2 Timothy 2:16-18
But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,
and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.
Notice the teaching which is gangrene is this. At the time of the writing of this letter, these people said the resurrection had happened.
Any good scholar would note that Paul’s letter was written in AD67. Not after AD70.
Now let’s look at what Paul says regards the wrath of God and the coming of Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 1:10
and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
No. 1. The wrath of God was coming at his time.
1 Thessalonians 2:14-16
For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,
who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind
by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!
No. 2 That it is coming at last. Paul says it as if he had finally manage to see it within his lifetime. More important he tells you it is against the Jews in his generation. The same generation which killed Jesus.
Then it is within that generation that he says will meet him in the air.
1 Thessalonians 3:3-4
that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this.
For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know.
Notice how many times the word you is mentioned as in you the Thessalonians? And not you people living in the 21st century?
It is in this context Paul then says this.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;
that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,
not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
Notice how the instructions were for people of that generation as to how to behave as the coming of the Lord draws near to them not to us. What’s the point of doing all those things if the coming is 2000 years later?
Then Paul quotes these famous verses.
1 Thessalonians 4:12-15
so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
Notice the instructions about how they have to walk?
Also the purpose of telling about the rapture was not towards those who are alive but the concern was brought about as to those who had died? So that they won’t grieve?
Now let us turn to chapter 5. This is where it becomes so glaring that they knew the coming was within their and NOT our lifetime.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
The Day of the Lord
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.
For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.
For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.
So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
Notice these few things.
They knew when he was coming. Paul says they need not be told.
They were not like the others who are living in darkness. They were in the light. So it was within their generation.
John and Jesus said in Revelation written when the tribulation was already starting that it is very soon.
Notice how John says it was already in the tribulation when Revelation was written.
Vision of the Son of Man
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Notice how he received the visions when he was at Patmos but at the time he was writing the letter he was a partner in tribulation.
So the tribulation had stated. The resurrection as such was an imminent and expected event at that time.
When the temple was destroyed the Spirit of God inhabited a new temple. That was when the immortal (the Spirit) clothed the mortal (us). That’s when we who were born perishable were raised imperishable because we were made the new temple.
You may ask didn’t Paul said you were already the temple then after the resurrection of Christ? The answer is yes and no.
This was because Paul was addressing the Jews and Gentiles. The Gentiles in Corinth had no problem believing they were the new temple. However for the Jews who had been practicing the Law and worship in the Temple, they could not understand this new revelation until the Temple was destroyed.
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
It was necessary for the Temple to be destroyed before they could fully comprehend what had been done. It was then we became the dwelling place of God on us permanently. That was when men and God became one. That was when we were raised. AD70. Not AD67 nor AD2016. Definitely not this March.