by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1 January 11, 2015 Dayton, Texas (Download Audio)
(105)Thesis:The "timing" of the Rapture is "off the table".
Introduction:Because Paul told his readers that there was to be such a thing as The Rapture, a most natural question is, "When will it happen?".
It seems pretty obvious that he anticipated this most natural question and decided to address it at once. His answer is not an answer to the "When?" question. Rather it is an exhortation to not be sidetracked in the pursuit of the will of God.
This evening we are going to look into the beginning segment of his response to his readers' curiosity.
I. The Question of "Times and Seasons".
A. The issues involved.
1. "Times" are particularized segments of "Time" that have both a beginning point and an ending point.
a. The essence of a "time" is two-fold.
1) There is the idea of "progression" through minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc.
2) There is the idea of "purpose" that is established before the "time" begins and all of its minutes, hours, etc. are ordered to bring about the fulfillment of that purpose.
b. Inherent in the concept of "time" is "activity".
1) The "progression" of "time" includes "activities" that fill the "time" with substance.
2) The "purpose" of "time" is realized by the cause/effect reality in which the inherent activities exist.
2. "Seasons" are the particularized segments of "times" that are focused upon the segment of those "times" when the goals of the "times" are about to be achieved.
a. As such, there is always a "season" in a "time" and there is "time" in every "season".
b. The Rapture is an event in its own "season" that fits into a larger "time" and "season".
3. The mention of The Day of The Lord is the mention of the "season" in which all of the plans of The Lord for the coming Kingdom of Messiah upon the earth are to be fulfilled.
a. The "season" of the Day of the Lord includes multiple other "seasons", all of which are integrated elements of that Day.
b. The Rapture is one of the events that has both its "time" and "season" so that the larger "time" and "season" of the Day of the Lord includes it and is partially realized by it.
B. The lack of need for anyone to write to them about it.
1. Most fundamentally: Acts 1:7.
a. The "when" issue is off the table: God will not reveal it.
1) Unrevealed, it generates an "anticipatory hope" that provides motivation for proper activity (Luke 12:45 in context).
2) Revealed, it has the capacity to reduce "anticipatory hope" to a useless addendum.
b. The unrevealed "when" becomes subservient to the participation of disciples in the plans of God for their "times".
2. Then, 1 Thessalonians 5:2.
a. The Thessalonians know "perfectly"...
1) The word translated "perfectly" means "with a kind of exactness that comes from detailed and diligent searching".
2) The word translated "know" means that they have a comprehensive grasp of this information.
b. The thing "known": the "season" of the Day of the Lord is a deliberately unrevealed issue.
1) It has the character of a thief who comes in the night when no one is prepared.
2) The "thief" motif introduces the focus of the rest of the paragraph: a motif of destruction.