“Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2.
These verses are speaking of two different events; the rapture, “…the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him”.
And the day of the Lord, which is the tribulation period, “…as though the day of Christ had come.” The words, “the day of the Lord” and the “day of Christ” have the same meaning in Scripture.
“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape…” 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3.
“Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty.” Joel 1:15.
The study of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 was posted on 2-10-21 and has been added to maintain context. We will concern ourselves with 2 Thessalonians 2:3 in this post.
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [day of Christ] will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition…” 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
The Thessalonians had been told that the day of the Lord, the seven years of worldwide tribulation, had come, meaning that it was about to begin at any moment.
The real and reasonable fear was that the wrath of God was about to fall upon the entire earth momentarily and they would be crushed along with those in defiance of God. Such a thought should disturb us all.
“…you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9b-10.
“Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come”, God will not leave His children, the bride of Christ, to be destroyed along with the ungodly.
“I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and notable day of the Lord.” Acts 2:19-20.
The Apostle Paul tells us that Day will not happen until one thing occurs, the falling away, which means apostasy. The dictionary defines apostasy as; a desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, cause, etc.
I had often had a great deal of trouble with the meaning of this warning of a falling away because we have apostasy in the church now; so why is it a big deal?
However, let us put the scenario this way: the church today is embracing a lot of things that were considered apostasy a little over a hundred years ago. The early church fathers were right; today’s church does not resemble the model the apostles set up.
The more radical liberal theologians have over all that time, questioned the virgin birth of Christ, the authority of Scripture, allegorized nearly all of God’s word, if not all, denying the existence of miracles, preaching a universalism – everyone will go to heaven, there is no hell, and all religions have merit.
This is the tip of the iceberg, the confusion these men have created has condemned the souls of countless men and women.
These theologians are the men we are warned of in books like 2 Peter and Jude.
Jude by the way is a sort of preamble to the book of Revelation, and a warning that the church should have heeded all these hundreds of years.
Mainstream churches have also fallen away to some degree because they do not condemn sin, warn of the peril hell, and often they preach the feel good gospel (accept Jesus as your Savior and have a good life).
Many have fallen into the habit of being politically correct, which is actually a method of gagging free Christian speech. Truly it gags all free speech.
Many churches today have ceased to be the salt of the earth and, for the most part, have been cast onto the ground to be trampled by the unclean feet of scoffers and godless sinners.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Matthew 5:13.
This is not a good place to be if Christians want to help those who are in desperate need of a lifeline to rescue them from their lives of dark despair.
Now this has happened in our time, before the rapture, but the apostle seems to be writing about something that must take place after the rapture, “…that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition…” 2 Thessalonians 2:3b.
May I suggest that in this present church age, before the rapture, the church is declining into apathy and apostasy.
Yet not entirely, many still wage war against sin, however, the sun is setting and the church is failing. Jesus said the following about this period in time.
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew [vomit] you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:14-16.
The church age, by the way, is that period between Pentecost and the rapture, a period of nearly two thousand years now.
Those who have truly accepted Christ as their Savior within this time period are part of and known as, the bride of Christ. Also known as the invisible church since the visible church is composed of both believers and those who say they are Christians but in reality, they are not.
It is the invisible church that will be raptured out of this world, leaving the visible church behind.
When the invisible church is taken out, there will be no more Christians to resist Satan’s building of his own counterfeit church. This counterfeit will embrace all religions and become one huge super church.
The super church may even call itself Christian but there is no way it will give Jesus Christ His rightful place in it. It will have a façade of piety, but within, it will be a pack of ravening wolves. These will devour everyone through martyrdom who becomes a Christian in that period before and during the first half of the tribulation.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15.
This accurately describes the wolves among us today and it is a very good description of those who will take over after the rapture.
I assure you that every horror that a demon possessed mind can conceive will be perpetrated on those Christians who are saved after the rapture and during the tribulation.
The tortures of the middle ages and in Muslim countries today will pale in comparison to those which will be perpetrated on this earth in that day.
This is the falling away which must come first, it is not the apostasy that is happening today; it is the precipitous and total falling away which will occur after the church is removed and just before the tribulation begins.
This will all pave the way for Satan to set up his counterfeit trinity, with, Satan as god the father, the man of sin (aka Antichrist, the beast, 666) as god the son, and the false prophet as god the unholy spirit.
“Now the beast [Antichrist] which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon [Satan] gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’” Revelation 13:2-4.
“Then I saw another beast [false prophet] coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” Revelation 13:11-12.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3.
The Falling Away, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 10-12-13, updated on 2-14-21.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.