2 THESSALONIANS — TV INTERVIEW #2
WITH DR. DOUGLAS D. STAUFFER
Dr. Douglas D. Stauffer and I continued our discussion on his new book, REVIVING THE BLESSED HOPE OF THESSALONIANS (co-written with his partner and pastor, Andrew B. Ray). Our first session was broadcast on 04-08-2016. This one appeared on the Prophecy in the News website, dated 04-22-2016 (the shows were recorded back-to-back). In the first session, we discussed 1 Thessalonians. Here we tackle some key issues in 2 Thessalonians. Like the first show, this recording runs about 28 minutes. The link to the show is at the bottom of this post.
Our discussion focused on 2 Thessalonians. Below I’ve summarized a number of the key questions asked. The discussion was lively and if you are a student of Bible prophecy, fascinating.
We began with what was “troubling” the Thessalonians. “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you” — 2 Thessalonians 1:6. Apparently, Paul was calling down God’s judgment on those who troubled the Church at Thessalonica. But this seems to be connected to God’s judgment overall. Is it? Interesting.
One of the major topics of discussion was the issue of whether 2 Thessalonians 2 applies to the invisible rapture or to the visible return of Christ to the earth. In other words: “Are we talking about the Day of Christ or the Day of the Lord?”
Verses 7-10, chapter 2, discuss elements of what would be considered the rapture and some that would be at the time of the visible return of Christ. IS THERE REALLY A DISTINCTION?
7And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day…
In Chapter 2, many controversial issues pop up. The key issue builds upon the Greek word, apostasia. It is translated as “a falling away”… What does it mean, apostasia? Or could it mean “departure”? Or is it simply and correctly translated, apostasy?
Also, sometimes Post-Trib proponents criticize the Pre-Trib position, saying: “The church shouldn’t be raptured when it is in apostasy”. What do you say?
Another issue has to do with experiencing tribulation. “Many of our former brethren have been persecuted and tortured… So do we have to suffer too?” Does the Post-Trib view establish the Tribulation period as a form of “purgatory” to “purify” believers?
1 John 3:3 says, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.. ” What hope do we have if we look forward to the Tribulation events coming before redemption? Does the hope purify us or does the tribulation purify us?
Why did Paul bring up the “son of perdition” as it relates to the timing of the Rapture? What does his appearance have to do with when the rapture occurs?
1 Thessalonians 2:6-7: “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”
Oh, that archaic language of the King James Version. Is that part of why we don’t understand the text? What is the meaning of “letteth” and “withholdeth”? What is it that “withholdeth”? Who is the “he” who “letteth now” and will continue to “let” until he is taken out of the way?
Dr. Stauffer’s answer will be puzzling to some and enlightening to others. But you will want to hear it. Am I sold on it? You can look at my comments and expression and decide for yourself!
Here is the link to the show: CLICK HERE. Hope you enjoy it! Let me know.