What Am I Missing?

Q. I have a question about 2 Thes. chapter 2. Verses 1 and 2 seem to be one sentence and continuing thought. If so, that would seem that “the coming of our Lord Jesus and our gathering together to Him” in verse 1, and “the day of the Lord” in verse 2 are the same thing. Verse 3 says it (apparently both things mentioned in verses 1 and 2) won’t happen until the man of lawlessness is revealed. Verse 8 says the lawless one will be revealed after the restrainer is removed. Obviously the revealing of the man of lawless can’t happen both before and after the same event so what am I missing?

A. The problem lies with your interpretation of 2 Thes. 2:1-3 . In verse 1 the phrase “the coming of our Lord and our being gathered to Him” includes two separate events. In one He comes to Earth to be with the people where they are (the 2nd Coming) and in the other the church is gathered up to be with Him where He is (the rapture). Remember in 1 Thes.4:17 Paul said we would be “caught up” in the clouds to be with Him.

In verse 2 Paul was speaking of the Day of the Lord. This phrase almost always refers to the End Times judgments. In verse 3 he said they won’t come until there’s a falling away and the man of lawlessness (anti-Christ) appears.

Then in 2 Thes,. 2:7-8 Paul said the lawless one would not be revealed until the one who holds him back is taken out of the way. Many scholars believe the one who holds him back is the Holy Spirit, currently sealed in the Church, who will be taken out of the way at the rapture. So the end times judgments can’t come until the anti-Christ is revealed and He can’t be revealed until the Church has been taken away.

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