• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.
  6. We are no longer allowing posts or threads that deny the existence of Covid-19. Members have lost loved ones to this virus and are grieving. As a Christian site, we do not need to add to the pain of the loss by allowing posts that deny the existence of the virus that killed their loved one. Future post denying the Covid-19 existence, calling it a hoax, will be addressed via the warning system.
  7. There has been an addition to the announcement regarding unacceptable nick names. The phrase "Let's go Brandon" actually stands for a profanity and will be seen as a violation of the profanity rule in the future.

As A Thief

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Jim1, Nov 15, 2002.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jim1

    Jim1 Regular Member

    263
    +6
    Christian
    Hello,


    In my opinion, the concept of a pre- or mid-Tribulation Rapture is based on a misunderstanding of the use of the word “thief” in reference to the coming of the Lord in the New Testament. It is mistakenly assumed to refer to a silent Rapture of the faithful at an invisible, pre- or mid-Tribulation coming of the Lord. However, according to the objective text, it refers not to the Rapture of the faithful but to the destruction of the unfaithful at a single, visible, post-Tribulation coming of the Lord.

    The Rapture interpretation does not fit Matthew 24:43, according to which Christ instructs us to “watch” (to stay alert/awake and to stay faithful) in order to PREVENT the “thief” from doing what he comes to do. If the word “thief” referred to the Rapture, this would mean that the Lord wanted us to “watch” in order to PREVENT ourselves from being Raptured by Him at His coming, which wouldn’t make sense.

    In John 10:10, Christ defines a thief as one who steals, kills and destroys. Thus, we don’t have to guess what Christ means by the word “thief,” because He plainly states what He means. He means an enemy and a destroyer.

    Therefore, when Christ instructs us in Matthew 24:43 to “watch” in order to PREVENT the “thief” from doing what he comes to do, we know, based on what is said in the objective text, that He wants us to “watch” in order to PREVENT ourselves from being destroyed by Him at His coming as one of those who do not “watch” but sleep. This interpretation of the word “thief” makes sense rather than the other.

    Christ continues this thought in Matthew 24:45-51, where He describes His coming being experienced in two different ways depending on whether or not one faithfully watches. In verses 24:45-47, the good person who faithfully lives his life in expectation of the Lord’s judgment is rewarded by the Lord at His coming by being given ruling authority. In verses 24:48-51, the evil person who does not live his life in expectation of the Lord’s judgment because he wishes to do evil is punished by the Lord at His coming, the Lord “coming in an hour when he knoweth not, and cutting him asunder.” Thus, Matthew 24:45-51 describes a single coming of the Lord, but verses 24:45-47 describe the Lord coming to the faithful one as a Savior, whereas verses 24:48-51 describe Him coming on the unfaithful one as a thief (as an enemy and a destroyer).

    This is comparable to Revelation 3:3, where Christ says that if we do not “watch,” He “will come as thief (as an enemy and a destroyer), and we shall “not know what hour (He) will come upon (us).” Thus, the Lord speaks of only one coming, but how we experience that coming depends on whether or not we faithfully watch. To sleep is to live our lives oblivious to the consequences of our actions, doing whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it as if we shall not one day stand before the Lord in judgment. To watch is to do the opposite of that. It is to live our lives responsibly in expectation of the Lord’s judgment. When the Lord comes, He will come as a Savior to those who watch, but He will come as a thief (as an enemy and a destroyer) on those who sleep.

    What Paul says regarding the coming of the Lord in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:11 agrees with this. In verses 4:13-18, Paul describes the resurrection of the faithful that will occur at “the coming of the Lord.” Then, in verses 5:1-11, still discussing the same thing, he states that “the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief (as an enemy and a destroyer) in the night,” bringing “sudden destruction” on “the rest,” who “sleep in the night.” He says that the unfaithful are “of darkness” and “of the night” and are appointed to “wrath,” whereas the faithful, who “watch,” are “of light” and “of the day” and are appointed to “salvation.” He says that this Day will NOT overtake the faithful “as a thief” (as an enemy and a destroyer), as that aspect of the Lord’s coming is reserved for the unfaithful. Thus, the phrase “as a thief” (as an enemy and a destroyer) does not in anyway apply to the faithful or to their Rapture at the coming of the Lord. Rather, it applies exclusively to the unfaithful and to their destruction by the Lord when He comes. Thus, this passage, like the others, describes a single coming of the Lord that is experienced two different ways depending on whether or not one is faithful to the Lord, the word “thief” referring not to the Rapture of the faithful but to the destruction of the unfaithful at the Lord’s coming.

    Paul describes the same thing in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10, where he states that the Lord will give the faithful “rest” from their earthly “afflictions” but “affliction” to the unfaithful “at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” Again, a single coming of the Lord experienced two different ways.

    In Philippians 1:9-10, Paul “prays” that the saints “be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ.” Since the saints will automatically be these things once they are made perfect in the Rapture, this shows that Paul did not expect the Rapture to occur until “the day of Christ.” In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:11, the Rapture does not occur until “the day of the Lord.” Thus, “the day of Christ” and “the day of the Lord” appear to be the same thing, prior to which the Rapture does not occur.

    In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, regarding “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” and “our gathering together unto him,” Paul states that “the day of the Lord” (in the Westcott-Hort) / the day of Christ (in the Textus Receptus)” does not come until after the revealing of “the man of sin / the lawless one,” who will not be revealed until after the “one that restraineth” is no longer an obstacle, and whom the Lord will destroy at “his coming.” Thus, the order is this: (1) the restrainer ceases to be an obstacle, (2) the man of sin is revealed and (3) “the day of the Lord / the day of Christ” comes, in which two things occur at “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ / his coming”: (A) the faithful are gathered together to the Lord (the Rapture) and (B) the man of sin is destroyed. Thus, in the objective text of this passage, as in the objective text of the other passages, the coming of the Lord is described as a single event, at which both the resurrection of the righteous and the destruction of the wicked occur.

    Paul makes no attempt to differentiate more than one future advent of the Lord. There is no evidence in the objective text that “his coming” in 1 Corinthians 15:23, “the coming of the Lord” in 1 Thessalonians 4:15, “the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven” in 2 Thessalonians 1:7, “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 and “his coming” in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 refer to anything other than the same event.

    In all of the passages discussed, the objective text is consistent with a single future coming of the Lord that is experienced in two different ways depending on whether or not one is faithful to the Lord, the word “thief” referring not to the Rapture of the faithful but exclusively to the destruction of the unfaithful at a single future coming of the Lord.


    Sincerely,
    Jim

    PS: Unless otherwise stated, all scriptural references are taken from the old American Standard Version of the Bible.
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. adam332

    adam332 Deut. 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD t

    699
    +3
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    Yes it is sad that some take symbolism a little too far. There are many attributes of a thief that do not fit the character of Christ, as well there are some aspects of His coming that we see given such comparison. But, when all these passages are read in context we see that "silently" and "secretly" it is not! Instead the clear comparisons are that the day of the Lord will come "swiftly" and "unexpectedly".

    Some of the todays better "pre-trib rapture" debaters have long since abandoned such "thief" passages as any proof whatsoever. This is the same pattern that I have seen with the "taken and left" passages, which were being held up so prominently as their foundation ten yrs ago. But today, debates surrounding the "taken and left" passages have all but vanished from the lips of it's once so strong supporters. Moving on to new alleged scriptural evidence until that crumbles as well, repeat, repeat.......
     
  3. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    Um, I think that we are supposed to watch that we don't fall away and become unfaithful to him, and that the unsaved world should be aware that he isn't going to send out a lot of warnings that he is coming back, that they won't have time to hurry up and repent and accept him, that he is coming at an unexpected time, and may catch them unawares.
     
  4. adam332

    adam332 Deut. 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD t

    699
    +3
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
     
     
  5. adam332

    adam332 Deut. 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD t

    699
    +3
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
     
     
  6. rollinTHUNDER

    rollinTHUNDER Veteran

    +9
    United States
    Protestant
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Where did you learn this?? I am a pre-trib believer, but I don't base it on the a misunderstanding or understanding of any word. Nor do I know anyone who bases their belief on this word. But I will agree that this is your opinion.

    To me, "thief" doesn't clarfy when, but it shows that the Bridegroom will come "unexpectedly".

    I think a better question would be, "Why do post-tribbers confuse the rapture with the second coming?" :eek: :(  :eek:
     
  7. adam332

    adam332 Deut. 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD t

    699
    +3
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    RT,
    you said:
    I think a better question would be, "Why do post-tribbers confuse the rapture with the second coming?"

    Give me the passages you feel describes the second coming and then the ones that describe the rapture, and I will show you.
     
  8. rollinTHUNDER

    rollinTHUNDER Veteran

    +9
    United States
    Protestant
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    This would actually get this thread off topic. There is already a thread or two for the Pre vs. Post trib topics. You will have to back track and look it up.
     
  9. Jim1

    Jim1 Regular Member

    263
    +6
    Christian
    Dear rollinTHUNDER,


    In asking why we should think that all of the New Testament references to the future coming of the Lord refer to the same event, you appear not to have read the initial post in this thread. There is no differentiation of more than one future coming of the Lord in the objective text. The objective text consistently describes the future coming of the Lord as a single event that will be experienced two different ways depending on whether or not one is faithful to the Lord. The details of this observation are expressed in the initial post in this thread.

    In Matthew 24:45-51, Christ allegorically describes His coming as a single event that is experienced in two different ways depending on whether or not one is faithful to Him. In the same event, He comes to reward the faithful and to destroy the unfaithful. He does not come and go, leaving the unfaithful behind. He comes and cuts the unfaithful asunder.

    In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:11, Paul specifically states that whereas the unfaithful will experience the Day of the Lord as a thief and will thus experience sudden destruction, the faithful will not experience this Day in this way but will experience resurrection. Thus, Paul describes one coming of the Lord and two experiences. The unfaithful will not be left behind. Rather, they will be destroyed by the Lord at His coming.

    Paul says the same thing in 2 Thessalonians 1:4-8. When the Lord is revealed from heaven with His angels, He will give the faithful rest from their earthly afflictions but He will give the unfaithful destruction.

    This is discussed in greater detail in the initial post in this thread.


    Sincerely,
    Jim
     
  10. Jim1

    Jim1 Regular Member

    263
    +6
    Christian
    Dear rollinTHUNDER,


    Paul:

    (ASV) Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment; 10 so that ye may approve the things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ;

    (ASV) 1 Thessalonians 5:1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that aught be written unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief:

    (ASV) 2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him; 2 to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand; 3 let no man beguile you in any wise: for [it will not be,] except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 4 he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only [there is] one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming;

    (KJV) 2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:


    Jim:

    In Philippians 1:9-10, Paul prays that the saints at Philippi be sincere and without offense until the Day of Christ. Since the saints will automatically be sincere and without offense once the Rapture has occurred, as they will be rendered perfect at that time, this indicates that Paul did not expect the Rapture to occur until the Day of Christ.

    In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4, Paul says that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief with sudden destruction to those who are unsaved but as salvation (the culmination of it) to those who are saved.

    Thus, "the day of Christ" and "the day of the Lord" appear to be the same thing, prior to which the rapture does not occur.

    In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Paul says, regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that the Day of the Lord (WH), or the Day of Christ (TR), prior to which the Rapture will not occur (according to Philippians 1:9-10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4), will not come until after the apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin, whom the Lord will terminate with the appearance of His coming.

    If Paul were referring to two things that could easily be confused, would he not make an effort to differentiate them in the objective text, as he does in 1 Corinthians 10:28-29?

    (ASV) 1 Corinthians 10:28 But if any man say unto you, This hath been offered in sacrifice, eat not, for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: 29 conscience, I say, NOT THINE OWN, BUT THE OTHER'S; for why is my liberty judged by another conscience?

    Paul makes no such effort in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8. He provides nothing in the objective text to differentiate “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” in verse 2:1 from “his coming” in verse 2:8. Paul neither says, Not that coming but this coming, nor, His other coming. He simply says, “his coming,” after having referred to “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” seven verses earlier.

    If I were to say that we were all going to the beach in Bob’s car, and while the rest of us were at the beach, Bob was going to run some errands, after which Bob would pick us up and take us home in his car, would there be any reason to conclude from what I said that I was not referring to the same car both times that I mentioned it? If I were not referring to the same car, wouldn’t I say, his other car, instead of simply, his car? And if someone concluded from what I said that I was not referring to the same car, wouldn’t one wonder how he or she, based on what I said, came to that conclusion, as there would have been no basis for that conclusion in what I said?

    Likewise, I don’t think that there is any basis in the objective text for concluding that Paul is referring in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 (“the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”) and 2:8 (“his coming”) to anything other than the one and only future advent of Christ. The sequence specifically established by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 is this:

    1. The “one that restraineth now” will cease to be an obstacle (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
    2. The “man of sin / lawless one” will be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:8)
    3. The “day of Christ (Textus Receptus) / day of the Lord (Westcott-Hort),” prior to which the rapture does not occur (Philippians 1:9-10 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:11), will come (2 Thessalonians 2:2-3), in which two things will occur at “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ / his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:1 and 2:8):

    3a. The faithful are “gathered together unto him” (2 Thessalonians 2:1)
    3b. The “man of sin / lawless one” is “brought to nought” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

    Thus, even in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, we see a single coming of the Lord experienced in two different ways: (1) the faithful are gathered together to the Lord and (2) the wicked (specifically the wicked one) are destroyed.


    Sincerely,
    Jim

    PS: What evidence is there in the objective text that “the coming of the Lord” in 1 Thessalonians 4:15, “the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels” in 2 Thessalonians 1:7, “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 and “his coming” in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 are not all references to the same event? I myself do not see any? Do you?

    Unless stated otherwise, all scriptural references above were taken from the old (first published in 1901) American Standard Version of the Bible.
     
  11. postrib

    postrib Well-Known Member

    508
    +0
    Christian
    I believe all of the following passages speak of the same rapture at the same coming:

    "I will come again, and receive you unto myself" (John 14:3).

    "The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him" (2 Thessalonians 2:1).

    "The Son of man coming in the clouds... with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect" (Matthew 24:30-31).

    "We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord... with the trump of God... shall be caught up together" (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

    "They that are Christ's at his coming... at the last trump" (1 Corinthians 15:23, 52).

    I believe the doctrine of a pre-trib rapture would require that the 2nd coming be a 3rd coming (Hebrews 9:28), that the last trumpet be the 9th from last (1 Corinthians 15:52; Revelation 8:6; Matthew 24:31), and that the 1st resurrection be the 2nd (Revelation 20:4-6), so that it would not really make sense of scripture.

    I believe the pre-trib doctrine is a false hope held by some unwilling to endure the sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3-5) that we Christians must "endure to the end" in the tribulation (Matthew 24:13) with "patience and faith" (Revelation 13:7-10; 14:12-13).
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...