Q. Ref: Your teaching on the Rapture. I come from the pre-trib view of Scripture but do have some problems with certain Bible verses, like 2 Thes. 2:1-3. Verse 1 clearly refers to “our gathering together to meet Him” but in verse 3 says it will not happen until “the man of sin is revealed.” If the Rapture can happen at any time – how is this explained?
A. A careful reading of 2 Thes. 2:1-3 shows that Paul was addressing two issues, 1) the Coming of our Lord, and 2) our being gathered to Him. No matter where you place the rapture, these two are separate events, At the 2nd Coming the Lord comes down to Earth to reign. At the Rapture we go up to meet Him in the air and He takes us to Heaven.
Paul addressed the two issues in the order they were listed. I’ll summarize the answers as they’re given in 2 Thes. 2:3-8. First, the Lord won’t come again until after the man of sin is revealed. Second the man of sin won’t be revealed until the one who holds him back is taken out of the way. That one is the Holy Spirit, sealed in the Church. So the Lord can’t come back until after the anti-Christ is revealed and the anti-Christ can’t be revealed until the church is gone.