2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (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, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.“
The rapture question is easily solved with concurring Scripture.
2 Corinthians 13:1 is a quote from Numbers 35:30 and Deuteronomy 17:6.
Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Now we’ll not find the word “rapture” in the OT but we will look at a Scripture that reveals when the “man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.”
Look at Daniel 9:27.
“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”
For real students of Bible prophesy, we know that symbolism is present. One week is symbolic for one year. And we all know that a literal week is seven days. Which is where we get 7 years. Verse 26 speaks of 69 weeks, with the last week for the nation of Israel that’s missing which makes it 70 weeks.
Notice verse 24 in Daniel chapter 9, and we’ll see 70 weeks again.
In the final week (7 years), the man of perdition is revealed.
The man of sin will go into covenant with Israel for 7 years but he will break this covenant at the “middle of the week.”
The middle of the week is start of the second one thousand two hundred and sixty day point.
The next 1260 days which is 3.5 years, or 42 months.
Jesus prophesied about this in Matthew chapter 24, calling it what Daniel called it “The abomination of desolation.”
At this time, the beast will kill many Jews and those that refuse to take the mark of the beast.
Getting back to what Paul said about the Day of the Lord a “falling away“ must take place.
This falling away is a defection from the true faith. In other words, true believers will deliberately defect from the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They will return to a life of sin, becoming enemies again of God.
Church attendance isn’t a good gauge to determine a falling away. Because they could have very well been sitting in a church service and were already an enemy. The falling away is actual believers that were once faithful to God, having obeyed the gospel. Repentance from dead works and faith towards God was real.
They obeyed the commandments of the Lord without a problem.
Again, I want to remind you of tares among wheat. In other words, there were people that seemed to be believers but they were never saved.
1 John 2:18-19 (NKJV) “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”
You can’t fall away from something if you were never in something.
The parable of the sower works with the parable of wheat and tares in Matthew 13:18-30.
So now that many of us have seen many true believers walk away from Christ to return to a life of sin, the next event is the man of sin, the son of perdition being revealed.
Now notice the rest of what Paul shared in 2 Thessalonians 5:5-12.
“Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 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.
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.“
What’s restraining the man of sin from being revealed?
Remember on the day of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit came into the earth?
Where does the Holy Spirit reside?
John 14:15-18 (NKJV) “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
The Holy Spirit is in every true believer.
When will the Holy Spirit be removed? Because the man of sin cannot be revealed until the Holy Spirit is removed.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:10 (NKJV) “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 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. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 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 when the man of sin is revealed, at the beginning of the 70th week, right at the beginning or just before it, the rapture of the church will take place.
This will not end the debate. But what it does is that it gives us something to think about.
Finally, look at what Paul said.
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
From Revelation chapter 5 to chapter 19, is God’s wrath poured out on the earth.
The 20th chapter is the Second Coming of Christ and not the rapture.