The Great Delusion

by Mike Ratliff

8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.  (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 NASB)

When I was a young Christian I was a Dispensationalist because that was what the churches I belonged to taught.  I remember listening to Hal Lindsey or some of the teachers at the church I was going to at that time teach on these things, but I never quite sunk my teeth into it. I remember never being fully convinced about that eschatology or that the Church would be secretly Raptured away and miss the Tribulation or that the “Tribulation,” as it was being presented by those Dispensationlists, was Biblical.  Why did I have these issues? At that time I did not really have any knowledge of other views of eschatology so I was more than a little concerned about these things.  These eschatological teachings with which I had issues are structured to be popular and they are presented in a way that tickles the itching ears of the many rather than on what is Biblical.

There is much speculation about what the lie or delusion is that God sends upon those who refuse to love the truth. To discern what this lie is we need to study this passage from 2 Thessalonians 2 in context. Who is Paul writing to in this book? He wrote it to believers in Thessalonica. Some of them were shaken because someone had lied to them about the coming of the Lord and the gathering of the Saints unto Himself.

1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.  (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 NASB)

Then Paul explains the order of things:

3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.  (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 NASB)

Now, let us ask some questions of this passage. First, what is the lie that God actually sends out? Whatever it is it has to do with the Second Coming of our Lord and the gathering of the saints (v1). Whatever the lie is it is concerning the gathering of the saints before the tribulation begins. Second, Who are the recipients of this lie? This is speaking of some sort of doctrinal error that people want to hear and it comes from God. Therefore, those who believe this lie are professing Christians. Look at v3. Who would be deceiving the Thessalonians but other Christians teaching doctrinal error? Therefore, God is sending a lie upon professing Christians who do not love the truth. Third, Why would God send out a lie to His own people for them to be deceived? The answer is in v10. These are professing Christians, but they are not genuine because they do not love the truth. Instead they are in idolatry and God sends upon them a spirit of stupor so that they will believe that lie. He is giving them what they want and love, but it leads to destruction.

So what is the doctrinal error? Whatever it is, it is very popular and deeply believed by vast numbers of professing Christians. It is so popular that when any Bible teacher stands against it he is persecuted, smitten, ostracized, and made an example for all to see. The lie is taught by most of the pastors and teachers in the Church today. This is what people want to hear so they preach it. Satan is not doing this. God is doing this. Why? It is to separate His people from those in the Church who are not His people.

What is the doctrinal error? Does it mean that all who believe it are condemned? We must pray for God to give us wisdom and discernment so that we will know what the truth is. We live in a time of great deception. There are very good and popular preachers who are deceived in this, whatever it is. Another clue for us is that the majority of professing Christians believe this lie and only the few do not. Let us pray that God will open our eyes and give us the boldness to tell the truth. Perhaps those in this error will be drawn into the light. God’s will be done.

Soli Deo Gloria!

45 thoughts on “The Great Delusion

  1. if you know, or think you know what the lie is, why don’t you say? There are many things of God that we cannot know now, but will when this world ends and we are with Jesus. It is disingenuous to write this and not fully explain what you are saying. I would appreciate some clarification because I am still working out my salvation (Philippians 2:12
    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.).

    I pray everyday to know His truth so as not to fall prey to false teaching and if you are a true brother in the Lord you will not be vague. It comes across as condescending and that is not Christ like. If you are trying to teach something, please teach it.

    your sister in Christ Jesus
    Cherie c.

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  2. So this being the case, why then stay in and under this error? Further does not Revelation 18 speak to coming out from this very thing? I too never could settle these other teachings with what seemed quite clear from scripture. Never read or listened to Lindsey and the popular novels of the day…
    Michael I appreciate your honest and clear teaching on this subject!

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  3. Cherie,
    When you read scripture, do you see anything that points to a pre-tribulation rapture? This teaching, by the way is from the 1830’s and was quite popular with the rich liberal “Christians” of the day who “summered” in resort areas like Chautauqua and Niagara NY. Many of those folks also loved to go to “readings” at Lilydale Ny. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_Dale,_New_York
    This eschatology was broadly dispensed by Cyrus Scofield and John Nelson Darby.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darbyism
    Just like today, whatever popular wind of doctrine that comes along gains acceptance within the liberal seminary’s and spreads out like leaven till it is accepted as truth while merely being the traditions of men which makes His Word of no effect (see Matthew !4 and Mark 7).
    Really we need to dispose of our denominational rose colored glasses, Cherie to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into all Truth through the Word in context. This is exactly what Jesus promised us and made clear that none would teach us but Christ Jesus. To the extent that Mike Ratliff, or any man accurately teaches scripture, they function as guides within the Body of “living stones” that Jesus alone builds. We are in “one accord” only to the extent that we are lead by the Holy Spirit to understand the Truth and embrace that Truth. Otherwise we are in grave danger of the delusion Mike references from the scriptures above!
    Hope this helps!
    Mickey

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  4. Sorry to have bothered you. i just do not see what you are talking about. Are you talking about those today who use signs and wonders to deceive people and the people who follow them? They aren’t Christian. They can’t be or they would not follow those people. Please just say it plainly. Thank you sir.

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  5. Hi Mickey, Do I believe in a pre-trib rapture? Does it really matter? If we keep our eyes upon the Lord then what will happen will be done by Him. I ran in circles with it, but pre, mid or post doesn’t matter. I have learned not to get involved with the debate and now that I know what Mr. Ratcliff was speaking about, I feel kind of silly. Thank you for taking the time to explain it to me. What does give me pause regarding a pre-trib rapture is John 17 where Jesus said in His prayer to God the Father that He would not have Him take us out of the world, but keep us from evil.

    I don’t know which to believe so I leave it to the Lord. He knows who is His and when the time comes, I know that I know that I know those who are His will know the truth. God bless and thank you again for your help in explaining it to me.
    your sister in Christ Jesus,
    Cherie c.

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  6. Sorry Cherie, no what we are talking about it is the very popular Eschatological teaching based in hyper-dispensationalism, which is a hermeneutic, that is, a filter or way of interpreting scripture that is unbiblical. It is designed to make Christianity Man-focused rather than God-focused. The way I teach this is to assume that those reading have at least a rudimentary knowledge of doctrine and refuse to tolerate scripture twisting in order to tickle ears and please people rather than seek teach God’s truth for his glory alone.

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  7. I do have a basic knowledge of scripture and I abhor the twisting of scripture which much to my dismay is done often. There are many doctrines that do not tickle my ear, but do cause conviction, fear and trembling and a desire to be ever closer to our Lord. I come to blogs like this to perhaps learn a bit. I do not want my ears to be tickled only to have them burn for all eternity. I can take the truth because the Spirit within me gives me the ability to have strength in such matters. No, I am not a theologian or a bible scholar, but I do have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the Word of God. I just didn’t see the need for riddles. State it plain and clear like you do other posts I have read. I am a simpleton and only claim to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the way presented by our Lord and Savior.

    If I told you what I was taught about dispensationalism your head would roll. Do I believe everything I read from others, no. I am a Berean and let the Word of God lead me in truth. The Spirit is revealing things to me I did not know before that you may already know, but I still have to seek the Lord so that I do not error. Because I am a woman and cannot preach to a man, I have no choice but to take what you say and hope that you are being truthful. But in the mean time, I measure what you and others say by the Word. What I think confuses people is they mix the OT with the NT. You cannot do that. It has to be taken in context to the time and what God is trying to reveal to the sinner. I believe what the OT says (Isaiah) regarding a remnant of Israel but not completely sure what it means. The Epistles do allude to some of the OT messages I am referencing, but like i said, the Holy Spirit is still working with me. Do you believe in the literal event of the Anti-Christ proclaiming to be God in the temple in Jerusalem?

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  8. Cherie’
    We can’t know for sure that this particular error is that final error which leads to the great falling away and delusion, that is why I think Mike leaves it open. Yet this puzzle piece does not need to be force fit in as others have.
    As a point of reference, the 1.4 quadrillion in toxic mortgages from around the world, and the desire for a new world order and the end of fiat currencies (those currencies not backed by gold and silver for example) is another potential puzzle piece not needing to be forced fit as the whole system world wide and under the sway of the evil one can be brought down in one hour!
    Mike aptly points out that it isn’t about us for true believers, nor do we follow Him for what He might do for us, but rather it Is all about Him and Who He IS! The 2 verses we all need to hold clearly in our minds are these.
    1. “The whole world is under the sway of the evil one.” Which means everyone and everything not totally sold out to Jesus as Lord are to some degree swayed by the evil one.
    2. “God’s Will is that in EVERYTHING Christ Jesus would have the pre-eminence!” When He is not pre-eminent in a “christian’s” life, then they need to refer to #1.

    Now, IF the 2 puzzle pieces above are referenced in scripture, it is vital that we know what scripture teaches. For the patience and perseverance of the saints isn’t waiting for a late arriving train to glory expected before things get bad…

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  9. What about the war of Gog and Magog? Daniel, Jeremiah, Didn’t Jesus reference Daniel in the NT? All this needs to be studied and prayed about. I agree with you that man is making God his genie and I have a problem with that. All I hope is that when persecution comes that the Spirit of God gives me the courage and strength I will need to endure to the end.

    your sister in Christ Jesus
    Cherie c.

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  10. Cherie, I suggest you go back and read my post and compare it with the passage I exegeted. Did Paul tell us what the delusion was…exactly what it was? No, he did not. That is why I wrote what I wrote the way I did.

    I am an Amillinialist, but if you or Mickey or any one else reading this are not that’s fine. However, I have experienced extreme hostility on this blog in the past when I have posted about this. Another reason I really don’t write about this topic very often. Notice your own reaction…

    A good source on all this is Dr. Kim Riddlbarger’s book: A Case for Amillennialism.

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  11. Amen Mickey the church is already falling away and will give sway to the lawless one in hopes of having a say in the NWO. Evil is abound, and at times I tremble at the thought, but as I gaze into the sky, I know who is up there waiting for His Father and ours to give the word to go. I just hope He finds me worthy to be taken with Him no matter when it is. I am learning what preeminence means and I sort of have been doing that for a while, but i am sure not to His liking. He is correcting me and He is all I cling to in everything. I live with my husband and sons and I am avoided and at times made fun of because of my faith. I have been told to stop reading the Bible and they can’t stand it when the Lord is in all my conversation. I look to brothers and sisters in the Lord for fellowship and love because I am not very welcome in my own home.
    I come to blogs like this to learn and spend time with the brethren. Thank you again for your time and attention.
    God bless you both. Be back soon.
    your sister in Christ Jesus

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  12. Please forgive me I mean no disrespect. I enjoy your blog and learn a lot from it. I am sorry you have had to endure those who are not loving and I will pray for them. You are right, Paul did not mention what the delusion is. But when he says signs and wonders and you see TBN and other so called christian stations and other false teachers, you kind of get an idea what that may be. Thanks Mike, I am truly sorry if I upset you. Not my intention. Thank you for taking the time to explain what you were talking about to a simple person like me.

    your sister in Christ Jesus,
    Cherie c.

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  13. Amillennialism. Uh, Mike, this is a new term for me. =D there is pre, mid and post. What is Amillennialism?

    Cherie c.

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  14. One of the many problems of American Churchianity is that we can’t stray too far from the traditions being taught in our particular jesus franchise lest we be cast out from the fellowship. The rub comes when we must select between what the pastor teaches and what the Holy Spirit is clearly showing us through the Word in context. Jesus said the true road would be straight and narrow with few who be that find it/Him. The broad road on the other hand would be used by many unto destruction. again, we are left with Him or them! Most choose the flesh comfort of them over the destruction of our best life now following Him! Eventually all His will be reduced to Him alone and the cost in the flesh is great.
    By the way, the road narrows as we walk it…

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  15. Cherie I too am amill though I got there long before I knew what it was! LOL Mike put a name and a teaching to what the Holy Spirit had already taught me. And yes, we do get chewed upon…just exactly as Jesus said we would! LOL

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  16. Cherie, As you study the Amill position, hold fast to scripture and what it really says, and ask questions. I believe you too will see that this view best fits with what scripture teaches, and will bring great peace to all this end time stuff with you also seeing that He does have your back! The flesh will suffer, but what can they do to the spirit which belongs to Him?!?! By the way, the Comforter is the only way we can make it through. We will never on our own be able to resist being deceived. Yet the Holy Spirit will keep us through everything this world will throw at us. The 3 Jews were delivered by the Spirit THROUGH the fiery furnace…and so were every martyr burned at the stake!!! All were delivered! All of His will be delivered!

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  17. Incidentally, should you want to continue this discussion outside of this string, Mike’s email is at the bottom of this blog under “Contact Me” on the right. Also, my email address is he.must_increase@roadrunner.com and we would be happy to answer questions comments or concerns.
    It was great corresponding with you both this evening, and my wife enjoyed it too as I read it all to her!

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  18. 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be SAVED.
    Those who perish are those that did NOT receive the love of the truth because they loved wickedness. Those who are NOT born again.

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  19. Mike, I’m not sure if this fits here or not, don’t approve the comment if you don’t think it does or you think it might do more harm than good. I don’t want to do harm, but I wanted you to see this monograph if you had some spare time (for your own information at least, it might be helpful). I think it might be part of what you are talking about. I’m gonna put the link to the article I found that I posted on my own blog because of some of the articles I included in the comments section so you can read those too if you like.

    http://dawnmarie4.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/strategic-implications-of-american-millennialism/

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  20. Thanks for the post today Mike. I always read your posts btw but try to keep my comments to a minimum unless I think maybe there might be something helpful to add.

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  21. To all, while the discussion seems to be centered on eschatology and some comments have been spammed by me attacking this post because I am a Calvinist and an Amillinialist, I am convinced that the Great Delusion Paul is talking about in this passage is that our Faith, our Salvation, our Redemption through Christ, et cetera is all about us instead of it being all about God and His glory. Which comes first the chicken or the egg🙂 ? The theology we hold to here and teach to all who will listen is based upon this understanding. It flows from the knowledge of God, which is our Theology, that comes from God Himself, that which he has reveled about Himself to us through the study of His Word as the Holy Spirit Transforms us through the renewal of our minds as we submit ourselves to God as living sacrifices. Therefore, any teaching that makes our faith all about us and attempts to remove God’s Sovereignty or the Lordship of Jesus Christ is not of God, but is, instead, a damnable heresy.

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  22. Mike, I agree with your statement that the prevalent teaching today seems to be that of a gospel that is all about ME and what I can/should do FOR the Lord.
    I’m still confused as to whether you believe that 2 Thess 2:8-10 is speaking of those who believe in the Pre Trib Rapture of the Church, are the ones who are receiving delusion?
    Do you believe that those who believe in the Rapture are not saved?

    Thanks,
    Shannon

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  23. No Shannon, that’s not what I said. What I am saying is that those who look at their salvation as being all about themselves and reject what Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 2:1-10 clearly teach are not believers, but are instead false brethren like I was for so many years. It has nothing to do with what your eschatology is, but those who refuse to accept the truth of the Gospel are those whose theology also reflects me-ism in all aspects. There are plenty of good Christian people who are my brothers and sisters in Christ who are pre-trib people and are not Amil like me. So no, I am not saying that.

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  24. Hey Mike, thanks for clarifying. I agree with you (even if I might word it differently). The great delusion is happening before our very eyes and encompasses many things; hence, being “great”. We have the embrace of mysticism and contemplative prayer: ecumenism so broad it is including Roman Catholicism, Islam, and even Hinduism; The Nicolatian error prevalent in nearly all church government structures; and the rejection of scripture as our Authority. The evangelical church is ignorant of church history and the Protestant Reformation is the distant past. In order to attend any church today one has to violate Galatians 1:10 and be a “man pleaser” and keep your mouth shut about all of the error and hypocrisy surrounding us; even in “good” churches.

    I think it is hard to pin point because it begins with man, or most likely a man (pastor), becoming the lord CEO of a congregation, who then creates a ceiling of information so “he” can protect the flock from becoming the “Body of Christ”.

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  25. Hi Mike. I could add a lot here but just this for now:
    I believe the lie and subsequent delusion by God is simply those who take pleasure in wickedness believing that the man of sin and lawlessness in the passage is God. This will only happen after the man of sin is revealed….not before…as in presently.

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  26. Michael, thanks for your comment. Many antichrists will come and go, but the series of antichrists faced by the church from the beginning will at some point give way to an Antichrist–the final heretic, arch-blasphemer; and persecutor of God’s people. According to Paul (2 Thessalonians) and John (Revelation 20), the spirit of lawlessness and Satan are already at work, but are presently restrained through the preaching of the gospel. Both Paul and John expect that restraint to be lifted immediately before Christ returns. Therefore, various beasts (governments) and their leaders and henchmen will come and go until one final manifestation of satanic rage and deception breaks out immediately before the Lord returns. I am no date setter even though it is obvious that there have been and are right now many many antichrists. I am not a dispensationalist in any form, but am an amillennialist along the lines of Dr. Kim Riddlebarger and Dr. G.K. Beele, therefore, I look at the return of Christ as imminent. This return will be to both join with the Body of Christ that still remains on this planet with that that has already been joined with him through death. He will at that time also judge the nations, et cetera. We do not have fancy charts with lots of lines going up and down with periods of time separating things as those hyper-dispensationalists do.

    In any case, are we not in a period in which the very preaching of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and standing on the promises of God and living accordingly is looked upon in our society as if it is the greatest evil? Also, there are tons of professing Christians out there who hold to a fake gospel and another Jesus because their leaders do not preach the real Gospel to the them. That is why I felt compelled to write this and allow this discussion. I am not trying to push everyone to accept the amil position though my experience has been that those who do hold to it have a far deeper and richer understanding of the Gospel, the Nature of God, His holiness, His righteousness, and man’s utter sinfulness and complete need for a saviour that can only be Jesus Christ. This salvation is found in Christ alone and never in something man has within nor in something done by man. It is all of God. When I mediate on these things I find what passes for Christianity in our time, at least in the USA, is, for the most part, just man’s work’s righteousness being seen as the marker of Christian authentication in a religious system that is man-centered rather than God-centered. Yes, there is the genuine Church within the visible church and those within this genuine Church see what is going on all around and look for Jesus to return at any time.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  27. Wow. I go on a short trip out of town and look what happens. Calvinistic amillennial teaching right here on my screen! Feels just like home🙂 Many thanks Mike and Mickey. May the Lord bless all His children with humility and hunger for His righteousness.

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  28. Thank you for clarifying Mike.
    Many times we may not have understanding of chapters/verses in context and may be deceived for a time, but the True Shepherd, Jesus Christ will lead His sheep. They will not follow the voice/teachings of the stranger, false shepherd. He is Faithful to lead and care for His own sheep. John 10.

    According to Ephesians 1:1, aren’t the “saints” in Ephesus those who are the “faithful” in Christ Jesus? His Spirit within the saint makes them “faithful”.
    So, the confusion within the church seems to be the context of verse 4. Many people assume verse 4 to tell us that we believers, in our flesh, are to BE “holy and blameless’ before Him. This teaching is what is provoking professing believers into a “works” system, instead of salvation by grace, Ephesians 2:8,9
    Actually, those of us who are born again of His Spirit, ARE “holy and blameless” before the Father. When we are born anew, the Father sees the imputed Righteousness of His Son, Jesus the Christ in us. It is His Righteousness in the believer that makes us “holy and blameless” before the Father.

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  29. Is it your understanding that the letter of 2 Thessalonians is a response written to the believing Church at Thessalonica who had expressed concern that they had missed the “Rapture” that Paul spoke of in his first letter to them, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18?

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  30. Iron sharpening iron is a good thing Manfred!🙂
    That is unless one finds himself sliding across the cutting edge of the gospel, in which case he soon will find it a bleeding edge!

    Michael from Among the Forgotten is no slouch either. I appreciate his love for the Lord and His Truth also. He has a sound mind and a passion for that true Ekklesia scattered among the religious traditions of men.

    Mike Ratliff spoke of this above, along with the beast government systems that Satan longs to control and appears to be straining at his chains to do even now. Soon he will be loosed for a little while. So the woman riding the beast can only be describing the One World church and that appears to be the church of Rome. Thus the daughters appear to be the many daughters who came out of her and established their own church systems via the freedom of the Reformation. Now I am not saying that the Reformation was a bad thing. Not at all. What is the bad outcome though is the 55,000 divisions of Jesus called denominations (Where the saints are scattered and also warned to come out of lest they too be caught in her destruction.), as they continue to fall away from the gospel once given and run headlong back to Rome. By the way, they are which is the basis for the formation of the Jesuits (To bring all the daughter churches back under the mother church who sits as queen and claims not to be widowed.) in where the current Pontus Maximus and Vicar of another jesus is a member. This paragraph shall release weeping and gnashing of some teeth!

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  31. Shannon, Paul was addressing the fact that they thought they were being persecuted by THE ANTICHRIST. He was telling them that the one doing the persecuting was not the final antichrist.

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  32. Thanks for adding your thoughts to my comment Mike. With the exception of the preaching of the gospel being the restrainer I agree with your position. That seems possible, but I personally don’t have the confidence to teach that from what I read in the Scriptures.
    I find that most if not all of God’s truths are far easier explained and defended without all the “isms,” “ists” and “ills.” It is true that men would be lost without them, but then again, who needs men’s say anyhow? Personally, I look forward to the day when God our Father will entirely erase every thought of these man-made earthly descriptions that have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus or living a crucified life. All they do is divide along lines men have constructed and place burdens upon the people of God He never instituted.
    I don’t even remember the last time I had a serious doctrinal conflict with another professing believer. It is rare, not because of who I am as an individual in myself or through my personality or spiritual gift, but because God honors those who uphold His Word without addition.

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  33. Yes, Mike, this was my understanding as well. They thought they were being persecuted by THE Anti-Christ of whom is spoken of as being at work in the world during the Day of the Lord, which is a time of great judgment and tribulation being poured out by God on those dwelling on earth who have rejected the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. These (spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12) are suffering now under judgment for this rejection. False teachers had come into the church at Thessalonica saying they were already in the Day of the Lord, that they had missed being “caught up” into the clouds with their saved, born again loved ones.
    The Day of the Lord is a time of judgment.
    The Day of Christ is the Millenial reign of Jesus Christ.
    Verse 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
    Who is “‘he’ who now restrains”? The Holy Spirit of God. All those who have His Spirit will be removed from the earth and then THE Anti-Christ will be used by God in judgment on all those refusing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
    Verse 11, For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false.
    The restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit will have been removed.
    Verse 1 speaks of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our “gathering” together. This is the Rapture of the Church, the Bride of Christ, those born again of His Spirit.

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  34. Michael, we, that is…the Church, is commanded to preached the Gospel and make Disciples. I find that Christians seem to be doing a quite a bit more other than that. However, the proper handling of the Gospel is used by God to save people. That is the means he has chosen to do that. That is what I meant by that and I stand behind those words and, also, that is the Orthodox position of the Church and has been since the 1st Century.

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