THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL NOT HAPPEN UNTIL TWO EVENTS HAPPEN FIRST;
1. THE GREAT APOSTASY 2. THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS (ANTICHRIST) IS REVEALED
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 1 Concerning the coming (Greek = Parousia, the Second Coming) of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered (Resurrection/Rapture), to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord(God’s Wrath) has already come (the false claim was that the Rapture had already come and the Thessalonian saints were suffering God’s wrath). 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (The Day of the Lord – God’s wrath) will not come unless (until) the apostasy (the great falling away of believers from faith in Jesus and Jews who embrace the covenant made by the Antichrist) comes first, and the man of lawlessness (Antichrist) is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (These two definite prophesied signs/events must occur BEFORE the Day of the Lord or Second Coming).
THE CLASSIC RAPTURE TEXT
1 Thessalonians 4:14-18
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. (What happens to those who die in the Lord?).
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord (Matthew 24:29-31), that we who are alive (living believers) and remain until the coming of the Lord (Greek = Parousia = Jesus’ arrival and ongoing presence.), will not precede those who have fallen asleep (All believers who have died).
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God(Three sounds to wake the dead and summon living Believers -- Isaiah 27:13, Joel 2:1 Matthew 24:31, Zephaniah 1:14), and the dead in Christ will rise first (The First resurrection).
17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them(The Rapture), in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we shall always be with the Lord.
DAY OF THE LORD WILL COME LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT
1 Thessalonians 5:2-5
2 For you yourselves know full well that the Day of the Lord (The Rapture) will come just like a thief in the night (to unbelievers, totally surprising them. 2 Peter 3:10 Revelation 16:14-15)
3 While they(the unsaved world who are NOT Christians) are saying, "Peace and safety!" (under Antichrist rule, unbelievers who have taken the Mark of the Beast are treated well) then destruction will come upon them (unsaved) suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape (unsaved will not escape God’s wrath).
4 But you (saved Christians), brethren, are NOT in darkness (saved Christians are day people), that the day would overtake you (saved Christians) like a thief (Matthew 24:43); (Believers will NOT be caught off guard knowing the general time frame and signs of Christ’s return… at the end of Daniel’s 70th week)
5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day (saved Christians are day people). We are NOT of night nor of darkness;
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.