Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.
This will be a short article on the first three verses in 2 Thessalonians 2. I chose to explain these verses because many interpret them wrongly and also to show that the Bible teaches a Pretribulation Rapture.
2 Thessalonians 2:1 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"
In verse 1, the coming of our LORD (pay attention to that title) Jesus Christ is a reference to the Second Advent, which is after the Tribulation. The second half of verse 1 which talks about "our gathering together unto him" is speaking of the Church Age Rapture. The comma in verse 1 separates the Rapture and the Second Advent. Paul has them listed backwards like in Psalms 89 where verses 19 through 37 are verses dealing with the Second Advent, while verses 37 through 45 deal with the First Advent.
Verse 2 shows us that someone has been teaching false doctrine concerning the subject at hand. Someone has been telling them that the first resurrection was spiritual and they have missed it. Some of those that taught this were Alexander and Hymenaeus in 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:17.
Some argue that the Day of Christ in verse 2 is the Church Age Rapture. If interpreted this way then the passage demands a sign before the Rapture (2 Cor. 5:7, 1 Cor. 1:22). The reason that most Bible Believers are against looking at the Day of Christ in the verse as referring to the Day of the Lord is because the corrupt Greek behind the new versions falsely translate Day of the Lord instead of Day of Christ in this verse. The correct translation is obviously day of Christ. The King James Bible is pure and without error. Every word in it is true. Most argue that everywhere the Day of Christ is mentioned it refers to the Rapture or the Judgment Seat of Christ, which is true, but the context demands that it refers to the Day of the Lord in this passage.
The context not only is talking about the Rapture, but mainly about the Second Advent. Verse one as we have shown has mentioned it and also later on in verse 8, the Second Advent is mentioned.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:"
In verses 3,6 and 8 the object of the revelation is the Antichrist, not the Church. The Antichrist is revealed, not the church receiving revelation. We know this because of the way the word "revealed" is used in 2 Thess. 1:7 about the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:1).
The Church will not be here during the Tribulation because it is the Antichrist's time, not the Church's time according to verse 6. This time is also called the time of Jacob's Trouble and Daniel's 70th Week. It is very clear that the Tribulation has nothing to do with the Church Age, even the way of Salvation is different. Salvation in the Tribulation is by faith and works, plus not taking the Mark of the Beast, which no Christian should be worried about. Church Age saints are saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ, plus nothing. The Tribulation saints will be able to lose their salvation if they take the Mark, but today we cannot lose our salvation. We are sealed until the Rapture (Eph. 1:13).
As said, the Day of Christ means the Day of the Lord here because the context demands it. Consider that in Ephesians 2:13 the phrase "far off" refers to Gentiles, while that quotation, which is taken from Daniel 9:7 refers to the Jews of the dispersion. If we were to apply "far off" to the Gentiles in Acts 2 then Acts 2:38 and speaking in tongues would be doctrine for Gentiles. Like the Day of Christ here, Ephesians 2 is ONE exception because of the context. Context is VERY important.
Another thing to consider is that the law of first mention dealing with the Day of Christ would apply here if 1 and 2 Thessalonians were written earlier than any of the earlier Epistles (notwithstanding Galatians).
The Day of Christ simply cannot be the Rapture here because if you make it refer to the Rapture then you destroy the verses that tell the Church Age saints to look for the Lord Jesus Christ, instead of signs like the Antichrist showing up (John 14:3, 1 Cor. 15:51-52, Acts 1:11, Phil. 3:20, Col. 3:4, 1 Thess. 5:6, Titus 2:13, 1 Thess. 1:10, 1 Tim. 6:14). The Rapture is before the Antichrist and Mark of the Beast. Jesus Christ will be the next thing we see concerning the end times.
Philippians 4:5 "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand."
The Day of Christ could not be at hand in 2 Thess. 2, but the Lord is at hand in the above verse. Philippians 4:5 proves that the Day of Christ in 2 Thess. 2 is the same as the Day of the Lord.
If you are still wondering why the Holy Spirit used Day of Christ here instead of the Day of the Lord then consider Acts 21:11.
Acts 21:11 "And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles."
The Old Testament always said "thus saith the LORD", but here we see that "Lord" is substituted with "Holy Ghost". Why? Because by doing this it shows the deity of the Holy Spirit just like in 2 Thess. 2 where Christ's deity is confirmed and also called Lord in verse 1. My fellow Bible Believers, the new versions attack Christ's deity here and that is the real problem. The correct translation is the Day of Christ, but either way, if you are a Bible Believer and you are honest with the context then it is plain that the Day of Christ here refers to the Day of the Lord. The Holy Spirit was simply exalting Christ as Lord.
In Conclusion, let us look at the passage once more and see what it is saying.
2 Thessalonians 2:1 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Second Advent), and by our gathering together unto him (Rapture), 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ (Second Advent) is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (Second Advent) shall not come, except there come a falling away first (Church Apostasy), and that man of sin (Future Pope) be revealed, the son of perdition (Judas);"
The Second Advent will not come until there is Apostasy in the Church right before the Rapture (gathering), which happens before the Tribulation and also not until the Antichrist is revealed during the Tribulation, which is right before the Second Advent (coming). Very simple.