did Paul think he would live to see Jesus' second coming?
I can't help but think that Paul was led to believe that he would live to see Jesus' second coming. When I read, for example, 2 Thess. 1:7, which says, "[God will give] relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire," how else am I to understand him other than he thought Jesus would return soon?
Or what about 1 Thess. 4:15-17, how he says, "we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air"? Doesn't that sound like Paul anticipated that he would be alive when the resurrection of the just took place?
One more example is 1 Cor. 15:51ff, when Paul says, "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality."
Toward the end of his life, in his pastoral letters, Paul didn't speak this way (cf. 2 Tim. 2:2; 4:6-7; etc.), so perhaps this conviction was proven to be in need of correction, but I think it is clear that in his first epistles, he spoke as if Jesus truly would come back in his lifetime. What are your thoughts about this: do you agree or disagree? Have you run across other passages like this by Paul or by other NT authors? How does this mesh with the Scripture being inspired and inerrant?
Thanks all. Looking forward to a godly conversation with you. - astro
analyze. synthesize. repeat.
*It is the next chapter of my life, whether I'm ready or not. My time here in these forums has come to its close. I bless you as I go!*