Ironically, this false teaching that the ‘falling away’ is the Rapture of the Church is itself part of the apostasy of the last days. Let that sink in for a moment.
It has recently come to my attention that there be some Bible teachers who are attempting to assert that the ‘falling away’ in 2 Thessalonians is in fact the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church, but let me assure you that it is not. The falling away is one of the two conditions that must be present for the Pretrib to take place, according to Paul, but it is not the Rapture itself, let me show you why this is so.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5 (KJB)
Paul tells us to rightly divide if we want to understand Bible doctrine correctly, and 2 Thessalonians is one of those places where rightly dividing is greatly needed because Paul switches back and forth between talking about the day of Christ, the Rapture of the Church, and the Day of the Lord, the Church returning with King Jesus at the Battle of Armageddon at the Second Coming. Without rightly dividing, you will wind up conflating the two events and end up in a theological mess. In verse 3, Paul tells us two conditions that must be present for the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church to take place. These are not signs, mind you, for we do not seek a sign, but these are conditions that will be present.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3,4 (KJB)
The Greek word used for ‘falling away’ is ‘apostasia’, G646 in your Strong’s Concordance, from which we get our English word for ‘apostasy’, meaning a ‘defection from’ or a ‘falling away’ from something. We are not left to wonder what this ‘something’ is, for Paul in 2 Timothy 4:1-4 gives it to us in great detail. The ‘falling away’ in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is a reference to a time at the end of the Church Age when Bible doctrine will be abandoned in favor of the lukewarm Laodicean ear tickling warned of by Paul, John and Peter. We see great illustrations of this in the ‘ministries’ of people like Paula White, Kenneth Copeland, Beth Moore, Joel Osteen and others. So how is it that there are those who would pervert this simple Bible teaching and attempt to make it say that the ‘falling away’ is actually a ‘falling UP’ into the Rapture? Sheer nonsense.
Taken in its most basic meaning, something that ‘falls away’ is something that has lost strength, lost power, committed an error or misstep, it implies a weakness leading to misfortune. But the Pretribulation Rapture is none of those things, it is instead the ‘catching away’ by force of the Body of Christ on this Earth. We are not ‘falling up’, we are FLYING up! By making ‘apostasia’ a reference to the Rapture, you miss by a country mile what it is actually telling you, that the Church in its final days on Earth will “fall’ in apostasy by abandoning Bible doctrine. Ironically, this false teaching is itself part of the apostasy of the last days. Let that sink in for a moment.
I have always taught and stood for the major Bible doctrines taught in your King James Bible, like eternal security, the Pretribulation Rapture, justification, sanctification and all the rest. But it is grave error to teach that eternal security applies in any dispensation outside of the Church Age, for it does not. The Tribulation Saints have to ‘endure to the end’, they are not eternally secure and can ‘lose it’ by taking the Mark of the Beast. Likewise with the Pretrib, the Bible absolutely teaches that the Church will be removed prior to the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble, but when we attempt to insert that doctrine into places where scripture itself does not place it, we are in error. Paul is warning us about the ‘apostasy’ of the last days of the Church itself, and attempting to make the ‘falling away’ into the Rapture blinds you to that fact.
The ‘falling away’ is not the Rapture, it is one of the two conditions that will be present at the Rapture, but it is not the Rapture itself. Nothing falls up, it falls down, and what falls down is the Church when it left off teaching Bible doctrine. Sadly, this is where we find ourselves in the closing moments of the Church Age awaiting the Rapture.
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The post The ‘Falling Away’ In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Is Not The Pretribulation Rapture Of The Church, It Is One Of The Two Stated Conditions Needed For It To Happen appeared first on Now The End Begins.