Gathering of the Elect

Jesus will arrive to gather his people on the “Day of the Lord,” and in the New Testament, this event becomes the “Day of Christ.” 

Alone at Sunrise - Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash
Writing to the Thessalonians, Paul refutes false claims about the coming f Jesus, arguing that the “
day of the Lord” will not come until the “apostasy” and the “revelation of the man of lawlessness” occur “first.” And when that day does arrive, it will be the time when Jesus will “gather” Paul and his fellow believers to himself - [Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash].

Paul describes this same event in his first letter to the Thessalonians. The day is coming when God will raise the righteous from the dead, and together with those still alive on the earth, they will “meet” Jesus “in the air” as he descends from heaven at his “arrival” or ‘parousia’ - (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-8).

DAY OF THE LORD

Elsewhere, Paul identifies the “day of the Lord” as the “day of Jesus Christ,” the moment when he vindicates his righteous ones but also judges the wicked. - (1 Corinthians 1:8, 5:5, 2 Corinthians 1:14, Philippian 1:6-10, 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11).

The claim that Jesus will “gather his elect” upon his arrival did not originate with Paul. Jesus himself used the same language to describe the “coming” of the “Son of Man,” and in doing so, he also applied language from key Old Testament passages that originally referred to the regathering of Israel.

Thus, on that day, the “sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven.” When the “Son of Man” appears, “all the tribes of the earth will mourn,” and he will dispatch his angels with the “sound of a trumpet to gather” his electfrom the four corners of the earth.”

THE GATHERING

So, also, in 1 Thessalonians, the saints are gathered to “meet” him in the “air” at the sound of the “trumpet” and the “voice of an archangel.” Jesus and Paul were describing the same final event – (Matthew 24:29-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
  • And then shall they see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send forth the angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven” – (Mark 13:26-27).
  • The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man that sowed good seed in his field… And n the time of the harvest, I will say to the reapers, Gather up first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn – (Matthew 13:24-30).

Christ’s description of the “gathering” of the saints upon his “arrivalechoes several passages from the Hebrew Bible about the “day of the LORD” and the regathering of the tribes of Israel from the “ends of the earth.” For example:
  • (Isaiah 11:10-12) – “And it shall come to pass in that daythat the Lord will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his peopleAnd he will set up an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth
  • (Isaiah 13:10) – “The day of Yahweh is coming… For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in its going forth, and the moon shall not cause its light to shine.
  • (Isaiah 43:3-7) – “For I am Yahweh you God, the Holy One of Israel, your SaviorFear not, for I am with you. I will bring your seed from the east, and gather thee from the west. I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back, bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, eevery one that is called by my name.

Thus, the promise to regather the tribes of Israel to the land of Canaan finds its ultimate fulfillment of the gathering of the “elect” by Jesus when he arrives and descends from heaven to the earth, only this “gathering” will include all the saints redeemed from every nation and not just members of the nation of Israel.



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