God is about to effect change – big time. He is about to say, It’sssss Time – for change. The Apostle Paul gave us the chronological order of how three events of change will go down in The End Times. Seems clear enough. To me that sort of settles any argument about the chronology of events to come.
If you have the time to look into how times will change soon: read the entire main biblical text on which this article is based: 2 Thessalonians 2.
(This article took me 7 days to complete! Hope it helps many to understand End Times prophecies a little bit better. ><>Keith)
The times are troubling, are they not? You feel it? These times of COVID-19 are way heavy for many people. It’s bigger even than the mind-bending, game-changing day of 9/11.
When I find myself in times of trouble (it’s not Mother Mary that comes to me! The Beatles sang that, but rather…), in times of trouble I get humble: in my heart I get down on my knees – and turn to Jesus (1 Peter 5:6-9).
God invites me there: “…for He cares about [you and me]” (verse 7). I resist (verse 9). What do you do? When I feel fear… I don’t let fear grip my heart. I tell God about it, and leave it there. Now it’s His to deal with. I leave it.
When the burden is heavy, I like to pray.
Lord. All of this… I bring to You. You’ve asked me to cast my cares on You [1 Peter 5:7] I know you care about me. So here it is…. This is what I am dealing with, and I need your peace, your wisdom. Help me in this situation. I give it all to You to deal with.
May The Lord help us to keep our minds “stayed on Him”. There is no better way to deal with life. – Source: Finding Perfect Peace.
Signs of The End Times. 1 They seem to be approaching swiftly, do they not? We might already be in the initial stages of it already! Jesus spoke of it:
“3 While Jesus was seated on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, and said, “Tell us, when will this [destruction of the temple] take place, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end (completion, consummation) of the age?”
Jesus was the greatest prophet of all time. Jesus was not only the sacrificial Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world through His death and resurrection. He also was a prophet. He predicted many events.
He predicted His death and resurrection. That happened. He predicted the Jewish temple would be torn down. That happened. The foretelling of the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem totally angered their religious leaders. But – it happened in 70 AD, not too long after Jesus’ resurrection, when Jerusalem was razed by the Romans.
Jesus predicted He would return to earth again. This will happen soon. About this Second Coming, Scripture says nobody knows the date it will happen:
36 “But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son [in His humanity], but the Father alone. – Matthew 24:36
Read the Signs. It’s not really a map. We cannot foresee the future, the “end times” to come. We cannot know the times as God knows them, but we can read the signs of the times. God has provided us with signs in the Bible – so we can know that certain predicted events are drawing near. Jesus said, “…so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” (Matthew 24: verse 33)
In 2 Thessalonians 2 Paul the Apostle told us about these end days. Very exciting – to see prophecy being fulfilled right in front of our eyes – in our day, and anticipate more to come.
Looking back in recent history, the first big fulfillment of prophecy in our day was the creation of the Jewish homeland, Israel. That happened. It was predicted to happen – and it did happen, in 1948. Totally a miracle brought about by God. It is truly a very easy-to-see fulfillment during my parents times. Read: Isaiah 11:11-16. 2
First, Apostasy, then Antichrist, then the Rapture (and then the Tribulation)
The next big events in prophecy. Although, as Jesus said, we can’t know for sure, we can read specific Bible passages about the signs and predictions of this season in time that we seem to be approaching. According to the signs – it sure seems to me like we really are actually in the “end times”. (But I’m not predicting!)
Note about “nomenclature”: The Bible prophecies themselves (in Hebrew and Greek) do not use the terms we have tagged them with for our understanding today. We name them (nomenclature), such as “End Times”, and “Rapture” and “Apostasy” and “Great Tribulation” and “Second Coming”. Translators take the original language meanings and put them into our terms that mean the same thing. Then we give them a “name”. That does not make them “unbiblical”. If there are references to it, then the terminology we use is explanatory.
Read just these 3 verses of our study passage: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 [NOTE: each line in bold here is a reference to the Rapture:]
Now in regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our gathering together to meet Him,
we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be quickly unsettled or alarmed either by a [so-called prophetic revelation of a] spirit or a message or a letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that
the day of the Lord
has [already] come.
3 Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you,
for that day will not come
unless the apostasy comes first
[that is, the great rebellion,
the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians],
and the man of lawlessness is revealed,
the son of destruction
the one who is destined to be destroyed]
The “Rapture” as it’s called today, is called by Paul in verses 1-2 – “the day of the Lord”, “our gathering together to meet Him“. On some glorious day, very soon, we will, mysteriously, be suddenly caught-up in the clouds meeting-up with Him and with His resurrected ones who preceded us in death. But, that great event will be preceded by two big events, he says.
The Apostle Paul said this about that. (I have numbered these for emphasis:)
“…that day will not come unless
(1) the apostasy comes first… and
(2) the man of lawlessness is revealed” (verse 3).
Other events will happen before, in-between, and after the Rapture… of course. But we are looking here specifically at the Apostle Paul’s sequence of events, as he predicted them. (And he’s pretty reliable!)
So, Paul succinctly said this very clearly…
Before the Rapture – these two events happen:
(1) The Great Apostasy and
(2) The Revealing of the the man of lawlessness,
“the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed]” (verse 3),
“4 who opposes and exalts himself [so proudly and so insolently] above every so-called god or object of worship” (verse 4).
NOTE: It is just “the revealing” part that we await – not all that he then does after the world is introduced to him.
Paul tells us that we should not allow anyone to say the Rapture already happened – until first we see these two great happenings happen. So we should be looking for them, and be aware. And when these two prophecies happen — we can know that then the Rapture is free to happen.
The coming of Jesus in the End Times is an imminent thing. Soon and very soon! We should live expectantly for His return. We should live looking for these two very specific events. If we actually are in the midst of the Great Apostasy (and I think we very much are – because we can see it growing as we speak), then the next great prophecy event, the Revealing of the Antichrist, could happen at any moment, and then immediately — the Rapture. It could happen that quickly. Wow. (Or… the scenario may take years. We do not know.)
Be ready!… Jesus said. Don’t be caught unprepared! For we do not know how much time is in-between each event. Might be just two quick seconds! Are you ready for the Rapture? Will you be wisked away into the clouds to meet Him in the air? I hope so. Don’t want to see you left behind.
1. The Great Apostasy.
So what is this? What is this predicted end times Apostasy? This will happen soon (or is already happening now). It is “the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians” (verse 3; AMP version).
In the end times, there will be a huge falling away from true faith in Christ. Those who call themselves “Christians” will begin to deny their faith in Christ. They might even continue to be called “Christian”, but – not following Christ in reality.
10 At that time many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will appear and mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold.” –Matthew 24 verses 10-12
“the great rebellion,
the abandonment of the faith
by professed Christians”
( 2 Thessalonians 2 verse 3)
The Great Apostasy will look like this: (per Matthew 24 verses 10-12)
- many busy false teachers and prophets will actively come onto the scene,
- many busy false teachers and prophets will deceive and mislead Christians,
- many will be offended and repelled even with any association with Christ,
- falling away from truly following Christ (their heart will reject Him),
- betraying of “fellow” Christians (reporting them to authorities)
- hatred of “fellow” Christians (wishing evil upon Christians)
Those who become a part of the Apostasy will be “people of faith” – church-going folk. They leave the truth that follows Christ, and believe a lie that leads away from Christ. This is so very incredible to me. Why!
Any who fall for the deceptions will not be accepted by Christ on That Day of Judgement. What a horrible day that will be for them. They will be expecting to be welcomed into Heaven because of their “faith”, but instead will hear Christ say to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:23. See quote in context here:)
18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Jesus Himself quoted Scripture to backup what He was teaching. It is said that…
Jesus quoted the Old Testament 78 times from 27 different books. His apostles quoted the Old Testament 209 times. – Source: The Heresy of False Teacher John Pavlovitz (a response to “10 Things This Christian Doesn’t Believe About the Bible”)
Me? Not so much. Heresy thrives on thoughts not verified by Scripture. That is why this site references the Bible so much. Have you studied the Bible to verify your beliefs? I stay away from heresies and those who teach them.
FOR MORE about the Great Apostasy:
Delusion is absolutely irrational, stupid and foolish
False teachings of today
The Bethel Johnsons’ unbiblical teachings
2. The Revealing of the the Man of Lawlessness… the AntiChrist
The second prophecy to look for before the Rapture happens – is the revealing of the the man of lawlessness. (2 Thessalonians 2 – verses 3-4). This will happen soon. I believe we will see his revealing on the stage of history (if my ticker keeps ticking). I believe the man is alive and well on planet earth – now, and soon to be revealed to all the world, to you and to me. (And then we will be raptured out.) He will be:
“3…the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed]”,
“4 …who opposes and exalts himself [so proudly and so insolently] above every so-called god or object of worship” (verse 4).
Because God is actually involved in what happens on earth, the Antichrist, or “man of lawlessness” is going to appear just-in-time, right at the right time, just when God wants him to appear. And when this man finally appears — that will be the “revealing” spoken of as this 2nd in the sequence of three events. When the Antichrist is revealed, then nothing else needs to happen before the Rapture! We can be raptured at any moment after this second event in the sequence Paul predicts.
6 And you know what restrains him now [from being revealed]; it is so that he will be revealed at his own [appointed] time.
The Antichrist will be a part of a newly created One World Government. And then a period of great evil and horrors will sweep across the world. If you are still here for that – then you need to truly turn to God in sincerity and truth, repent and give yourself 100% to Jesus, be born again —- because all the true saints on earth will be gone, taken up in the Rapture.
In this scenario, you will discover that you were not in Christ, at all. But it is still possible to accept Christ before you die during the Tribulation. (Just don’t accept The Mark of the Beast, because that act of allegiance somehow seals your doom forever.)
The Spirit of God is holding-back the progress of Satan’s plans. God will not allow the Antichrist to set-up the Tribulation events until God says, It’sssss time! And God will not allow His saints to go through this horror.
7 For the mystery of lawlessness [rebellion against divine authority and the coming reign of lawlessness] is already at work; [but it is restrained] only until he who now restrains it is taken out of the way.
Verse 3 (2 Thessalonians 2 – verse 3) says “and the man of lawlessness is revealed….”
3 Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first… and the man of lawlessness is revealed
The rapture can happen anytime – right after the revealing of the Anti-Christ, Paul says. God could have had the Apostle Paul say that the rapture would happen after the Tribulation — but He did not. He had Paul say the rapture would come after the revealing, after “…the man of lawlessness is revealed“.
That is why many are of the opinion that we Christians will not be here for the 7 year Tribulation period. These verses (2 Thessalonians 2 – verses 3 and 7) support a “Pre-Trib” understanding of the Rapture (although it could be a “Mid-Trib” event). This, the 7 years of tribulation time, will only come after the revealing of the Anti-Christ. And the restraining force has to be “taken out of the way” before the evils of the Tribulation can effectively move into action. And it is after the revealing — that we get raptured. How exciting to look forward to that day!
Satan and his plans for the Great Tribulation — is being restrained by the Holy Spirit who is in us. I can only assume that this means we personally are having a part in this restraining (2 Thessalonians 2, verses 6-7).
The “set apart” life of each of us reborn from above, (we, the body of Christ on earth, the Church), influences the evil around us. How then should we be living? This should be true of you and me: Titus 2:11-15. How’s it going for you?
So how do you walk your walk every day? What’s it like to be you? Been like a child lately? Like this one…
“…I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:1-4
Are you living a life of restraining effect on those around you — so that you are a part of this End of Times restraining effect? As Paul says it in 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17, “It was to this end that He called you”, “stand firm”. Stand strong.
Imagine how tumultuously evil the world will become without this restraining of the Spirit. Through our day-to-day living “in Christ” …through our voting opportunities, through the politicians we put in power by our righteous voting – we personally are part of “…he who now restrains….”
So when it says “…he who now restrains it is taken out of the way” (verse 7) — that is a reference to the Holy Spirit being taken out of the world – by way of the Rapture of those in whom He resides. Logically: the Spirit of God cannot be “taken out of the way” unless all believers are removed also. He indwells us and has promised to never leave us (Romans 8:11; Hebrews 13:5). Thus the Rapture.
When we are raptured out of the world, the Holy Spirit gets out of the way of sin in the world. And in that vacuum, the world is left to the unrestrained power of Satan.
Spirit-filled Christians will no longer be in the way of evil agendas and bad behavior. They will be raptured by Christ. And thus the earth will experience Satan as he unleashes evil like never seen before.
9 The coming of the [Antichrist, the lawless] one is through the activity of Satan, [attended] with great power [all kinds of counterfeit miracles] and [deceptive] signs and false wonders [all of them lies], 10 and by unlimited seduction to evil and with all the deception of wickedness for those who are perishing, because they did not welcome the love of the truth [of the gospel] so as to be saved [they were spiritually blind, and rejected the truth that would have saved them]. 11 Because of this God will send upon them a misleading influence, [an activity of error and deception] so they will believe the lie, 12 in order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe the truth [about their sin, and the need for salvation through Christ], but instead took pleasure in unrighteousness. – 2 Thessalonians 2: verses 9-12
As a child of the King, I am never going to experience the wrath of God. I’ve been set free. I’ve been destined for better things: “…all the privileges and rewards of a new life with Him.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
This promise of God is another reason I believe we will not go through the Great Tribulation — where the wrath of God will be unleashed on the world:
10 and to [look forward and confidently] wait for [the coming of] His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus, who [personally] rescues us from the coming wrath…. – 1 Thessalonians 1:10
9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. – 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
FOR MORE about the The Anti-Christ:
On the same page:
10 Signs of a Coming One-World Government
Jesus Defeats His Foes at the Battle of Armageddon
3. The Rapture
This amazing, totally astounding act of God has never been done before. This “Rapture” is referred to in 2 Thessalonians 2: verse 2 as “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to meet Him.” This will happen soon. See: We are inside the timeframe Jesus gave for the Rapture
the times as God knows them,
can read the signs
which God has provided us
in the Bible.
The dramatic event yet to come – called the Rapture (verse 17): 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.
15 For we say this to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are still alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede [into His presence] those [believers] who have fallen asleep [in death]. 16 For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain [on the earth] will simultaneously be caught up (raptured) together with them [the resurrected ones] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord! – 1 Thessalonians 4: verses 15-17
13 awaiting and confidently expecting
the [fulfillment of our] blessed hope
and the glorious appearing
of our great God and Savior,
Interestingly, Luke refers to the Rapture as a way “…to escape all these things that are going to take place…“
34 “But be on guard, so that your hearts are not weighed down and depressed with the giddiness of debauchery and the nausea of self-indulgence and the worldly worries of life, and then that day [when the Messiah returns] will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who live on the face of all the earth. 36 But keep alert at all times [be attentive and ready], praying that you may have the strength and ability [to be found worthy and] to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man [at His coming].”
…1 Thessalonians 1:10 “…and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”
There is no doubt whatsoever that the Bible teaches us about a coming “Rapture”. And that Rapture will happen after 1) The Great Apostasy and 2) The Revealing of the the man of lawlessness… the Antichrist.
Look into what I think is a great theory about time. Read my article, Timeless Infinite Continuum. Especially take note of the section: “Time” – as it really is. A concept of time…. Maybe read the series: It’s Time.
FOR MORE about the The Rapture:
…1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
2 Thessalonians 2: verses 1-3
Timeless Infinite Continuum *Read the section: “Time” – as it really is. A concept of time….
FOR MORE about The End Times:
About The End Times: a growing series (or use this site’s search bar with the words “end times”)
Luke 21:11 …Reference to COVID-19? This happened. Ready for more to come?
There will be violent earthquakes,
and in various places
[deadly and devastating] pestilences
and there will be terrible sights and great signs from heaven.
Crosswalk about End Times:
Who Are the Four Horsemen in Revelation? Their Meaning and Significance During Apocalypse – From Crosswalk; by Hope Bolinger
End Times Passages… End Times per the Bible: (read these passages for yourself – and see what Jesus and others said about End Times, our times)
“The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.”
– Joel 2:31
Could Joel 2:31 be foretelling the Great American Eclipse which happened August 21, 2017?
Read the blog by Anne Graham-Lotz: Is God’s Judgment Coming on America
or read this article at gospelherald.com: Anne Graham-Lotz: Great American Eclipse Could Be Sign God’s ‘Severe Judgement’ is Coming to America
FOR MORE, read the entire main biblical text on which this article is based:
2 Thessalonians 2 Amplified Bible Man of Lawlessness
Now in regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to meet Him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be quickly unsettled or alarmed either by a [so-called prophetic revelation of a] spirit or a message or a letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed], 4 who opposes and exalts himself [so proudly and so insolently] above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he [actually enters and] takes his seat in the temple of God, publicly proclaiming that he himself is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now [from being revealed]; it is so that he will be revealed at his own [appointed] time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness [rebellion against divine authority and the coming reign of lawlessness] is already at work; [but it is restrained] only until he who now restrains it is taken out of the way. 8 Then the lawless one [the Antichrist] will be revealed and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and bring him to an end by the appearance of His coming. 9 The coming of the [Antichrist, the lawless] one is through the activity of Satan, [attended] with great power [all kinds of counterfeit miracles] and [deceptive] signs and false wonders [all of them lies], 10 and by unlimited seduction to evil and with all the deception of wickedness for those who are perishing, because they did not welcome the love of the truth [of the gospel] so as to be saved [they were spiritually blind, and rejected the truth that would have saved them]. 11 Because of this God will send upon them a misleading influence, [an activity of error and deception] so they will believe the lie, 12 in order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe the truth [about their sin, and the need for salvation through Christ], but instead took pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But we should and are [morally] obligated [as debtors] always to give thanks to God for you, believers beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through the sanctifying work of the Spirit [that sets you apart for God’s purpose] and by your faith in the truth [of God’s word that leads you to spiritual maturity]. 14 It was to this end that He called you through our gospel [the good news of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection], so that you may obtain and share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold [tightly] to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting comfort and encouragement and the good [well-founded] hope [of salvation] by His grace, 17 comfort and encourage and strengthen your hearts [keeping them steadfast and on course] in every good work and word.