

foreknown, indeed, before the foundation of the world, and manifested in the last times because of you,

Jesus was manifested and appeared on earth in the first century AD, and Peter said He was manifested in the "last times." Believe the word of God. The Bible defines the last times as the last days of that old Mosaic covenant. The Bible never discusses or speaks of the last days of the physical earth.

We have all been subjected to false teaching, errors, and indoctrination that ultimately calls Jesus a liar, and presents Paul and the other apostles as having misunderstood Christ's words. You can tell your Muslim friend that Paul was not wrong, and to trust the Word that the Holy Spirit has recorded in the Bible.

Jesus' second coming was for the judgment against Judea, and Jerusalem to destroy that old temple, and to forever establish His everlasting kingdom in judgment against those who crucified Him in AD 30-31. That second coming happened in the Roman-Jewish war of AD 66-70 which destroyed Jerusalem and that old temple. He came in judgment against those who crucified Him, and He did not wait 2,000 years to do it.

More fully developed at the following posts:


The Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle. Evidence scatters throughtout pages, which need careful examination to piece them together. It is neither appropiate nor safe to jump to conclusions based on a single piece of evidence. This caution is exemplified by the claiming that 2 Thessalonians was not written by Paul.

Interestingly, we have a similar situation in 1 and 2 Corinthians. The former letter expresses comforting and encouraging tones, while the latter is harsh and reprimanding. If we assert that different sources were involved in these variations, it could imply that there are two distinct Gods, a God of forgiveness, and a God of justice.

One of the main theme of 1 & 2 Thessalonians revolves around holy lives while awaiting the return of the Christ. Let's highlight this point with two verses from each epistle;

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5,11 NIV

3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;...........11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,

2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Apparently, in between the writing of these two letters, some believers had strayed from the path and were refusing to work. Paul addressed this issue directly, rebuking a false teaching that had infiltrated the Thessalonian community. In 2 Thess 2:2, he confronted those who claimed, "the day of the Lord has already come". Now, consider a scenario when individuals genuinely believe that tomorrow is the last day on Earth. How might people react? Would they stop working and simply spending?

In Matthew 24:36, Jesus explicitly declares, "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Considering Paul's fervent proclaimation of Jesus' teaching, he should have been aware of this profound statement. Therefore, interpreting Paul's writings to imply that he possessed knowledge of the timing of Christ's second coming contradicts this fundamental truth.

In 1 Thess 4:13-17, the use of 'we' does not suggest that Paul anticipated witnessing the prophecy fulfilled in his lifetime. He uses 'you' before and after, but specifically use 'we' seven times in these five verses;

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Initially, 'we' refers to the evangelists. Later, Paul mentions twice "we who are still alive", which is a general reference to individuals who believe in Jesus but haven't experienced death. The Thessalonians were troubled by misconceptions, grieving over the destiny of their deceased brothers and sisters. Paul comforts them by affirming the presence of 'hope' in 1 Thess 4:13. Nonetheless, as we await Jesus' return, we are called to live holy and remember the principle that "Those who do not work, shall not eat" (2 Thess 3:10).

  • +1 I agree, the bible is like the most amazing jig-saw puzzle in history with different levels of truth on how well you fit the pieces.
    – How why e
    Commented May 16 at 22:08

It's great that you have a Muslim friend to discuss these things with. For one thing it makes you dig deeper into the scriptures to get more clarity on different subjects at hand.

The Apostle Paul was given revelations throughout his ministry.

First Thessalonians was probably his first letter.

"This is most likely the earliest letter we have from Paul, and you can read the book of Acts chapter 17 to get the back story. Paul and his coworker Silas went to the ancient Greek city of Thessaloniki (or Thessalonica). After just one month of telling people the good news, a large number of both Jewish and Greek people gave their allegiance to Jesus and formed the first church community there." https://bibleproject.com/guides/book-of-1-thessalonians/

There had been many signs and wonders done through Paul just as the apostles did in the Pentecostal period. In order for the kingdom to come the nation of Israel as a whole needed to repent of their unbelief as to who Jesus was. The Gentiles at that time were also guest of their covenants and spiritual blessings. However, the nation as a whole rejected their Messiah and as Romans 11 says they were cast aside. Only a few were believers at that time. See also Acts 28:23-28

It was only after that the nation had become apostate and set aside and then apostle Paul was free to give new revelations, such as in Philippians, Ephesians and Colossians. I said all that because it can be confusing when some says some things that Paul originally taught may of been discarded later because of the new revelations. Perhaps that is why scholars don't think Paul wrote certain books. Like one of the other users said, the Bible is a puzzle. Things are scattered throughout. Timelines, dispensations, eras, ages...

There was a time when Peter and the apostles as well as Paul and the the all ecclesias throughout the different cities were seem to be hoping the Lord was going to come back soon. We know He didn't and that probably why the book of Hebrews was written to strengthen the Israel believer's faith because Jesus did not come back like they were hoping. The signs and wonders were disappearing, and persecution was prevailing among them.

Paul's two books on Thessalonians mentioned the Lords presence, and His returning more often than any of his other books. It does seem to be something that they were certainly hoping for, especially because of all the persecution and suffering they were experiencing because of their faith.

Since this was his first letter that may be why he said we who are alive will not proceed those who have died in Christ. He was encouraging those who were suffering under severe persecution, and some of them had died, and what happened to them.

Here is part of an article that Andrea Piet wrote on that subject.

Thessalonians 4, starting with verse 13, Paul answers the question of what happens to those fellow-believers, who have ‘fallen asleep’. The idea was current (15) that those, who had died before the second coming (the parousia), would therefore miss out on that event. Paul shows that the opposite is the case (15). For when, at His time, the trumpet will sound, the dead in Christ will be resurrected first (16) and then, the survivors, together with the resurrected ones, will be snatched away, in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (17). Whatever may be said about all of this, Paul makes it clear that believers, who have ‘fallen asleep’, will not be neglected at the time of the parousia. What is also made clear is that Paul does not teach that the departed are already with the Lord and are already “rejoicing before God’s throne.” The ones who have ‘fallen asleep,’ are ‘sleeping’. They are aware of nothing. And when the time will be there, they will be awakened, in order that they, together with the survivors, will meet the Lord in the air. Not at the moment of death, will believers go up to be with the Lord, but by means of the resurrection! And not one by one, but “TOGETHER, at the same time, … to meet the Lord.” And with these words, we should encourage one another (:18).


The ROOT of Gospel interpretation is Genesis 8 As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.

When the Earth can no longer endure is when The End is. A great tribulation when people are too overpopulated for the natural resources. This situation is the root of the gospel of Jesus. During this event there will be no choice other than to save yourself, save your family, or save your neighbor. Saving all three is not a realistic option. Therefore you have the choice of whom you love the most. God, yourself, your family, your neighbors, your enemy. The gospel of Jesus in the context of this END TIME speaks to do nothing, sacrifice your own life to God and save nobody because God will save. This can be inferred from sayings of Jesus directly relevant to loving God, your neighbor, ect.

  1. Matthew 22 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 2)‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
  2. Matthew 10 Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

These three verses are the 3 choices. God, family, neighbor. The verses suggest the right choice is to love Jesus (God) the most. If you choose to save your family or neighbors then you love them the most. If you save yourself then you do not love God.

(Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.)

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation (the 12 apostles) shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Because a prophecy must occur and be fulfilled within the lifetime of the prophet or the audience for it to be a legitimate prophecy. This has never happened but myths are created after the event as though there was a historical prophet who gave accurate prophecies.

Paul speaks of the coming of the LORD in 1 Thessalonians 4 13-18 which is the prophecy in Matthew 24, (Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.)

Deuteronomy 18:22

If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.

Judaism has a long history of false prophets and false prophecies. They were crossing over into the forbidden realms of divination.

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  • These are not citations or plagiarism. I write everything from my own perspective. The answer is not unclear. I said in my conclusion paragraph that it was a false prophecy. If you wish to contact the author of the scripture then go about through divination and magic to gain insight
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    Commented May 18 at 22:31

There are numerous passages referring to the end times and make mention of words like, near, soon, short and so on. Clearly these have ambiguous time frames.

However, there is unfortunately considerable conflict within the passage as some make clear that the end time will not be during the present generation yet some are clear that they expected these events before their death.

Before I continue, I refer to;

2Timothy 3:16 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Therefore, any scripture that is inaccurate, false, contradictory would arguably imply that that scripture is not from God but of man who are not inspired or is a false apostles /prophet.

The context of 1 Thessalonians 4 – is very clear, there is nothing ambiguous about the claim the coming of the end times during those who were present. This is not the only claim or writer making the claim.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's own word, 8we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.

The above implies;

Those who live until the Lord comes won't have any advantage over those who died earlier. Paul assures them that those gone on before them won't feel cheated at not being on earth when Jesus comes back to this earth, because the dead in Christ will gain first benefit
Those alive and remaining until this coming of Jesus are caught up to meet Jesus in the air, together with the dead in Jesus who have already risen

The "we" means whichever of us are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord.

"this generation" always means the generation to whom Jesus is speaking. The word ‘genea’ clearly means ‘generation’. The context of this can be seen in other passages such as Matt. 11:16, Luke 7:31, acts 2:40 and many, many more

This is not ‘nation’ as in Jn 11:48-52 talking about the Jews only.

other passages

Revelation 22:10, 10 And he saith to me, 'Thou mayest not seal the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is nigh; (this would imply imminent before the seal is so called dried)

Matthew 16:28 28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Matthew 23:36 verily I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation.

Matthew 10:23 for verily I say to you, ye may not have completed the cities of Israel till the Son of Man may come. (again, imply imminent)

Matt 24 – End times -

3And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Mark 9:1 - 9 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”

Romans 13:11-12 - 11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

1 Corinthians 7:29-31 - 29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

(again, imply so imminent that forget your wives, life time has come)

Some of the above are so clear that there can be no argument that some thought that Jesus second coming would be within their lifetimes / generation.

However, you go get many that contradict this such as;

Mt 24:36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

(clearly based on the above Jesus could not have made any prediction that he would return before the death of the apostles / his generation)

Matthew 24:42

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

False apostles / prophets

2 Corinthians 11:13 - 13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.

1 john 4:1 - 1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.

See also Acts 20:29-30, 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, 2 Corinthians 2:17, Galatians 1:6, 2 Peter 2:1, 1 John 4:1, 2 John 1:7, Jude 1:4, Titus 1:10-16.


Clearly some of the passages are inaccurate / contradictory, so we cannot rely on the passages and the writers are clearly not inspired. Paul was never an apostle or a self-made apostle and there is no evidence apart form his own testimony. With others like Matthew the problem you have is that no one really knows who wrote them or when they were written. (who wrote Matthew see: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/73492/33268).

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