1 and 2 Thessalonians are doctrinal epistles that deal primarily with eschatology. They were actually the first of Paul’s epistles, written from Corinth in about 52 or 53 A.D., and were written to deal with concerns of the Thessalonians.
Paul had previously landed in Thessalonica and while he was there for two to three weeks, he planted a church and taught them the basics. Later, while in Corinth, he learned they were concerned over the death of some of their members. They were worried that those who had died would not see the return of Christ.
So Paul wrote this very key passage, reminding them about the harpazo:
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus 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 precede them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, 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.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
Paul’s second letter apparently followed his first by a few months. He wrote again to settle their confusion over the same issues that plague most prophecy discussions today: Will the church experience the Great Tribulation? When does the Antichrist appear? There is a range of views on these issues and we will deal with them in this study.
How does your eschatological view affect your life? If it has no effect, you might reconsider what you really believe. See our latest commentary release, The Books of Thessalonians.