II Thessalonians chapter 2 begins with Paul, Silas and Timothy pleading with the bretheren (Christians) at Thessalonica to pay attention to what they were going to say about the Second Coming of Jesus and the gathering together (Rapture) of the church (verse 1).
They thought they needed to address these two issues because a false teacher had been circulating an inaccurate report in their name that was upsetting the church.
This unscrupulous person was not identified, but he or she was saying orally and in writing that Paul, Silas and Timothy were teaching that the day of the Lord or the Tribulation period (some texts say day of Christ, but they have a footnote that says day of the Lord) was about to start or that it had already started (verse 2).
Paul, Silas and Timothy were not teaching that the Tribulation period was near or that it had already started. But that is what a false teacher was wrongly telling others that they were saying.
Paul said, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the day of the Lord or the Tribulation period) shall not come, except there come a falling away (Apostasia) first, and that man of sin (the Antichrist) be revealed, the son of perdition” (Verse 3).
Two things must happen before the Tribulation period can begin: 1) The Apostasia must start, and 2) The Antichrist must be revealed.
The Greek word (Apostasia) can mean “departure.” The first sevenEnglish translations of the Bible say a “departure” must come first. The eighth English translation (the King James Version) says a “falling away” must come first. Other translations say a “rebellion” must come first.
Here is the problem: Did Paul, Silas and Timothy say: 1) A “departure” from the earth (the Rapture) must come before the Tribulation period or 2) Did they say a “departure” from the faith (the falling away) must come before the Tribulation period or 3) or did they say a “rebellion” (against God) must come before the Tribulation period? Some writers have strongly held views on one or more of these interpretations, but this writer believes that all three could be true.
The Bible teaches that there will be the “departure” from the earth at the end of the age (the Rapture; I Thess. 4:13-18).
It teaches that there will be a “departure” from the faith at the end of the age (The falling away; I Tim. 4:1-3; II Tim. 3:1-5; II Tim. 4:3-4; Rev. 3:16). It teaches that there will be a rebellion against God at the end of the age (Matt. 24:37; Gen. 6:5).
And many will disagree, but this writer believes the Bible teaches that all of these things will take place before the Tribulation period (I Thess. 1:10; I Thess. 5:9; Rev. 3:10; Luke 21:36).
Jesus’ Parable of the Mustard Seed teaches that the kingdom of heaven will start out small, but it will become a monstrosity by the end of the age (Matt. 13:31-32). As the kingdom grows, God will add true believers and Satan will add make-believers.
God’s true believers will teach sound Bible doctrine and Satan’s false believers will teach unsound false doctrine. By the time the Tribulation Period is near the massive organized church will be a perch for multitudes of lost people.
Jesus’ Parable of the Leaven teaches that false doctrines (leaven or yeast) will be brought into the kingdom of heaven by Satan’s false church members (the woman, false bride) and it will be totally corrupted by the end of the Tribulation period (Matt. 13:33).
In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus warned the world about deception four times (Matt. 24:4-5, 11 and 24). He kept talking about the danger of deception because the falling away, departure from the faith, rebellion, false teaching, lukewarm spirit and corruption will be very strong by the time the Tribulation period arrives.
The president of the U.S. says America is no longer a Christian nation, and only a few religious leaders mention revival. The convergence of all the Second Coming signs is taking place but most of the Church doesn’t want to know about it. Christians are the most persecuted group on earth, but many church leaders and pastors are more concerned about not offending the Muslims than they are about the brutal slaughter of Christians in Muslim countries.
Wickedness (abortion, boiling and selling baby body parts, same-sex marriage, ordaining gays and divorce) is rampant. Christians are losing their rights every day (can’t pray at school, can’t say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag or have a Christmas program, etc.)
And the silence in the seminaries is deafening. The Pope appears to be more eager to push climate change, world government and a false world religion than he is to push repentance, salvation and right living.
This is the bottom line: The rebellion against God is great. It looks like the departure from the faith has arrived and the departure from the earth is drawing near. Let no one deceive you by any means. These are things that must happen before the arrival of the Antichrist.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck