Doctrinal Teaching - The Return of Christ


Doctrine is "right teaching." Thessalonians is placed last among the epistles because it contains revelation of the goal for all believers - the gathering together of the church of the body of Christ. Although last in order it was the first revelation given to the church of the "all truth" which Christ proclaimed he would send after his ascension.

John 16:12-15 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

In the two epistles to the Thessalonians the doctrine (right teaching) regarding the return of Christ for the church, referred to as "our gathering together unto him," is revealed. Thessalonians is not followed by episltes of reproof or correction for we will meet Jesus Christ in the air; we will have a new spiritual body like Jesus Christ's glorious ressurected body, and so shall we ever be with the Lord: "that which is perfect" will have come. There will be no wrong practice to be reproved or corrected.

Central in Thessalonians is the description of our hope

I Thessalonians 4:13 - 18:

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [believers who have died], that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, [Romans 10:9-10] even so them also which sleep in Jesus [believers who have died] will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [come before] them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

II Thessalonians

The Believers Depart Before the Tribulation

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The Mystery of the Grace of God.

The seven church epistles tell the "all truth" Jesus Christ promised would be revealed. The greatness of the epistles is that they reveal the great mystery of the grace of God. Throughout the epistles the Apostle Paul makes reference to this mystery and clearly states that prior to his receiving this information God had kept it a secret. Therefore it cannot be revealed in the Old Testament or in the Gospels. Only by reading and understanding the seven church epistles can we know that which God had prepared for us and kept a secret since the world began!

I Thessalonians 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

II Thessalonians 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Published to the Web July 1996
Michael Cortright