Troublesome Topic: Did Paul Think Jesus Would Return During His Lifetime?

1 Thessalonians 4:18


Therefore, encourage

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one another with these words.


Therefore, come alongside one another and encourage each other by reminding each other of these truths.

Yes, it appears that he did. With the use of the word “we” he always included himself in those that were expecting to still be alive when Jesus showed Himself in power and glory. We would have been thinking the same thing if we had lived back then too.

 Some of them came close to being there for the climactic events of AD 70, and John lived about 20 years past that event. The destruction of the temple by the Romans was actually Jesus’ first return in power and glory. We now know that there are two “comings” after His resurrection, one to bring the former age, the age of the Law, to a close, and the other one is yet to occur. The last one is the only one that we refer to as His “second coming.” The Apostles thought that all of that would be accomplished in one single event and that it would happen within a few decades of the resurrection. Some of it did happen within a few decades, but there is much more that has not yet taken place.

The next lesson is: When Will Jesus Arrive on the Scene to Show His Great Power?



This is the same word that is used in John 16 where the Holy Spirit is called our “counselor or comforter.” It means one who comes long side us to encourage us, comfort us and guide us.