St. Paul did not believe that the end was near. In 1 Thess. IV., 16, he says that the Lord will certainly come again, adding, “Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ.” But he does not say that he himself and his listeners would still be living when Christ comes. He could not intend such a thing, knowing that it is not given to any many to know the day or the hour of Christ’s coming. He knew simply that there will still be some Christians living on earth in that day, and intended “such of us Christians as may still be living.” When Christ comes, St. Paul’s words will be fulfilled. Evidently some of the Thessalonians misunderstood his words, for in his second epistle to them he writes, “Be not easily moved . . . neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand.” 2 Thess. II., 2.
Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty