the glories that should follow them.? So Paul, although he does not announce it as certain seems to have had some hope that he might live to witness Christ?s second Coming. See <470504>2 Corinthians 5:4 ? ?not for that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon?
( ejpendu>sasqai ? put on the spiritual body, as over the present one, without the intervention of death);
1 Thessalonians 4:15, 17 ? ?we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord.? So <400215>Matthew 2:15 quotes from <281101>Hosea 11:1 ? ?Out of Egypt did I call my son,? and applies the prophecy to Christ, although Hosea was doubtless thinking only of the exodus of the people of Israel.
(c) The prophet?s earlier utterances are not to be severed from the later utterances, which elucidate them, or from the whole revelation of which they form a part. It is unjust to forbid the prophet to explain his own meaning.
2 Thessalonians was written expressly to correct wrong inferences as to the apostle?s teaching drawn from his peculiar mode of speaking in the first epistle. In <530202>2 Thessalonians 2:2-5 he removes the impression ?that the day of the Lord is now present? or ?just at hand?; declares that ?it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed?; reminds the Thessalonians: ?when I was yet with you, I told you these things.? Yet still, in verse 1, he speaks of ?the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him.?
These passages, taken together, show:
(1) that the two epistles are one in their teaching;
(2) that in neither epistle is there any prediction of the immediate coming of the Lord;
(3) that in the second epistle great events are foretold as intervening before that coming;
(4) that while Paul never taught that Christ would come during his own lifetime, he hoped at least during the earlier part of his life that it might be so ? a hope that seems to have been dissipated in his later years. (See <550406>2 Timothy 4:6 ? ?I am already being offered, and the time for my departure is come.?) We must remember, however, that there was a ?coming of the Lord? in the destruction of Jerusalem within three or four years of Paul?s death. Henry Van Dyke: ?The point of Paul?s teaching in I and 2 then, is not that Christ is coming tomorrow, but that he is surely coming.? The absence of
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