Q. Thanks for all of your insight into prophecy. I read all of the questions and it always helps in my growing understanding of the Scriptures and Prophecy. I was asked the other day a questions about the “the falling away” which appears in 2 Thes. 2:3. I have believed for a long time that this falling away will be prior to the Rapture of the Church. If so, who are they who fall away?
A. You are correct in believing the “falling away” will precede the rapture. In fact, it began about 40 years ago and is still going strong. The Greek word translated falling away in 2 Thes. 2:3 also means rebellion and indicates that in the last days some people will rebel against traditional Christianity in favor of something more “modern” and “in tune with the times.” Paul wrote that these people would no longer put up with sound doctrine but gather around them a great many teachers who say what their itching ears want to hear (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
For the most part, this rebellious group consists of Christians “in-name-only” who used to attend traditional churches and who call themselves Christian but who are not born again. This is the group that’s been helping to energize the seeker friendly and emerging church movements, which are at the center of the “falling away”.
They like the fact that their new churches focus more on the things of this world with various forms of upbeat entertainment in their services, and social programs that make them feel like they are making a difference in the world. If there are some born again believers among them, the Lord will soon round them up and bring them back like a shepherd does when some of His flock wanders off (Luke 15:3-6). It’s God’s will that our Good Shepherd will not lose any of those who are truly His (John 6:39-40).
The rest will be left behind when the rapture comes and will face the most difficult time the world has ever experienced. In their affliction many will realize the error of their ways and finally become born again. Sadly, others will perish because they refused to love the truth and be saved (2 Thes. 2:9-12).