Q. In 2 Thes. 1:6 – 10 we read as follows.
6 Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
This passage seems very clearly to point to a post trib rapture unless I am missing something glaringly obvious. I have asked many ministers and teachers about this passage and have not really had a satisfactory response, so I was wondering if you would like to have a stab at it.
A. I don’t see how you concluded that Paul was talking about a post-trib rapture here. Verse 6 is a promise that God will repay those who trouble you with trouble of their own. Maybe the word “tribulation” fooled you. In Greek it’s the noun form of the verb translated trouble in the same verse. Jesus used the same word in John 16:33 when He said, “In this would you will have trouble”. Neither one is a reference to the Great Tribulation but describes life as usual in this world where trouble can strike without warning at any time. Unbelievers who deliberately cause us trouble will be repaid in kind by the Lord.
Then in verses 7-9 Paul said God will give we who have been troubled rest with him and other believers when the Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels to take vengeance upon those who do not know Him. Since in Romans 5:9 and 1 Thes. 1:10 Paul said the Lord will rescue us from the time and place of God’s wrath, 2 Thes. 1:7 confirms that we’ll be in Heaven with Paul and the other believers when the Lord comes to judge the unbelievers of the world. When the judgment is complete the Lord will be glorified in us because He will have fulfilled Paul’s promise to us from verse 6.
Far from pointing to a post trib rapture, 1 Thes. 1:6-10 another confirmation that the rapture will take place before the end times judgments.