Doug Stauffer ~ The Christian Race: Ready… Set… Gone!
“Many teachers view the teaching on the Pre-tribulation Rapture like the Titanic viewed the iceberg- they only saw the top part of it. The magnitude of the evidence offers them a sinking feeling when they realize the truth. That is really the truth of the Pre-tribulation Rapture.” I and II Thessalonians teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture.
II Thessalonians 2
The message of the Lord’s return for the church is a message of hope, encouragement and comfort, not one of fear and wrath. The Church will not be removed from the earth because the world views us as righteous, but simply because God does. We will go through tribulation, but not THE Great Tribulation. We will suffer persecution but not THE Great Tribulation. Daniel’s 70th Week or Jacob’s Trouble, deal with the nation of Israel and not us.
II Thessalonians 2:7 “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”
The mystery of iniquity will culminate in the Abomination of Desolation at the mid-point of Daniel’s 70th Week. The mystery of iniquity discussed in II Thessalonians chapter 2 is the antithesis to the mystery of godliness. The mystery of godliness is I Timothy 3:16, referring to Jesus Christ, that God was manifest in the flesh. The mystery of iniquity is Satan manifest in the flesh.
II Thessalonians 2: 1-2 “Our gathering together unto Him” refers to the rapture of the church. That is the blessed hope, the hope of salvation. I Thessalonians 4:17 speaks of us being caught up together. The rapture of the church was a mystery until Paul revealed it. We will meet Jesus in the clouds. The believers thought they missed the rapture of the church. There will be a lot of tribulation before the Great Tribulation.
II Thessalonians 2: 3-4 The Day of Christ (Rapture) will not happen until there be a great falling away (apostasy) and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. An apostasy happens prior to the rapture of the church. Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Evil men shall wax worse and worse. It involves a departing from the faith in the later times. Christians are departing from the faith. The falling away precedes the revelation of the man of sin by 3 1/2 years. The man of sin is the son of perdition or the mystery of iniquity.
II Thessalonians 2: 5-6 The abomination of desolation is withheld for 3 1/2 years, the first half of the Great Tribulation.
II Thessalonians 2: 7-8a Michael the archangel is hindering the revelation of the wicked one. (Revelation 12:7)
II Thessalonians 2: 7-10 Michael will be taken out of the way and the wicked one will be revealed- the Abomination of Desolation.
II Thessalonians 3:5 “The patient waiting for Christ” is the blessed hope. We are patiently waiting for Christ and His soon return.
As apostasy, persecution and tribulation come, preach Christ and Him crucified!