The countdown to the end of the world in 2 Thessalonians 2 is more serious than we think. If you are fairly customary with this Bible duct you will recall that it is a prophecy about the coming ‘man of sin’, a.k.a the Antichrist, whose coming is regarded as a necessary antecedent to the Second coming of Christ. This epistle of Paul was intended to address doctrinal uncertainties about the Second coming that threatened to destabilize the Thessalonians church. In his attempt to decree the matter of what events are to precede Christ’s return, the apostle thus declared:
“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” Thess. 2:3
From the context of the preceding verses, the ‘day’ that is referred to in the above text is clearly speaking of the Second Coming. Agreeing to Paul this event will not transpire until a safe bet prophecy is fulfilled. What really interests me about this challenging countdown of end-of-the-world events is not just the revelation of the Antichrist, but also the mention of a “falling away” in relationship with his arrival. It seems as if the apostle Paul is saying that as a result of the appearance of this ‘man of sin’ a great apostasy will take place.
It is very important for us to understand what Paul means by ‘falling away’. First to begin with, this phrase cannot be referring to citizen who are not Christians. A person who is carefully to be of the world cannot fall away because they are already face of righteousness (Jn. 3:18). Therefore, this admonition in 2 Thessalonians could not be talking about any other group of citizen beside the fraternity maintain Christians.
To reinforce this position, we will go to the book of Hebrews. In this epistle we are clearly told that there is only one set of citizen who are capable of falling away. The scripture duct is found in the 6th chapter:
“It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good world of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; finding they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Heb. 6:4-6
From the above exhortation it is quite clear that it is only those who have experienced what it means to become a candidate for heaven can maybe fall away. But what is challenging about this singular text is what it says about the result of falling away. Agreeing to this epistle, if you should fall away, it is impossible to repent! When we look at this admonition in the context of a countdown of end-of-the-world events in Revelation 13, it is not difficult to see the Devil’s main objective in appointing the Antichrist to do his dirty work.
As I have said in a former article, Satan is not satisfied with just important us into sin over and over again; he really wants to bring us to the place where we are incapable of repentance! This is where the mark of the beast comes in. By accepting the mark of Antichrist, you are consenting to Satan’s right to rule. Thus, the Devil will have the right to rehearsal unrestrained operate over your life and, hence, make you an eternal captive to an evil religious scheme! Surprisingly, this is what is prophesied to happen to a large segment of the Christian fraternity and the world at large in the last days.
As you result the countdown to the end of the world, let us never lose sight of the implications of what the apostle Paul has prophesied about this great falling away in the last days. It really tells me that we are in greater danger than we are lead to believe from the beloved pulpits. Now I can see why having the mark of the beast makes one an irrevocable candidate for eternal damnation (Rev. 14:9-11).