Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

The future existence of the believers according to 2 Thessalonians

Pieter G.R. de Villiers
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a912 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.912 | © 2011 Pieter G.R. de Villiers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 July 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

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Pieter G.R. de Villiers, Department of New Testament, University of the Free State, South Africa


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Abstract

This article investigated the presentation of the future existence of the believers in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. It analysed how the eschatological language of this letter reflects a situation in Thessalonica which has grown worse since the writing of 1 Thessalonians. It went on to explain to readers how this situation is handled by reflecting on it in terms of a divine plan and by portraying a future in which their suffering will come to an end. A close reading of some passages in 2 Thessalonians which speak of the dispensation which will follow on the glorious return of Christ at the end were presented during the course of this article. It investigated Christ’s glorification at his return and delineated the way in which this return affects and determines the existence of those who accepted Paul’s proclamation of the gospel. The future glory of the Lord is revealed, experienced and shared by believers in a mystical manner. The article ended with a brief discussion on the traditions which determined this perspective, the context in which the eschatological portrait must be understood and how the portrait of the future serves to support the community of saints in their time of suffering.

Keywords

2 Thessalonians; eschatology; glory

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