2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (NKJV)
“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.
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, the son of perdition…”
2 Timothy 2:14-19 (NKJV)
“Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past;
and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
The Greek definition of “falling away” dispels any and all myths about what Paul, by the Spirit of God is talking about.
I’m not a Greek scholar, but we do have resources to help us properly define, within Biblical context, what the Lord is talking about through Paul.
First, some background of Paul.
Before Paul was separated to be an apostle by the Holy Spirit (see Acts 13:1-3), Paul walked in the offices of the prophet and teacher. These gifts were given to the Body by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the church (see Ephesians 4:11).
Remember that Paul went up by revelation to receive the teachings of the Lord Jesus (see Galatians 2:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 12:1-13). So Paul received from the Lord Jesus additional insight to the events that will lead to the coming of the Lord which is properly termed “rapture.”
From the Book “Four Views Of The End Times,” I came across this statement.
“(Four Views of the End Times) [ Rapture ] Event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17, when Jesus Christ returns for his people. Dispensational premillennialists believe that the rapture and the second coming of Jesus are two separate events.
They place the rapture before the great tribulation and the second coming after the tribulation.
Historical premillennialists, amillennialists, and postmillennialists understand the second coming of Jesus and the event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17 as the same event (from Latin, raptus, carry away).“
So to say that the word “rapture” isn’t Scriptural isn’t true because the Latin Vulgate uses a closely resembled word.
“The Latin Vulgate actually used a different form of the same verb– “Rapiemur” instead of “Rapturo.” The point and connections Ryrie is making remain the same.***
You could read the article from where this comes from here.
More believers believe in the rapture than mid and post tribulation believers. Enoch and Elijah are the only ones to have been taken to heaven with their bodies. But look at what the Lord did for Noah and for Lot.
Regardless of overwhelming evidence, even criminals will deny that they’ve committed the crime. Fingerprints, pictures, recordings, DNA, cellphone records, the smoking gun of gun-power residue, eyewitnesses, blood in the house and vehicle of the victim.
Denial is strong delusion.
It’s like telling the mirror that we’re skinny but it never lies about how fat we are.
Then you have the Lord Jesus taken into heaven, but this isn’t a rapture of disappearance. It was a visible display of His Divinity. That He’s God.
Acts 1:9-11 (NKJV)
“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,
who also said, “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.”
Before the destruction of the flood and fire, Noah was saved along with 7 others from the wrath of God, and Lot, his daughters, and his wife (before she became a pillar of salt) were saved from God’s wrath.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (NKJV)
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”
So did Paul lie? Was Paul’s “revelation” a farce? Did God lie? Is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 5:1-11 not a chronology of the events given by God to Paul? Is this a lie?
Then you have a very powerful statement by Peter.
2 Peter 1:19-21 (NKJV)
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.“
Therefore, men were guided by the Holy Spirit to give us the Word of God which we have today. There’s no need for out of Biblical boundaries or presuppositions. But people do it anyway because they want to bring attention upon themselves.
Scripture interprets Scripture.
The Spirit and the Word agree. All we’re supposed to do is resist the urge to interpret the Word the way we want to see it and just report what the Holy Spirit heard from heaven.
And when we don’t have an understanding of Scripture, silence is recommended. Strongly recommended (see Proverbs 30:6).
The word “falling” is not in the Greek, but the word “away” is.
g0646. ἀποστασία apostasia; feminine of the same as 647; defection from truth (properly, the state) (“apostasy”): — falling away, forsake.
AV (2) – to forsake + g0575 1, falling away 1; a falling away, defection, apostasy.
For years, the defection has been going on and it has increased in intensity.
Peter, by the Holy Spirit, reveals the answer.
2 Peter 3:1-4 (NKJV)
“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you 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 scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to 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 creation.”
Listen to what the writer of Hebrews gave us.
Hebrews 2:1 (NKJV)
“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.“
You see. When we assume that the Lord is delayed in His coming, we drift away from the teachings of the Lord. And many have become scoffers (mockers).
Mark 13:32-37 (NKJV)
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.
It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.
Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
Luke 12:35-48 (NKJV)
“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.
Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”
I’ve visited over 20 church or ministries Internet sites advertised on FB.
There’s not ONE REFERENCE TO REPENTANCE.
Matthew 9:10-13 (NKJV)
“Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
When a local church and its pastor forget the one thing that sinners need to do, it’s part of the defection. Most of these sites just have “prophetic gatherings,” “leadership,” “the anointing,” and “destiny.”
It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that there’s no emphasis on the coming of the Lord. No emphasis to preach the gospel to sinners, preaching everywhere for sinners to repent.
It was more about attracting more “church folk” than sinners.
If I were to really do my due diligence, I would attend these places just to see what’s really going on.
There’s tares among wheat. False brethren that entered in. Deceivers.
Now just because they don’t advertise about “repentance,” it’s not definitive that all of them are not preaching repentance from dead works and faith towards God. But it’s alarming, nonetheless. The gospel must be preached and must remain the consistent focus, not attracting other believers from other camps.
The falling away or defection is when sin is permitted. Where sin has a stronghold on every level. Where holiness is false and wickedness is the rule. When there’s no discipline of staying with sound doctrine. Like in Revelation 2, the church at Ephesus that left their first love.
Defections will increase because people don’t think the Lord is returning.
And that’s when we get so comfortable.
The falling away is a very big signal of the end times about to wrap up and if we miss this sign, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves. Never blame the wife sitting next to you for missing the exit when you’re behind the wheel.
It’s like we haven’t made a car payment for 5 months. We park our car outside the house and go inside. Thinking that our car will not be repossessed. We wake up, get washed, get ready for work, and we see that the car is gone.
We call the cops and they report that that specific car is not on the stolen car list.
Then your friends walk by and said the repo truck took your car.
Embarrassed and disgusted you find another way to get to work.
But just imagine the coming of the Lord.
In a moment. In the twinkling of an eye. Millions of people disappear. The graves in the cemetery are opened. Mass hysteria. Confusion. Chaos. Destruction.
Just by that one event called the rapture.
After the falling away and the son of perdition (see 2 Thessalonians 2:4) is revealed (the abomination of desolation (see Matthew 24:15-22), the Day comes like a thief in the night (not the rapture).
The wrath of God is poured out after the 7 seals are broken by Jesus, then the 7 trumpets, the 3 woes, and seven bowls are poured on the earth. That’s the Day of the Lord that comes like a thief in the night.
Finally, Matthew 24 tells us what to look for as far as the “beginning of sorrows” is concerned. That’s where we are.
The beginning of sorrows.
For the end will not come until this gospel is preached throughout the world in every nation, and then the end will come. Daniel’s 70 weeks.
The 70’s week is the final 7 years (see Daniel 9:21-27).
That’s the end.