“…not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come“
as though the day of Christ
Some manuscripts read “the day of the Lord.” If the phrase “the day of Christ” were the right text, then the meaning would be that the Rapture had already come. If the phrase “the day of the Lord” is the right reading, then the meaning is the Tribulation had already come. In either case, the teaching is false.
The words “as though” point to something alleged. Neither the Rapture nor the Day of the Lord has occurred; it was something alleged.
The Thessalonians knew that the Day of the Lord would come, but they did not understand the sequence in which it would occur. They thought that it had already come upon them.
The word “had come” means to set in, to stand in. The Thessalonians thought that the “day of Christ” was present. The Greek tense indicates that they thought that the “day of Christ” had already come and remained with them. Paul categorically repudiates that the Tribulation has come by this statement. Paul taught a pretribulational rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 1:10) and that the church would not go through the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Paul proceeds to show in the following verses that the Rapture (coming of Christ) for His church would launch the Day of the Lord (the Tribulation period, the Second Coming, and the Millennium). In doing so, Paul describes certain features of the Day of the Lord that are obviously not present yet.
A correct understanding of prophecy prevents phonies from passing on their fake understanding and destabilizing believers.
Many Christians today negate the importance of teaching about end-time events, yet the Bible places great emphasis on it. These people make their followers vulnerable to the phonies who come along because they neglect this vast area of God’s Word.
Any faker who comes down the pike usually emotionally disturbs those who follow these teachers. Paul went into great detail about the Day of the Lord to explain the sequence of events of the last times. The Bible is our final authority, not some spirit, message, or letter.