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. 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.’ Don’t you remember me going over all this in detail when I was with you? Are your memories that short? (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, The Message)
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the Apostle Paul declares that Jesus the Christ’s bodily return will not happen before there is a great falling away from God’s Truth. After this grand apostasy is achieved, then and only then will the true identity of the Antichrist (the Anarchist, man of sin, son of perdition, man of lawlessness) be revealed. Furthermore, once the Antichrist is revealed, then people literally will be able to count the days until Jesus the Christ returns to earth.
Despite the aforementioned biblical truths, and even though the Word of God is very clear, believers worldwide still declare that they know, right now, who the Antichrist is. It is a shame that these believers are wasting their time looking for the Antichrist instead of using their time to look for the prophesied apostasy—the great falling away from God’s Truth—which, according to God’s Word, MUST happen before the rise of the Antichrist!
For sure, apostasy, in its varying degrees, is everywhere today. Moreover, if the survey results in Cathy Lynn Grossman’s USA Today article are any indication, then without a doubt apostasy sure enough is in today’s churches and local communities; however, the problem is that too many believers just cannot recognize this insidious threat. Perhaps, this inability to identify apostasy is why so many believers are shocked by what Grossman reports in her “Survey: 72% of Millennials ‘more spiritual than religious.’” Grossman writes:
Even among those in the survey who ‘believe they will go to heaven because they have accepted Jesus Christ as savior’:
•68% did not mention faith, religion or spirituality when asked what was ‘really important in life.’
•50% do not attend church at least weekly.
•36% rarely or never read the Bible.
What is frightening is that 72% of these surveyed Christians who are between 18 and 29 years old still claim that they are “spiritual,” whatever that means. The truth is how one believer defines “spiritual” doesn’t mean every believer will define “spiritual” the same way. Therefore, without knowing the difference between God’s Truth and the lies fostered by the heretical doctrines of inclusiveness, moral relativism, and/or secularism, today’s believers will never know to what extent they have been spiritually deceived—never know to what extent they are agreeing or disagreeing with God’s absolute Truth.
Once again, since apostasy, in its varying degrees, is ubiquitous, it is essential for every believer to know with certainty whether or not he or she either is holding steadfast to the Truth that is in God’s Word or is falling away from that Truth. The Holy Bible is clear. The great apostasy will happen before the Rapture, before the start of the Tribulation Period, and before the rise of the Antichrist. Therefore, instead of looking for the Antichrist, believers should be looking for the apostate signs! These apostate signs are EVERYWHERE!