“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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.
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; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 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: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasured in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2: 1-13)
Our world is filled with perplexity as we watch the unfolding of our society. Many teachers are proclaiming that the end of the world is becoming a reality and we are inundated with “prophets” proclaiming that the Rapture will occur at any time. All of this is happening as the Catholic Church is in turmoil and religion is intruding on our political establishment. There is no wonder why a portion of society is becoming tired of religion and the radical followers it has produced.
It seems that every month there is another prediction as to when the Rapture will occur and dates are being given. As these dates come and go, those who lack strength in faith or sound doctrine are wondering if Biblical prophecies are untrue, like so many predictions that have come prior. This confusion is causing many to question their faith and turn from the prophetic word. This turning away is growing and is impacting our world and will continue to do so.
Those that study Scripture understand that the Rapture does not occur at some random time or that we must be on-guard every day for His coming. The Scripture is very specific about events that must happen prior to Jesus’s second coming and without these events occurring, His coming does not happen.
Two events that no one talks about are the Great Falling Away and the Great Deception that occurs during the end of the age. We are told very specifically that this must occur prior to Jesus’s return but modern Christians believe that the falling away happens after their Rapture.
This paradox is producing fatigue within the Christian Church. As teachers conclude the next date of the Rapture, and its subsequent prediction failure, people are starting to question the prophetic word. This questioning is not because prophecy is wrong but due to the prophetic teachers who are incorrect in their interpretation and belief. Calling these teachers false prophets would not be far-fetched.
We all long to see our Lord but we must hold true to what Scripture tells us will happen. We were never told that we would be removed prior to the coming of the Anti-Christ. Instead we are told the complete opposite. 2 Thessalonians specifically states that there would be a falling away from Christ, a great deception and the Anti-Christ would be revealed, before his second coming. This Anti-Christ revealing was also spoken about in Daniel:
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9: 24-27)
The Abomination that Causes Desolation is also referenced in Matthew:
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso readeth, let him understand: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his cloths.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24: 15-21)
Scripture tells us the moment the man of perdition, the Anti-Christ is revealed as he desecrates the Holy Temple of God. The Jews are instructed to watch for this event and when it occurs to flee into the mountains, not even gathering their belongings prior to leaving. Anyone seeing this occur and knowing Scripture would have no doubt as to what happened and according to 2 Thessalonians, this event must happen prior to the Rapture. This is significant as the most quoted verse pertaining to the Rapture is found in 1 Thessalonians:
“But I would not have you be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18)
If Scripture clearly tells us events that must happen prior to Jesus’s second coming, why are so many leading the masses to believe His arrival will happen any day? Why are so many willing to believe what they are being told instead of what the Scripture tells us? Again, a prophetic warning was given to us:
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. “(2 Timothy 4: 1-4)
Everything has been told to us as to what will happen during the end of the age. There is no need for misinterpretation but too many want to be told a feel-good story. Too many want to be told that they are special and that they will be taken away from the judgement that unfolds on the Earth. This is not the truth and unfortunately this teaching will lead to the Great Falling Away. Christians will be asked where their God is when the populace gets tired of hearing about their savior’s coming. These same Christians will not be able to explain why their Messiah has not taken them from this Earth and why they are here going through tribulation. The anger these lukewarm Christians possess will lead to their turning from the faith. Woe be to the inhabitants of the Earth.
“That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3: 2-4)