What Was Paul Saying?

Q. I would like to ask you something concerning the Holy Ones who are mentioned in 1st Thessalonians 3:13. Many support the idea that they are those who have been raptured who now are coming with Jesus at His second coming at the end of the tribulation. If this is right that would mean that the words of the first part of the verse can apply only to those who will believe during the tribulation. Is this right?

A. Let’s read 1 Thes. 3:13, “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

I believe the New Testament was written to the entire Church age. Therefore I think Paul was saying that whether the people reading his letter are dead or alive as the end times approach, his desire was that they would be blameless and holy in the presence of God when Jesus comes back with all His holy ones. Since the only time He will be accompanied by all His holy ones is the 2nd Coming (Jude 14:15) Paul was confirming that the rapture would precede it. The redeemed Church will be in God’s presence when Jesus returns to Earth.

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