Jesus said: that we are to make disciples in all nations, and individually baptize in each name Father; Son and Holy Spirit, proving His own belief in the Trinity, and: Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” If you keep up with my posts then you know what age Jesus is speaking of here?
This spreading of the gospel is a huge task because of all of the various tribal languages, but it is well underway and nearing it’s completion with set target dates in the year 2025. So, is the end near? Is the end of the age near? Are there other scriptural indicators? What else must happen? There are those who say nothing must happen before the Rapture. But is that what Jesus just told us? Are the two signs pointed out by Paul telling us what must happen before we even start looking for this appointed end?
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
So Paul here says that the Day of the Lord will not come before these two things happen. So is the Day of the Lord when the age ends and when the Rapture occurs? Here is the answer.
Paul teaches about the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, 4 “Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;”. So the Day of the Lord will come as a THEIF in the night for the world but not for us because we are not in darkness; we are actually looking for it. “It” this day is taught or has been by even pre -Trib scholars as the day that the Lord comes for His people. We will not be in darkness because we will have seen the falling away from within the Faith and the man of sin revealed. Both these were spoken of by the Lord in his Olivet discourse. Paul also tells us in II Thess. that he had already told them this when he was with them.
Jesus said: Matthew 24:11, 23 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. He also said: Matthew 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.
Jesus is emphasizing false teaching in the last days. He says false teaching will occur. So what does that mean to you? False teachers will teach something that is opposed to scriptures teaching. Some churches today teach that Homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle, but the question is this– is it taught that way in Scripture? If the answer is no, then according to Jesus these are false prophets, because they are misleading many. But you and I within the body are those to whom Jesus speaks, so how is it that we can accept in the church many opposing teachings without even allowing for discussion? It’s all for the sake of unity; even when Jesus told us not to be deceived in these last days?
So the next question would be similar. If some teach opposing views for this time of the end about which both Jesus and Paul are teaching; then wouldn’t it be true that those, who teach in opposition to Jesus and Paul, would be considered to be leading many astray? This question is not a trick question. The answer would seem very important to every believer. In order for one to be capable of looking for His return they would need to know what they (Jesus and Paul) were teaching.
Paul says that times and seasons are involved here. Jesus is concerned over those who in His day did not understand their times. So the timing of Christ’s second coming is very important. Yet the pre-Trib understanding is the one teaching that requires nothing to be looked for to indicate Jesus Coming in the Rapture. And it is the Rapture that is His coming for us. Pre-Trib teaching has, since its inception in the mid-1800’s, taught an any moment coming. The post-Trib teaching has always attached itself to the signs. It is difficult for me to understand how one could know the times and seasons without the signs? And that is my point. Pre-Trib teaches that there are no signs for the Rapture. They were teaching this before ISRAEL (a major sign) was a nation. This creates a contradiction that no one addresses. Today the signs are ripening, although they are not yet fully ripe, or complete. So the Pre-Trib camp actually appears more legitimate today because there are actual signs appearing for the Lord’s coming. But that does not change the fact that The Lord could not have (in keeping with scripture) come back for us 150 years ago, as they were then proclaiming that He could “at any moment” do. And He will not come back tonight, because to do so He would violate His own Word, whom He is (Jesus the Christ, the word of God). He told us when He would return, after the signs, and after the Tribulation. Paul confirmed this teaching. And he told us that, in effect, no man who is in Christ will be resurrected after the Rapture. For “the dead in Christ will rise first”. Based on that scripture alone there can be no one else who can die in Christ after the Rapture. Paul makes this Rapture a part of the second coming as we read what he says in 2 Thessalonians 4. Yet pre-Trib teachers overlook this fact even though no where else in scripture are we told differently. If there is a pre – Trib Rapture, scripture must tell us such, and it does not.
Apostasy in 2 Thessalonians 2, is said to mean Rapture. So if you substitute Rapture for this word here is how it would read.
2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (and our Rapture) our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord (our Rapture) has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for [it will not come] (“it” being — the day of the Lord to Rapture us) unless the apostasy (Rapture) comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (NASB)
The inserting of the Rapture here in these scriptures is based exactly upon what Pre-Trib teachers teach. So the Rapture must come, before the Rapture can come.
Words are powerful, use them well. Not mine, not yours, but only God’s truth matters.