Hebrews 10:25 is the source of this article’s title and says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Is the Day approaching, and is this the real falling away Paul wrote about in 2nd Thessalonians 2? That passage says that Day and the falling away will end with Jesus coming to meet His redeemed saints in the air and then returning to heaven with them. Actually, the Word says, “the One who restrains” the evil one “will be taken out of the way,” and that one will take over the world. The actual wording is like this: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed…” (verse 3), then, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way” (verse 7).
Chapter 2 of 2nd Thessalonians begins with this introduction: “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him…,” so we know what Paul is talking about, for in his first letter, he described that event in this way: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Revelation 4 pictures their arrival back in heaven at the judgment seat of Christ where the saints receive crowns as rewards for their service. Then, the prophetic account turns to the seven years of tribulation and its beginnings.
Here is a consideration to be addressed: From the beginning of Genesis, the six days of creation, and the seventh day when God rested, then one thing after another – Adam begot Cain, then Abel, then Seth, and so on, chronologically, to the coming of Christ and His life and ministry among mankind—all in chronological order as time clicked away.
Why, then, do some Bible interpreters maintain that prophecies of the future are not to happen chronologically? They tell us that “this event goes over there, not here” and so forth.
That is the claim that this event of the Rapture of the saints is at the end of the Great Tribulation, the last half of the seven years. If that is so, why did the Lord no longer mention His church or the Great Commission? He never gave it anywhere in the time of the tribulation. The 144,000 Jewish evangelists introduced in Revelation 7 are to be the gospel preachers during the seven years, for the church will be gone. They show up for the marriage supper of the Lamb in chapter 19.
Then, as the seven feasts God had Moses put on the annual calendar, calling them “convocations,” meaning “rehearsals” that celebrate the seven highest events of the Christian era, why are we to break up that chronological continuity as if one of them, the Feast of Trumpets, must be placed somewhere out of that order?
When Jesus ascended to heaven, as Acts 1 reports it, the angel said to the disciples, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” At the future Second Coming when Jesus returns to the earth, “every eye will see Him coming in His majestic glory as He plants His feet on the Mount of Olives.”
What will believers see when they “see the Day approaching?” It will be the signs of the times called “the falling away.” Some years ago it was a falling away from faith, leaving church aside as the excitement or troubles of the world pushed God out of our lives. But now, today, at this time, it is a turning away from the faith, yes, but also from moral integrity, impartial justice, law-abiding, caring for others rather than killing them, honesty and patriotism of citizenship. Every segment of the world’s cultures is experiencing this downward trend.
The mantra of the Biden administration here in America is “build back better,” and to get to that position requires a tearing down of what is thought to be bad. I can say with certainty that in my 89 years of life, there has never been this kind of “falling away” (tearing down) before in America. And how can one “build back better” when there is nothing left with which to build back? Obviously, their “better” is without truth, justice and moral integrity.
Primary in that is the current sexual immorality that has become the driving goal of the LGBTQ+ faction to force their concept of lifestyle upon the population. In Paul’s epistle to the believers in Rome, he holds back nothing in describing how evil people in the past have reaped God’s judgment as they turned away from Him. He wrote that having had the knowledge of God, now they are without excuse:
“For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness.
“They are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:26-32). (Read the whole passage, verses 18-32, for its full impact.)
Is this identifying the characteristics of the current “falling away” and not just something in the past? Notice that those who encourage those practices are also under God’s judgment.
The breadth of that intention reaches out to include abortion as a health issue for women. It includes trans-gender confusion about a person thinking his birth gender can be changed from male to female. All human beings are made in God’s image, and no one can surgically change his or her gender from what it is at birth. Living the lie that it can be done defies all truth, logic and honesty.
That total landscape of contrary thought is from the depths of hell, an effort of Satan to destroy God’s greatest creation that was made in His image. It is a slap in God’s face that says to Him, “God, You fouled up; now look what your “greatest creation” looks like. Look how they despise You!” And many of the population follow dutifully along.
That spiritual warfare has been going on since the beginning of time, and believers in God have had their continual struggles to resist Satan’s tactics for the whole time. The devil is not always successful. Look at his failure in the life of Job, recorded in the Bible. The devil’s temptations are common to man and follow three basic patterns—lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. And Jesus rebuked Satan with the Word of God.
Luke wrote of what Jesus predicted about how society and the culture will be when He returns “as a thief in the night.” In Luke 17:26-30, He compares the times of Noah and of Lot with the activities and attitudes of people around the world as the looming Day of the Lord is approaching.
In Luke’s account, Jesus said, “As it was in the day of Noah, so will it be in the day of the revealing of the Son of Man.” Genesis 6:5 capsulizes the world’s spiritual condition—except for Noah and his family: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Then Jesus describes how their underlying sinfulness played out in their lives, saying in Luke 17:27, “They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” There seems to be a “party time atmosphere” hidden in that statement, a time when God is of no consequence, yet hopelessness underlies their existence.
The basic theme of the Day of the Lord and Christ’s coming back for His body of believers is Resurrection.
In 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, it is described this way by Paul: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
However, verse 32b in that chapter’s context indicates the hopelessness of those who do not believe there is such a thing as “resurrection.” Therefore, as the verse says, “If the dead do not rise, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!'”
Is this the meaning of what is happening now, “as it was in the days of Noah”?
Likewise, Jesus said, “As it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” The full account is in Genesis 19 and reveals that the whole city of Sodom was saturated totally with homosexual men, and their burning lust for the two “men” (angels) compelled them. They were not aware of their “approaching day.” As Lot left the city under the angels’ protection, it was destroyed by fire and brimstone, people and all!
Jesus personally announced this coming resurrection in the same manner that Paul describes it in his letters to the Thessalonians when He was helping the sisters of Lazarus to understand a future resurrection:
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
There will be a resurrection of the dead and living believers. It will happen before the “Pre-wrath rapture theory”; it will happen before the “Mid-trib rapture theory”; it will happen before the seven-year tribulation period gets underway. It will open up that time of tribulation God has set up as that missing 70th week of Daniel (see Daniel 9:20-27).
There is a Day approaching. Are we seeing it yet?
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