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Volume 21 - Page 43 of 202 Index | Zoom | |
nations" and to "rule them with a rod of iron"; and He "treads the winepress of the
fierceness and wrath of Almighty God", a fulfillment of the prophecy of vengeance in
Isa. 63: 1-3. With the promise, "Surely I come quickly", and the answering prayer,
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus", the testimony of this book closes.
We have now to review the teaching of the apostle Paul in order to compare it with
what we have already seen. We shall then be in some degree fitted to come to a
conclusion on the matter. To this study we must address ourselves in subsequent papers.
#15. The N.T. fulfillment.
The patience of hope (I Thessalonians).
pp. 190 - 194
We have now passed in review the teaching of the Scriptures concerning the second
coming of the Lord, with the exception of the epistles of Paul. These epistles fall into
two groups, those written before the end of the Acts, and those written during the Roman
imprisonment. The first group contains six epistles:--
| I & II THESSALONIANS.
| I & II CORINTHIANS.
We have discussed the question of the date of Galatians in our book entitled, The
Apostle of the Reconciliation, but as the subject of the second coming does not occur in
this epistle, the matter of its date is not important here. The first epistle in this group that
deals with the second coming is I Thessalonians.
The patience of hope.
Are we justified in using this title for the first epistle to the Thessalonians? The
answer to the question reveals an important fact that Paul is the apostle of hope.
Elpis, "hope", does not occur once in the four Gospels, but in Paul's Epistles,
including Hebrews, the word is used 41 times. Of the eight occurrences in the Acts Peter
is responsible for one, and Paul for six. There are only four other occurrences, so that out
of a total of 53 occurrences of elpis ("hope" or "faith") Paul is responsible for 47. Much
the same is true of the verb elpizo, "to hope" or "to trust". It occurs 31 times, and of this
number Paul is responsible for 21. The word is not used by Paul or by the other writers
of the N.T. exclusively of the second coming, but the fact remains that whether the hope
be the second coming, the resurrection, the hope of Israel, or some more personal and
immediate aspect, it is Paul who is its chief exponent.
Returning to the Thessalonian epistle:--