Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things . . . Psalm 119:18 (ESV)
A common question I have been asked in the last two years has been about end times. My personal persuasion from scriptural study has convinced me that the rapture will happen prior to the onset of the great tribulation.
John 14:3 (NIV) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
5 Now concerning wthe times and the seasons, brothers,1 xyou have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that ythe day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
w Dan. 2:21; Acts 1:7
1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 4, 12, 14, 25, 26, 27
x ch. 4:9
y [2 Thess. 2:2]; See Matt. 24:43; Luke 17:24
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Th 5:1–2). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The following notes are from John MacArthur a pastor in Southern California. These notes are from his study Bible on 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
5:1 Now. Paul used familiar Gr. words here to indicate a change of topics within the same general subject of prophecy (cf. 4:9, 13; 1Co 7:1, 25; 8:1; 12:1; 16:1). The expression here points to the idea that within the broader context of the end time coming of the Lord Jesus, the subject is changing from a discussion of the blessings of the rapture of believers to the judgment of unbelievers.
times and the epochs. These two terms mean the measurement of time and the character of the times respectively (cf. Da 2:21; Ac 1:7). Many of them expected the Lord to come in their lifetime and were confused and grieved when their fellow believers died before His coming (see notes on 4:13–18). They were concerned about the delay. Apparently, the Thessalonians knew all that God intended believers to know about coming judgment, and Paul had taught them what they hadn’t known about the Rapture (4:13–18), so Paul exhorted them to live godly lives in light of coming judgment on the world, rather than to be distracted by probing into issues of prophetic timing. They could not know the timing of God’s final judgment, but they knew well that it was coming unexpectedly (v. 2).
5:2 day of the Lord. There are 19 indisputable uses of “the Day of the Lord” in the OT and 4 in the NT (cf. Ac 2:20; 2Th 2:2; 2Pe 3:10). The OT prophets used “Day of the Lord” to describe near historical judgments (see Is 13:6–22; Eze 30:2–19; Joel 1:15; Am 5:18–20; Zep 1:14–18) or far eschatological divine judgments (see Joel 2:30–32; 3:14; Zec 14:1; Mal 4:1, 5). It is also referred to as the “day of doom” and the “day of vengeance.” The NT calls it a day of “wrath,” day of “visitation,” and the “great day of God Almighty”(Rev 16:14). These are terrifying judgments from God (cf. Joel 2:30, 31; 2Th 1:7–10) for the overwhelming sinfulness of the world. The future “Day of the Lord” which unleashes God’s wrath, falls into two parts: 1) the end of the 7 year tribulation period (cf. Rev 19:11–21), and 2) the end of the Millennium. These two are actually 1,000 years apart and Peter refers to the end of the 1,000 year period in connection with the final “Day of the Lord” (cf. 2Pe 3:10; Rev 20:7–15). Here, Paul refers to that aspect of the “Day of the Lord,” which concludes the tribulation period. a thief in the night. This phrase is never used to refer to the rapture of the church. It is used of Christ’s coming in judgment on the Day of the Lord at the end of the 7 year tribulation which is distinct from the rapture of the church (see note on 4:15) and it is used of the judgment which concludes the Millennium (2Pe 3:10). As a thief comes unexpectedly and without warning, so will the Day of the Lord come in both its final phases
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Th 5:1–2). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 119:18). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.Copyright © Danny Sartin. All Rights Reserved.
Bible Nuggets are written for pastors, youth leaders and missionaries who desire to go deeper still in God’s Word.
Re-Prints: Deeper Still Missions devotionals are protected by international copyright laws. To request reprint permission contact the offices of DSM. Permission is granted and encouraged to forward this post in its entirety to others without making any changes or deletions.
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.