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The Last Days Duncan Heaster  
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11-4 The Olivet Prophecy And 1 Thessalonians

1 Thess. 4 and 5 are shot through with allusions to the Olivet prophecy. A few of the more obvious are listed:

1 Thess.

Olivet Prophecy

4:15 " This we say unto you by the word of the Lord" Jesus

Jesus on Olivet


Mt. 24:30,31


Lk. 21:24


Mt. 24:43


Mt. 24:43,48,51

5:5 " Children of light"

Wise virgins with lamps (Mt. 25)


Mt. 24:13,25,42,49


Mt. 24:51

Paul begins chapter 5 by saying that we do not need to know exact times and seasons (i.e. dates) of the second coming, because the most obvious sign is that it would come when some in the ecclesia were unaware- it would come upon them as a thief. Likewise Jesus said that a sign more important that famines etc. was the tribulation of the household. The unworthy saints of the last days who are not watching will find the second coming take them like a thief (Mt.24:43). 1 Thess.5:3 says that those who think there is " peace and safety" within the ecclesia will also find the second coming to be thief-like. Thus a lack of spiritual watching is the equivalent of the " peace and safety" cry. The attitude that all within the house (the ecclesia) is well and there is no real danger of tribulation will result in a lack of watching. What sense can we make of Lk. 21:36 if we deny the possibility of a persecution period: " Watch ye therefore, and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass" ...? " Pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass..." . Whilst it is possible that we will be saved out of the tribulation, to dogmatically say that we will not experience it, coupled with an attitude which refuses to admit the doctrinal and behavioural problems within the ecclesia, will result in us being lulled into a sense of peace and safety. This " peace and safety" atmosphere within the ecclesia matches that in Israel just prior to the Baylonian invasion: " Them that are at ease ( " secure" ) in Zion" (Am.6:1, cp. Lk.6:24) trusted in their riches and regular observance of a few religious rituals.  But surely we " are all the children of light" (the word), and therefore " are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief" (v.5,4).