I saw in this passage a while back something I never noticed before. Here are the first 10 verses. 1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled relief [anesis] with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. What I noticed was that this whole passage was a promise from Paul to the Thessalonians. It was a promise specifically to the Thessalonians that they would get relief from their trouble (persecution). When would they get this relief? When the Lord comes. His coming was to do two things: 1. Give relief to the Thessalonians from their persecutors. 2. Mete out retribution - payback - to those who were doing the persecution. Now, who were the persecutors? None other than the Jews. This is clearly seen from a reading of Acts. When did the relief come? Well, it had to come in the lifetime of the ones Paul was writing to! These Thessalonians are long dead. Hmm. What event can we think of that all of a sudden took away all those Jews, stopping them from persecuting the Thessalonian Christians? That would have to be when the Roman army came down and crushed the Jewish rebellion. The city of Jerusalem was gorged with 2 - 3 million Jews, many of these from all parts of the empire, coming down to celebrate the Feast. After the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 the Jews were never able to again persecute Christians - anywhere. * This was the relief that Paul had promised the Thessalonian Christians. How strange that we should think this refers to a future coming?! To teach this would be to take away the relevance of Paul's promise to the Thessalonians. He had promised them relief. Note * Besides, with the change to the more lenient Flavian emperors - at least the first two, Vespasian and his son Titus, all of Christianity felt a relief. (This was to change when Titus's brother, Domitian, comes to power later).