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.
When the Scripture says “that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep” or to say, those who are dead, it is not to say that those dead or alive in the Lord go up at the same time. For “the dead in Christ will rise FIRST”. It is only a time shortly AFTER that “we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (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. 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.
Do notice that “the falling away comes FIRST”? It is not until then that “the man of sin is revealed”. The words “that Day will not come” are in italics in the King James and New King James Version Bibles while bracketed in the New International Version. It is because these words do not actually appear in the original Koine Greek text but are put into the text for the sake of making grammatical sence in English. The “falling away”, again, comes before as FIRST and then the Antichrist is revealed.
The word in Koine Greek for “falling away” is αποστασια (apostasia) which, foremostly, means an apostasy. There are those who believe that the apostasy here refers to a physical departure from the earth rather than a spiritual departure from the Lord. I do not find sufficient enough Biblical evidence myself to support this conclusion, although it may yet be the true interpreation after all. Nonetheless, the interpreation of this word, as such, is not a prerequisite to understanding that this passage from 2 Thessalonians is indeed refering to the PreTriublation Rapture.
In 1 Timothy 4:1, it mentions “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils“. The words “shall depart” in greek share the same root word as “falling away” in the
When it is mentioned, “for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed” what is NOT being said here is that the Day will not come until the man of sin is revealed. It is the falling away that comes first, then the Rapture and then the man of sin is revealed. We know this because verses shortly later mention, “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”. The Holy Spirit is restraining the revelation of the Antichrist. When the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way with the Rapture, it is then that the Antichrist will be revealed.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NKJV)
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. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
The time of “falling away” that is mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 coincides with the “Peace and safety” that is mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:3. This is describing a time where a number of believers in Jesus are departing from the faith during a time of alleged secure peace. Moral laxity grows widespread.
Revelation 3:14-22 describes the Laodicean church which typifies the Church age during these last days. Revelation 3:17 reads, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—”. This further demonstrates it is not a great revival before the Rapture, but is a time of decadent morals. Do not spiritually slumber into moral laziness. The instruction from the passage on the Laodicean church as mentioned in Revelation is to “Therefore be zealous and repent.”
A great falling away is coming. Stand fast in Christ! Lest you fall into what the Lord Jesus warned in Revelation 3:16, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” The ones who are saved by repentant faith in Jesus are the ones who will be in the Rapture. Those whose faith has lapsed into moral decline show themselves not as ones trusting in Jesus for salvation. Did ever such truly believe to begin with? Such unbelief is not what leads one to be Raptured but leads someone to be left behind for the Tribulation.
Read why “It MUST be a PRE-Tribulation Rapture and none other” to find out more!