As in our previous posts when viewing what Brentner is saying, we need to understand that he has in view the pre-Trib Rapture.
4. THE RAPTURE COMFORTS US IN SORROW
“The Jews in Thessalonica not only chased Paul and Silas out of town, but also persecuted the young church. On top of that, the believers in the city were grief-stricken because some of them had died.
In response, Paul gave them further teaching regarding the Rapture two times telling them “to encourage one another” with his teaching on it (1 Thess. 4:18, 5:11). The hope of Jesus’ return for His followers was something the young believers were to use in comforting “one another.”
Whether we face persecution for our faith or the loss of a loved one in Christ, the Rapture reminds us that at better day is coming, perhaps very soon. This hope comforts us in the worst of times, even when we face the death of someone we love.”
We have dealt before with what happens in Dispensational teaching on end times. What almost always surfaces when teaching about Paul’s 2 Thessalonians account is the emphasis on the Rapture, and frankly to the exclusion of the point Paul is making. The point in Brentner’s 4th point is to look to the comfort in Pauls message, but that comfort is aimed at those who grieve over the death of loved ones. Listen:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 NASB
In chapter 4:13, we find Paul’s purpose for writing this, but Brentner’s Scriptural focus is on 4:18 & 5:11.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 NASB
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB
The Rapture is Brentner’s primary focus I believe because Dispensationalists have in their thinking separated for so long the Rapture from Christ’s Second Coming that they have forgotten that what Paul is teaching here is about the resurrection of the dead, which he here says occurs at the Second Coming of Christ. This is Paul’s focus in these verses — the Second Coming. Paul never makes the Rapture his focus as do most of their teachers like Brentner has done here.
Paul in fact begins his teaching concerning the death of loved ones with an explicit statement. Listen:
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-15 NASB
Paul is setting the stage. This is what will happen. In fact you never hear what he stated here taught about. Listen:
God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
What does this mean? Of course Jesus is God. We’ve always heard that Jesus was fully man and fully God, but the Jesus who was seen on Earth was seen just like us a man — a man who could die as we do. But The Yeshua Messiah who returns as King is going to be seen as fully God. He is the focus of that moment, not us not our catching away. In fact Paul makes clear that the dead in Christ will rise before you if you are not already among those dead. I of course added that, but it is obvious. The rapture is actually secondary to the purpose for Paul’s teaching here concerning the dead and their resurrection. Dispensationalist try to make it the most important event of all time — is it?
The resurrection is Paul’s emphasis here. This is the very thing for which he says in Acts when he appeals to Cesar that he is being arrested for — the resurrection.
In 1 Thessalonians Paul does not nor does he ever place his emphasis on our catching up as being a separated event from The Second Coming of Messiah. Paul takes his teaching of a catching up from Christ’s own teaching on His Coming. Read Matthew 24 and Mark 13. What Paul teaches is no different than what Jesus Himself had taught.
The problem is in not understanding that we Gentiles are grafted into the commonwealth of Israel (Eph. 2) through His position as King of Israel. He is of the ruling tribe of Israel. — the tribe of Judah, and we are grafted into this tribe in Him. We shall rule with Him. Why do you think we are depicted by Paul as being in the Olive tree with Israel’s saved Remnant? Why do you think Paul states in Romans 11, that once God has saved the final Gentile and Jew, that then all Israel will be saved. He is certainly not going back to save King Ahab, and others of Israel like him, who have been cut off. But He has finished adding those who will come to His holy nation and holy priesthood.
Think on these truths, pray about it, check out the Scriptures and then decide what God is saying in His word.
Not mine, not yours, but only God’s Truth matters.