“Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him”. This is the way Paul begins the 2nd chapter of his second letter to the Thessalonians. It’s such an important doctrine that he wanted to make sure they understood. Already at that time, some were distorting the event saying “the day of Christ had come”, or that it was just a ‘spiritual’ doctrine and not real. He wrote,
“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 …”.
Notice the sequence of events, 1) the falling away, and then 2) the man of sin (Antichrist), and then 3) our gathering to Him.
What is meant by the phrase “the falling away”? The word in Greek is ‘apostasia’, from which we get the word apostate. It means Christians no longer keep the Word of God, they do not obey the truth of Scripture, and they do not have the Holy Spirit to guide them because He is only given to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32).
Friends, this is the condition of much of the Church today. According to the pollster George Barna, over a third of those who call themselves Christian do not believe in a personal devil. Almost half of those teaching in our Seminaries do not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. Even among Evangelicals (those Christians who declare they believe the entire Bible), many do not believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit for today, even though the Bible nowhere tells us they were withdrawn. It does say that the Holy Spirit is only given to those who obey Him – hmm. Their churches are filled with people who, as Christians, are divorced and remarried, some multiple times, even though God says “I hate divorce”, and because of it God will not hear our prayers anymore (Malachi 2).
And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. – Malachi 2:13, 14
As a result, our children are scattered all over the place with no firm foundation to grow on. Instead of being the ‘salt’ and ‘light’ of the world, our past moral foundations are being eroded and our country is walking in darkness. Christians have turned their children (their heritage in the Lord – Psalm 127:3) over to a godless school system that outlaws prayer to God and any mention of the name of Jesus. Several generations have now been trained to accept the theory of evolution as fact and the Book of Genesis as myth. In 1963 & 64, we – a so-called Christian nation – allowed prayer to God to be removed from our public schools and a blind man could see the results:
Our best students cannot compete against the students of the world in reading, science, or math. While we spend more per student than any other country except Switzerland, we have little to show for it. While the reasons for this problem are many, I suggest that the main reason is we have forsaken God, Who was the reason for our prosperity and success.
The United States is the most Christian of all the nations on earth today–and we have become apostate! 77 churches in 33 states recently celebrated Chrislam in their Sunday morning services, which is a joining of Christianity and Islam. They allowed the Koran to be read and Islamic prayer to rise in the sanctuary of the LORD. God regards this as “marrying the daughter of a foreign god”.
For Judah has profaned The LORD’s holy institution which He loves: he has married the daughter of a foreign god. – Malachi 2:11
They are profaning the true God and His Church and they are proclaiming that Islam is just another way to God.
Paul said after the great falling away the Antichrist would come – are we there yet? Paul also wrote,
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.– 2 Thessalonians 2:7.
The Greek word translated ‘restrain’ means ‘to hold back, detain, restrain‘. Is Paul writing about the apostate church or an apostate nation that was originally ordained to be a ‘beacon of light’ – America? You decide for yourself, but David prophesied, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” – Psalm 11:3. We in America are facing this condition and lawlessness is being released upon our land. At the same time God is allowing the judgment of natural disasters, crop failures, and financial failures to call us back to repentance because of our dealings with God and with His people Israel.
Note: an example of the financial failure of 2008:
“The 2008 financial crisis was the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of 1929. It occurred despite the efforts of the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The crisis led to the Great Recession, where housing prices dropped more than the price plunge during the Great Depression. Two years after the recession ended, unemployment was still above 9%. That doesn’t count those discouraged workers who had given up looking for a job.”
Although this is not a ‘happy-go-lucky’ teaching, don’t despair. God is still on the throne of heaven and He still hears the prayers of the righteous. We can still be light and salt to this world. And, in Malachi, God says,
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them, so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. They shall be Mine, says the Lord of Hosts, on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked. – Malachi 3:16-18.
God’s promise is that He will spare them on the day when the Lord’s judgment falls. However, there are some stipulations: 1) they must operate in the fear of the Lord, and 2) they must be in close fellowship with one another. This means closer fellowship than just on Sunday for a few hours.
Here ends chapter six.
I would like to say that we have corrected the problems mentioned in this chapter but, we have not – they have only become worse! Now the Communist doctrine of “wokeism” is sweeping our educational system and much of our government, even some of our churches. The godless Party of the Democrats have taken over the halls of government and it even appears that the Supreme court is cowing before the Chinese Communist onslaught.
We were making making some recovery under the leadership of Donald Trump but then the demonic forces of hell were released against us in the 2020 elections, which were like stolen for the Democrats. We in the Church forgot that we have the power to bind demonic forces. Much of the church is yet sleeping with it’s doors shut due to covid19 fear but, there is a remnant that is arising. The prophets are speaking and some are listening and praying. The Holy Spirit is beginning to be poured out as the seeds of revival are sprouting in the good soil. Perhaps the Restrainer Paul speaks about is not yet removed!
Note: In this chapter I mention the sin of divorce and according to Scripture it is a sin, one that God hates but, there is a remedy for it like every other sin – repentance. We have all fallen in one way or another but God is willing to cleanse us if we genuinely repent of it and continue our life in Him. Children can be recovered – they are remarkedly pliable.
God bless you all.