PIC: A new day will dawn soon, without the Restrainer to restrain evil.
There is another hint about the Rapture. It’s in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8. The Apostle Paul says,
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.
– 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 AMPLIFIED
In the NASB it is worded this way
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only [a]He who now restrains will do so until [b]He is [c]removed. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will eliminate with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His [d]coming” – 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 NASB
Paul says, currently the intensity of evil events is being restrained “until He is removed.”
For more, read: Do we see the Antichrist just prior to our Rapture trip?
The “removal” is — the Rapture
When “He”, the Holy Spirit, leaves, we leave. We are removed with the Holy Spirit! Jesus comes to take us away once it is time for the Holy Spirit, “He who now restrains…” to be taken out of the way of evil. The time will be right – once it’s time for the Antichrist to explode his evils upon the earth.
He who now restrains
will do so until He is removed.
That removal will be the time of the Rapture! THEN the Antichrist, “that lawless one”, is revealed – and the Great Tribulation gets seriously underway. Evil will then be unrestrained. Imagine.
There is a timeline for all this. No actual date however!
Most Christians read this just fine: “he who restrains” will be taken away so that the Antichrist can then freely do his evil. That’s easy to see.
But, but BUT… this “restrainer” is the powerful Holy Spirit of God. The “restrainer” is God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit. Prophecy says He must be “removed”. Why? So that the Antichrist can do his evil unrestrained.
Where does the Spirit reside?
But where does the Spirit reside while on earth? In us (1 Corinthians 3:16). We are part of that restraining force. He works through us, and He works in the hearts of those without Him, convincing them of the truth of the Gospel.
God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
“I will never desert you,
nor will I ever abandon you”
His Holy Spirit resides inside every born again follower of Christ. So how on earth could He leave and be “removed” — without taking us with Him?
5 Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said,
“I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!”
That is clear enough for me! He cannot be removed from our heart. That is promised to us. So how on earth is the Holy Spirit removed from the earth without leaving us?
The answer: He takes us with Him! He cannot leave us here. Jesus returns to snatch us up to forever be with Him: those that are dead first, then immediately also those who are alive and well on planet earth.
1 Corinthians 15:22-23
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in [i]Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming
1 Corinthians 15:51-57
I am telling you a [w]mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised [x]imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this [y]perishable must put on [z]the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this [aa]perishable puts on [ab]the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. 55 Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Rapture of the saints
Me and the Holy Spirit — we are inseparable. So when He leaves, I leave. And that, folks, is called — The Rapture of the saints.
10 And he *said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong still do wrong, and the one who is filthy still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous still practice righteousness, and the one who is holy still keep himself holy.”
12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to reward each one as his work [a]deserves. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life, and may enter the city by the gates.
The question remains: Are you filthy or beautified?
Do you know what God is offering?
When we turn to Christ in repentance, He Himself declares us forgiven, forever clean in the sight of the Judge of the Universe. In that moment in time – we become His children. As we follow Him, we will sin more on this earth, but His grace covers His children. We are declared forgiven by the saving grace of God. – Source: God’s System of Justice
to be taken away from you,
will clothe and beautify you
with rich robes [of forgiveness].
– Zechariah 3:verse 4
A common question: “Is the taken one saved or is the one left behind saved?” 1
Yet another hint about the Rapture – this one in Isaiah
- Source: Is the Rapture in the Olivet Discourse- Part 1?
The conclusion to Jesus’s mini-sermon involves the payoff which will happen in the days of the Son of Man. Jesus discusses two types of people in 17:34-35. The one who is taken and the other who is left. Both words are used in a passive sense.
Jesus says, “I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.”
This language appears also in the OD of Matthew 24:40-41. The question is commonly asked, “Is the taken one saved or is the one left behind saved?” Jesus just encouraged us to remember Lot’s wife (17:30).
With that imagery in mind, the answer becomes obvious when comparing Lot and his wife. Clearly, Lot was taken to refuge (salvation) and his wife was left to judgment.
This is the classic left behind scenario and also applies to Noah and his family. Noah was taken in the ark (in salvation) and the others left to the judgment of the flood.
Darrel Bock, in his massive commentary on Luke, notes that this understanding of “taken” and “left” is consistent with Luke’s use of the Greek words elsewhere. In Luke 13:35, the leadership of Israel was “left” for judgment because they rejected Jesus (Luke 13:35; cf. Matt 23:38). Also, other disciples who were “taken along” denotes a close relationship or association in a positive sense (Luke 9:10, 28; 18:31).
This is not the only way to interpret these words for sure, but in the context of this passage and the gospel of Luke itself, it makes good sense.