Paul’s Hope to the Thessalonians

In his second letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul told him that in the last days perilous times would come. (Second Timothy 3:1) The word translated “perilous” is the Greek chalepos which is only used one other time in the Bible, and that is to describe the ragingly insane, demon possessed “Gadarene demoniac.” This is a fitting description of our times. Let me give you some hope as also presented by the Apostle Paul.

Paul spent about three weeks with the Christians at Thessalonica. (Acts 17:2) Among other subjects that Paul discussed during this time, one subject was obviously the Return of the Lord. Paul did not think that the Return of the Lord Jesus was too deep or too unimportant to discuss it with these young Christians. He gave them (and us) hope in his first letter to those Believers, First Thessalonians. In the passage ranging from First Thessalonians 4:15 to 5:6 Paul told the church to comfort each other with this information:

The word translated “others” in the last sentence is interesting. Vine's Expository Dictionary and Thayer's Greek Lexicon both define the Greek word loipos as “the remaining, the rest.” It might be possible to state that as, “let us not sleep, as do the remaining ones.” It is a stretch, I know. But I love it.

The Lord Jesus gave us a similar description in Matthew 24:40-41. Here He describes one person as being “taken to one’s self” (paralambano - Vine's Expository Dictionary), while the other is simply left (behind).

The timing of the Return of the Lord will be a mystery to the world. The event itself will be a mystery to the world. But we are children of light, not darkness. That day will not overtake us, or surprise us as a thief. Comfort one another with these words.

And praise the Lord for His wonderful salvation, Jesus!

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