In Christ Jesus

Chapter Seven
The Letter to the Thessalonians

The keynote of both of these letters is promptly struck in the third verse of the first chapter, in the phrase, "patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." Here we are turned toward the future, the second coming of Him in whom we find the sphere of our final triumph over all foes. Hope looks forward to the future and fixes its gaze on this consummation, and hence becomes the profound secret of patience in present trials. The same blessed thought reap pears in verses 9-10. "To serve the living... God; and to wait for his Son from heaven."

These two epistles therefore carry us to the climax of the glorious truth which has lifted us to higher and higher elevations, as we have gone from summit to summit in studying this progress of doctrine; here the Holy Spirit gives us a glimpse of our final, ultimate, and complete victory in Christ over all enemies and all trials.

It will be remembered that, in the epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians, we found one blessed privilege to lie in the future: in the former, our gathering together unto Him; and in the latter, our manifestation in Him. Here we are emphatically reminded of His reappearing, at which time this gathering together of all saints is to take place about the very Head of the mystical body; and their manifestation in Him, because He himself is to be manifested in glory.

The Holy Spirit guides the pen of Paul to write of these two future and crowning relations of blessing that yet await all God's saints. Compare II Thessalonians 2:1,8. "By our gathering together unto him," and, "the brightness of his coming" -- the epiphany of His parousia. Here we have both thoughts; and in fact both are found in the one verse which opens the second chapter: "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him."

To get even a glimpse of this truth, we must first know what is included in this second advent of the Son of God, as it is set forth in these two letters to Thessalonica. We present the following as a partial analysis of their contents, but sufficient to hint at the wealth of suggestion herein to be discovered: