“If we know the proper timing and what to watch for in regards to the proper sequence of events, we will not succumb” to the great falling away in the last days. ~RevKev
Re-blog by Wings of the Eagle:
Recently, I heard a pastor who regularly teaches on prophecy make the statement that “the timing of the rapture isn’t a salvation issue.” I disagree! And I am confident that Jesus does too!
This may come down to what you believe about salvation. I will simply say that I believe in the security of the believer who is pursuing a relationship with Christ. Even through our ups and downs, if our heart is to follow Jesus, you are on your way to eternal life with Him. No question!
However, I do not believe that salvation is a onetime decision that provides “fire insurance” to anyone who offers up the “sinner’s prayer”, thus freeing them from the consequences of sin. Our freewill doesn’t end with a prayer. If Jesus isn’t your Lord, He isn’t your Savior. You can walk away from the faith if you choose and I believe that the Bible tells us that this will actually happen to many believers during the 70th week of Daniel.
If you can’t go there with me, you should stop reading this article now. (just a polite warning!)
9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. …21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you beforehand! Matthew 24:9-25
In these verses, Jesus is speaking, warning the elect, the disciples. Some think that these verses only apply to the Jews. UGH! There are SO MANY PROBLEMS with that terrible understanding that I won’t even begin.
Jesus says simply – “many will fall away.” Another word is “stumble”. The root word is skandalon, Strong’s 4625, (think our word “scandal”) and refers to being caught in a trap. The only one who is caught in a trap is the one who is free; the only free one is that one who is in Christ.
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
Paul addresses this same “falling away” thought in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 and calls it the apostasy, Stong’s 646, meaning defection, revolt, a leaving. One cannot defect from something that one is not a part of. One cannot leave something that one is not a part of. This doesn’t take a theologian.
Finally in verse 24, Jesus says, 24For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Most read this and assume that it isn’t possible for the elect to be led astray because Jesus said, “if possible”. Weird reasoning! If it wasn’t possible, why would Jesus even address the issue? Why would he warn the elect of something that couldn’t happen? The warning itself speaks to the understanding that it CAN happen.
So, since the “falling away”, the “revolt”, the “apostasy” can and WILL happen according to God’s Word, we must be on guard.
Paul was so concerned that the Thessalonian church properly understand the timing of the resurrection and accompanying rapture that he gave them two specific items to watch for which had to come first.
1Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,a 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessnessb is revealed, the son of destruction,c 4who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
For understanding, let’s see what The Message (not a big fan, but this might help) says,
Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him. Don’t let anyone shake you up or get you excited over some breathless report or rumored letter from me that the day of the Master’s arrival has come and gone. Don’t fall for any line like that.
3-5 Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan. He’ll defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he’ll then set himself up in God’s Temple as “God Almighty.”
We see that Paul wanted them to understand the timing in order that they wouldn’t be confused, shaken from their belief. Again, the warning of verse 3, “Let no one deceive you in any way” is a clear understanding that they COULD BE deceived. He warns, just like Jesus did, telling them to understand the timing correctly.
This is why understanding the proper timing of the resurrection and rapture are so important.
Deception comes first, causing many to fall away from their belief in Jesus.
Persecution follows causing even more to abandon their relationship with Jesus.
Bottom line: The timing of the rapture IS a salvation issue. If we know the proper timing and what to watch for in regards to the proper sequence of events, we will not succumb. However, if we are looking for Jesus first, we have the potential to follow the messenger who fools us with spectacular acts, who will appear long before Jesus returns for His church.
23Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:23-27
Study the Word, Share the Word, Prepare yourself and don’t get sidelined with extraneous, non-biblical ideas.See, He has told us beforehand!
It doesn’t take a theologian!