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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Fall Edition 2001

The Truth Of I Thessalonians 5:3

    Darbyites constantly try to fit the statements of I Thessalonians 5:3 into their idea of some future seven year great tribulation period characterized by the covenant making and breaking activities of Antichrist, (a scenario they derived solely from Daniel 9:27). In other words, they read their PRECONCEPTION of what they think Daniel 9:27 teaches (i.e., constructs they derive from Sir Robert Anderson's false theory of interpreting Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy Weeks) into this passage of the New Testament.

    There are two major problems here.

    First, Dispensationalists misinterpret Daniel 9:27 with which to start, the realization of said fact making their foundational, organizing premise, by which they seek to structure and harmonize all of end-time Bible prophecy, wrong in the first place.

    Secondly, I Thessalonians chapter five does not say one word about a "seven year great tribulation period. " It does not say anything about the "first half" or the "second half: of such a period, nor does it say anything about Antichrist making or breaking any peace deal with the Jews!

    The saying of "peace and safety" in I Thessalonians 5:3 is not said to begin any seven year period, nor are we to assume from the text that some three-and-a-half year period of time must lapse before the prophesied destruction comes. The text says "sudden destruction" follows immediately on the heels of the crying of peace and safety, not a three-and-a-half year interlude of false peace under Antichrist!

    Friends can you not see that the dispensational PRECONCEPTION derived from Daniel 9:27 does not fit the text of I Thessalonians 5:1-4? In fact, it perverts the relevance of the text by blinding men to its true meaning—i.e., that the end-time judgment will emerge suddenly and unexpectedly, and when it does strike, none will escape!

    What I Thessalonians 5:4 means, furthermore, is that we should be aware of this reality by understand the true teaching of Bible prophecy so we are not caught morally off guard, but have prepared ourselves by godly living to meet the Lord.

    "That that day should not overtake us as a thief," we emphasize, does not mean that Christians will escape the judgment by way of secret Rapture! It mean, rather that they should be ready for instant glory in instant death, or as Jesus said in Luke 17:33: "whosoever shall lose his live shall preserve it."

    Physical life lost here, for the Christian, means preservation in eternal life with the Lord! On the other hand, trying to hang on to physical life without the Lord, when that day of judgment so swiftly comes, mean not only to loose one's physical life, but far more importantly, to lose one's soul as well.

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