The Timing Of The Day Of The Lord In 1 Thessalonians 5, Part II -- By: Nicholas James Claxton

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 21:63 (Autumn 2017)
Article: The Timing Of The Day Of The Lord In 1 Thessalonians 5, Part II
Author: Nicholas James Claxton


The Timing Of The Day Of The Lord In 1 Thessalonians 5, Part II

Nicholas James Claxton

* Nicholas James Claxton, B.A., M.Div., Ph.D. student and teaching assistant, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

A compelling case can be made for a pretribulational rapture, if 1 Thessalonians 5 references the entire tribulation and if believers are promised deliverance from the wrath of that period. The focus of this present article is to consider the context of 1 Thessalonians 5, in addition to the key exegetical evidences indicating the timing of the Day of the Lord in that pericope.

The Context Of 1 Thessalonians 5

Part one of this series analyzed the broader context of the Day of the Lord theme.1 Now, it is needful to analyze the narrower context of 1 Thessalonians itself. Both contexts are of key importance in establishing the timing of the Day of the Lord in 1 Thessalonians 5.

Occasion And Setting Of The Epistle

The Apostle Paul founded the church of Thessalonica on his second missionary journey (Acts 17:1-9). Many were converted to Christ, but persecution ensued as a result (vv. 5-9). Paul and Silas were unexpectedly forced to flee the city by night (v. 10).

Luke recorded Paul’s ministry in the Thessalonian synagogue as lasting “three Sabbaths” (v. 2). The temporal description is unclear as to whether it refers to the total time that Paul was in Thessalonica or simply to the time he spent preaching in the synagogue. In either case, Paul was deeply concerned with regard to the spiritual welfare of the church he had so abruptly departed.

Commentators generally date 1 Thessalonians at approximately AD 50 during Paul’s stay in Corinth. Throughout the epistle, Paul expressed

gratefulness for the Thessalonians’ faith (1:1-10; 2:13—3:13), defended his ministry against false accusations (2:1-12), challenged his readers to walk righteously (4:1-12; 5:12-28), and encouraged them with the hope of Christ’s retur...

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