2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2Th 2:3 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;
2Th 2:4 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.
The apostle Paul has written that the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering (rapture) unto Him, shall not come until there be a "falling away" FIRST, and then the son of sin, the enemy of the Son of man, will be revealed.
Now we can talk and study about the signs of the end times from now until the cows come home, and we will not find more clear and exact signs than these.
First there will be a "falling away", and then the son of sin will be revealed!
Why will the son of sin wait to reveal himself to the world?
Because it will be quite ease to deceive the elect of God, and subsequently the world, after the "falling away" rather that revealing himself before that time!
Now depending on whom you ask, exactly what this "falling away" is will be as varied as the doctrines existing within the church today. That being said, I believe that the general consensus within the church is that this falling away is a departure from sound doctrine, which, in my opinion, is a truth that falls short of it's entire meaning and short of the root cause of this future apostasy.
There has been a falling away from "sound doctrine" since the time of the apostles, and there have been false teachers, preachers, and prophets since that time as well. Subsequently it does not stand to reason, or stand up to the scriptural evidence, that this "falling away" is making reference to doctrines, rather to a specific doctrine.
(1Ti 4:1) 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;
(1Ti 4:2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
(1Ti 4:3) Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
The question here is:
What is "the faith"?
The Faith is that we have been justified, have been sanctified, and have received our salvation through Jesus Christ, not through our works unto the law!
In other words; "The Faith" is the doctrine of Grace which came through Jesus Christ!
(Eph 2:8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
(Eph 2:9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Therefore, the "falling away" is actually a departure from the doctrine of new testament grace through faith, and a return to the doctrine of old testament grace through the law, AKA "falling" from grace!
(Gal 5:1) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
(Gal 5:2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
(Gal 5:3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
(Gal 5:4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
(Gal 5:5) For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Think about this for a moment:
What doctrine in the 20th and 21st centuries has been more hotly debated, caused more strife, and division within the church, than the doctrine of grace?
None that I can think of!
Therefore I believe that the "falling away" is specifically the spreading of the doctrine of righteousness through the ministration of the law, the very doctrine which Jesus came to reprove, rebuke, and correct the Jews for.
What many simply do not understand, or refuse to receive, is that when we try to do the workings of the law to gain favor (grace) from our Father, Christ becomes of no effect unto us because the grace which came by faith is a gift from our Father God. To try to work for a gift makes it something other than a gift. It makes it compensation!
That is old testament. That is old covenant. That is the dispensation of the law.
(Rev 2:2) I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
(Rev 2:3) And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
(Rev 2:4) Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
(Rev 2:5) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
This admonition by our Lord to remember from where we have "fallen" confirms the writings of Paul!
Our first love is our love for our God in a true spirit of thankfulness for all He has done for us, namely our justification, our sanctification, and our re-unification unto Him, which came through our faith in the finished work of our Savior and Lord and through the new testament grace which came through that faith!
(Luk 7:40) And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
(Luk 7:41) There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
(Luk 7:42) And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
(Luk 7:43) Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
You see, the one who receives grace through faith, the free gift from God, has received more than the one who continues to try to make himself, or herself, righteous before God through their own works.
Subsequently, according to the words of our Lord, the ones who receive grace have more to be thankful for, and love God more because they have received more!
You see brothers and sisters, by rejecting grace we are actually rejecting Christ.
Thank you Lord for going to the cross for me, to pay the price for my sins against you.
Thank you for making me clean. Thank you for uniting me with my Father through your intersession. Thank you for praying the Father send His Holy Spirit unto me. Thank you for making us the children of God. Thank you for sealing me that I will be with you where you are.
I will take it from here!
Can't you see that this spirit of self-righteousness is an affront to our Father, and a slap to the face of our Lord?
There is not one that is good, only God!
There is none who can live up to His standard of sinless perfection, save our Lord.
It is only by grace that we are saved, it is only by grace that our hearts can be divinely influenced by our Father God, it is only by this grace that we can remain within His favor, it is only by grace that we can enter into the kingdom and it is only by grace that we will be with our Lord for eternity.
If you do not receive this truth: you are going the wrong way, and need to turn back!
The Falling Away