2 Thessalonians 2
Man of Lawlessness
1Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Yeshua Hamashiach and our gathering together to Him, 2that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of YHVH, displaying himself as being YHVH.
This passage is obviously referring to the prophecy found in Dan 9. The third Temple has not been built yet, the man of lawlessness has not been revealed, and there is still a period of tribulation to happen before the Lord returns. I know there are a lot of folks who believe the “rapture” will happen as a pre-tribulation event, but this is just not supported Scripturally.
So without writing a dissertation let me just share with you a simple yet Scriptural presentation on the end-time events.
Rev 20 tells us the details of the first resurrection4
4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
It is very obvious that the first resurrection takes place after the tribulation. I have come to this conclusion because the ones who are resurrected first are the ones who were beheaded. I could be wrong, but if one is beheaded it might be that they went through the persecution of the tribulation. It also says that they did not receive the mark of the beast or worship him. All these events happen during the Tribulation.
The defense for the pretrib rapture given by its defenders is found in 1Thess.
Those Who Died in Messiah
13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.
In this passage the dead in Messiah rise first; this is also called the pre-trib rapture by its proponents. But the problem is if this is a first resurrection and Rev 20 is also a first resurrection, then how can we reconcile that the Rev 20 first resurrection happens after the tribulation. Are there 2 first resurrections? Are Paul and John contradicting each other? There can only be one first resurrection.
It’s a simple solution. All we need to do is read the text in context and it explains itself. So please read these passages in their entirety before you build your metal argument against me.
So how are we to respond to world events of this nature?
A New Heaven and Earth
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of YHVH, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
The day of the Lord’s return will be like a thief in the night; therefore, we are to be those people who watch our conduct publicly and privately. We must be careful not to build scenarios that are not Biblical. We also need to be careful in listening to all the prognosticators predicting the Lord’s return prematurely. He will come when He is ready. We just keep our eyes on the word so that we will know the signs of the times and be ready. Let’s not be caught with our wicks untrimmed.
Parable of Ten Virgins
1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2“Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3“For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5“Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6“But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7“Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8“The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9“But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10“And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11“Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12“But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
We might not know the day or hour, but that does not mean we should be unprepared. Let’s keep our eyes open and in His word so that, when these events do unfold, we will not be deceived.