A Study in 2 Thessalonians : Lesson #2 Understanding the Day of Christ
(2 Thessalonians 2:1-3)
In this lesson we will look at the Day of Christ and the other things mentioned in the first few verses of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. The reason that this is so important is because most of the modern Bibles replace the Day of Christ with the Day of the Lord. This leads to confusion and also false doctrine concerning the rapture of the church and the Second Advent if not properly handled. Therefore we will look carefully at the first 3 verses in this lesson and see what the word of God has to say.
The first thing we must see is that there are two events mentioned in verse1. The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned first. Then our gathering together unto him is listed second. Many will say that these are the same thing. But note they are separated by a comma which is very important in the word of God. Many times God puts two events separated by punctuation in the same verse. In Genesis 49:11 the first coming of Jesus is mentioned and the second coming of Jesus is mentioned these two events are separated by at least 2000 years. The same thing is shown in 1 Peter 1:11.
The coming of our Lord is a reference to the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Our gathering together unto him is a reference to the Rapture of the church. Someone might ask, why are these two events listed in reverse order? God did the same thing in Psalms 89. In verses 19-37 we see verses that pertain to the second coming of Jesus Christ. But in verses 78-45 we see verses that pertain to the first coming of Jesus Christ.
This is important because the Rapture of the church precedes the second coming of Jesus Christ to this earth by 7 years. During these 7 years the tribulation will be going on during the earth. Remember Paul had already taught the Thessalonians about the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) which is totally different from the second coming (Revelation 19:11-16). Therefore if these are confused then it would look like the church was going through the tribulation, which it is not. (see lesson on why the church will not go through the tribulation under Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth , Divisions)
In the first part of verse 2 Paul tells the Thessalonians not to be troubled or shaken in mind. If they knew from 1 Thessalonians about the Rapture and that they would not go through the tribulation then why would they be troubled in mind? The answer is because someone is teaching false doctrine concerning the resurrection. This is seen by comparing 1 Timothy 1:20 with 2 Timothy 2:17.
Apparently a man named Hymenaeus and others were teaching that the resurrection was past. In this teaching they were saying that when a person gets saved and spiritually born again that is what is meant by the 1st resurrection. Therefore the 1st resurrection is spiritual. That means that there will be only a general resurrection for everyone when Jesus comes at the Second Advent. This puts the church going through the tribulation and the millennial reign being a spiritual kingdom instead of a literal kingdom. This same false doctrine is taught by many still today.
This brings us to the Day of Christ being at hand. As said before the Day of Christ is replaced by the Day of the Lord in most modern Bibles. But this with the teaching of the resurrection being spiritual will mess up the true sequence of events for the future.
The key is found in the Day of the Lord through the word of God. The Day of the Lord starts at the Rapture of the Church and last until the Great White Throne Judgment. The sequence of events for future things are;
1) The Rapture of the Church (1 Corinthians 15:51-57 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
2) In Heaven the church is being judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10 ; 2 Corinthians 5:10 ; 1 Corinthians 3:9-15) on earth the tribulation is taking place (Revelation 6-19)
3) At the end of the tribulation Jesus returns and the battle of Armageddon takes place (Revelation 19:11-16 ; Zechariah 12:8-11).
4) Jesus will then reign as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS for 1000 years upon this earth (Revelation 20:1-7)
5) At the end of this period Satan is loosed from the bottomless pit and then destroyed at the battle of Gog and Magog (Revelation 20:7-10).
6) After this we see the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
7) Last of all God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth (Revelation 21-22).
We said that the Day of the Lord starts at the Rapture and last until the Great White Throne Judgment. This is show to us all throughout the bible because the events found in between the Rapture and the Great White Throne Judgment are called the Day of the Lord or referred to by that Day. Below we will list references for each one of these events being called the Day of the Lord or referred to by that day.
Rapture (1 Thessalonians 5:1-10)
Tribulation (Luke 17:31 ; Jeremiah 30:4-7)
Second Coming (Joel 1:15 ; 2:1-11 ; Zechariah 14:1-4)
Armageddon (Zechariah 12:8-11)
Millennium (Hosea 2:16-20 ; Joel 3:17-21)
Great White Throne Judgment (2 Peter 3:10-11)
The Day of Christ extends from the Rapture to the Second Advent which would cover the Judgment Seat of Christ (Philippians 1:6,10 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). Paul also refers to the Judgment seat of Christ as that day (2 Timothy 1:8 ; 4:8). This does not mean that they are the same day but since the Day of the Lord overlaps the Day of Christ then they are happening on the same day, but yet at different times within the same day. For instance you make work on Friday and go to a game on Friday night, both events while separated by time are happening on the same day. We must also remember that with the Lord 1000 years is a one day and one day is as 1000 years (2 Peter 3:8).
In regards to verse 3 in our text we see that the Rapture of the church will not happen until there is a falling away first. This has plainly been happening since the late 1800’s. But also we see that the second coming will not happen until the man of sin, the son of perdition is revealed.
It is very important to get this straight or doctrine gets confused and many people are affected by it just like they were in the days of Paul.
A Study in 2 Thessalonians : Lesson #2 Understanding the Day of Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3)
1) Why is it important to understand the Day of Christ in this passage?
2) What does verse one show us in regards to this passage?
3) Why would the Thessalonians be shaken or troubled in mind about these things?
4) What can we conclude from verses 2-3 in this passage?