Paul explains the chronological timeline of 5 big time end time events, in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 – including the Great Apostasy.
“…right out of just one chapter, 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul tells us:
The chronological order of 5 events:
- The Great Apostasy (v3: “that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians]”
- The Revealing of the the man of lawlessness (v3, 7-8)
- The Rapture (v3: “that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first”)
- The Great Tribulation (v9-12: “…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….”)
- The Second Coming of Christ in glory and power (v8: “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.“
Don’t Become an Apostate
And then – immediately (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17) he warns believers against becoming a part of that Apostasy (the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians – v3). Paul warns believers to stand strong:
We are not to take-on, nor convert-to, nor believe “another gospel” — ie “…distort the gospel of Christ [twisting it into something which it absolutely is not]“. (See both: 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:7.)
No special revelation from God will ever change the pure gospel of Christ as explained by the Apostle Paul, as found throughout God’s Word. Christ alone saves us. How are you doing with that?
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
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.