Christian Responsibilities · The Great Apostasy · The Rapture

OUR GATHERING TOGETHER WITH THE LORD

2 Thessalonians 2 is a great chapter in the Bible. The reason I wish to write about this is because it pertains to us today as well as those in Paul’s time. This chapter in the Bible has far more depth to it than many realize.

I recently did an intense study on this chapter and found some amazing truths about the message of this chapter from Paul. When I say intense study I mean doing MORE than just reading it. Studying the Bible should be an endeavor sought by all Christians, and not just simply by reading it – as so much is lost without the proper aids. My favorites are the Strong’s concordance along with various commentaries by some of history’s most experienced and versed theologians and Christians.

By doing these kinds of studies – it opens our minds to things written that aren’t clearly stated. As many of you (should) know, one verse in the bible can lead to a whole book being written about it because so much can be understood from that one verse – with the proper study of it. So please, do your studies peeps! Open yourself up to Him for greater understanding and strength in the Word. NOW is the time.

BACKGROUND OF THE CHAPTER
First, Paul was the apostle writing this chapter; he was writing to the Thessalonians. Thessaloniki (Thessalonica) was a place he had visited among his journeys to share the gospel on his quest to start building the Christian church.

At the time of his writing this letter to the Thessalonians, the ancient Roman Empire was in power. There were many bishops of Rome at that time that were seeking control over the religion in the area. The Roman Empire was “restraining” the bishops from tyrannical rule.

Verse 7: 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.

Matthew Henry made these statements about “the restrainer“:

There was something that hindered or withheld, or let, until it was taken away. This is supposed to be the power of the Roman empire, which the apostle did not think fit to mention more plainly at that time; and it is notorious that, while this power continued, it prevented the advances of the bishops of Rome to that height of tyranny to which soon afterwards they arrived.

Christians today believe this “restrainer” to be Jesus, God, or the Holy Spirit.

Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries says this about the restrainer in his NKJV Life Principles Bible:

Many have suggested who this “restrainer” might be, but the most likely suggestion seems to be the Holy Spirit at work in the church.

The Holy Spirit at work in the church….we are seeing the churches today falling apart spiritually. Many churches today are as far from the gospel as they can be, teaching false doctrines of self love and importance, bringing in the world and it’s secularism instead of sending shepherds out into the world to teach as Paul did, and this is part of the great apostasy we have been forewarned about throughout the bible. This “restrainer” is clearly referring to this apostasy. (Not any rapture as many would have the world believe through their pre-tribulation RAPTURE ‘theory’…I will refer to this theory from here on out as PTRT). **PTRT teaches that this restrainer is the Holy Spirit on the earth, and that it will be entirely removed from the planet, thus it MUST mean all Christians with the Holy Spirit will be removed from the planet. WRONG! The restrainer has already been taken out of the way and has allowed these false doctrines and apostasy right into our churches. We aren’t waiting for this to happen; it already has to a great extent.

At the time of Paul writing this Chapter a very similar scenario was happening in Rome as it is in America today and he was seeking to comfort the Thessalonians in truth. The apostle prophetically speaks of a great apostasy that will happen in the future, but also one that was happening in his time – not only of some converted Jews or Gentiles, but a very general, though gradual, change within the church. No sooner was Christianity planted and rooted in the world than there began to be a defection in the Christian church. Our church today is no different; it started out strong and true at the birth of this nation. Here we are over 200 years later witnessing the failing (on a mass scale) of the true Christian church as it was intended due to false doctrine and teachings – just as it was in Paul’s day. The parallels are astounding.

OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM
Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians was focusing on one false doctrine they were being taught and rumors that were being spread – more than likely by the bishops of Rome to discourage them in their own teachings: that Jesus had already come (His second coming).

Paul was explaining to them (and us in the future) what things had to go down first before that happens. He says right away in the first verses:

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

Paul is saying “we didn’t tell you this, someone else did….and it’s not true.”
Did you notice what else it said though? It says “concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ AND (AND!) our gathering together unto Him….” This is a simultaneous event! If Paul included himself in this event – this gathering together with the Lord, this means ALL THE CHURCH, past, present and future, dead and alive or still remaining at His return. **Many PTRT believers will tell you these are two separate events, yet Paul says here it will be a simultaneous event. The day of our Lord (His 2nd coming) AND our gathering together unto Him. When you research the Strong’s words for these verses – they literally mean what is said here. (Let the gospel speak for itself).

Paul then adds that TWO things must occur prior to His return AND our gathering together unto Jesus:

3 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, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

THERE’S THAT WORD “AND” AGAIN….

So Paul was reassuring the Thessalonians (and all followers reading this letter) that TWO things must happen before His second coming, AND before we are gathered together with Him (and this can be backed up by other scriptures):
1. The Great Apostasy MUST happen before we are gathered together unto Him. We are witnessing this before our very eyes. (Please read my INTERFAITH blog for more information on this subject.)

2. The man of sin (the antichrist) MUST be revealed before the 2nd coming AND our gathering together unto Him.

Paul’s description of Jesus’ 2nd coming is pretty clear here. He tried to teach the Thessalonians this in a time of trouble for the church….just as it is today.

This is just MORE scriptural evidence against the PTRT. And as always, I will receive a bunch of hate mail and opposition for this by those who refuse to study for themselves. I’m going to forewarn the argumentative, the angry, and the opposing, any comments made that are cynical, sarcastic in nature, hateful, or argumentative will NOT be approved so don’t even waste your time posting a response to this blog if you plan on being disrespectful. There is no shortage of these types of attitudes today and I will not condone it, nor promote it, so let me save you some time.

This blog was not an easy one to write. It takes a lot of time and courage to do what I do. Just about every blog I write typically has taken hours, sometimes DAYS or longer of study, and then the pulling together of information and thoughts can take on average 3-4 hours. I don’t take my writing lightly as I have reverence for the many warnings of false teaching in Scripture. I know I will receive hate for it, but the truth MUST be spoken, without fear of others opinions or hatred.

My prayer is that self professing Christians all over the world will really start getting deeply into their bibles and stop shooting the messenger. The ONLY way to fully understand this letter from Paul, AND the rest of the Bible is to deeply and intently study it.

If you find yourself too busy to study the Word for yourself – I would ask God to free up your time so you will have the ability to study the Word more intensely. One of the first ways to start doing this is to follow the 20/20 rule: read 20 verses before and after the verse in question (and preferably in the KJV or the NKJV at the very least). The second is to read and ponder EVERY WORD in the verse, not skim over it quickly. Study takes THOUGHT….and a lot of DEEP THOUGHT…along with using aids as stated earlier. Our studies are not meant to be casual, but more of a willingness to seriously LEARN what is being presented by the writer – in it’s FULL CONTEXT.

I pray all who read this will have a desire to KNOW Him as He has revealed Himself to us in every aspect. The only way to know Him fully is through our studies – and not just reading and ‘leaning on our own understanding’.

PLEASE….I urge all of you – to start studying it for yourself. Strengthen yourselves in Him and His love letter to us. I repeat – the time is NOW.

God bless you all – and peace to you all – today and every day.

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