The Great Falling Away

by Mike Ratliff

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. 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 2:1-12 (NASB) 

Part of my daily devotions is the reading from a book that takes a Greek word and shows how it is used in the Bible and then how it is understood and/or misunderstood in the visible Church. I am in a section of the book right now that focuses on the Greek words that describe worship. It just breaks my heart how the focus in our churches has become so self-focused instead of God focused. How is that worship if it is all about us? In some of the cases used as examples in the devotions over the last several days the writer of the book describes how churches have moved away from singing Hymns by replacing them with spiritual songs. What’s the difference? Hymns are all about God that we sing to Him. They describe his glory, holiness, mercy, and grace and draw us to worship him. Spiritual songs are songs that we sing to each other instead of singing to God. They are always based in modern music of some sort and more often than not, bring glory to the musicians rather than to God. This will probably be an unpopular statement, but I’m going to make it here. I believe that this is either part of or something that leads to the great falling away or apostasy that Paul was describing in 2 Thessalonians 2:2. If you disagree with me that’s fine, but if all you have is ad hominem or straw man arguments I will not post them.

The genuine Church within the visible Church really strengthened during the Covid-10 lockdowns and the tyranny that went with it. I was genuinely hoping and praying for a revival empowered by the Holy Spirit as we drew together as a result of these things. Let us pray for this. Please watch this video as it shows how desperate the times are we are in right now and how we are on the cusp of what Paul was talking about in those verses above.

Soli Deo Gloria!

8 thoughts on “The Great Falling Away

  1. I agree wholeheartedly, Mike. I believe the Church has by and large lost the basic understanding of the reverence of God. Most churches do not revere God, do not approach as the All Holy and Righteous God that He is. I was just reading Leviticus 10:3 where God has said, “By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy,
    And before all the people I will be honored.”

    In the passage you placed at the top of this article, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, it says that the rapture will not happen until the great apostasy or falling away, and the antichrist is revealed when he causes the abomination that causes desolation in the Temple. Doesn’t that then point to a mid-trib rapture rather than a pre-trib rapture, or am I reading that incorrectly? (which I hope I am).

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  2. I don’t believe in a “mid-trib rapture.” I have a good friend who helped me a great deal when I first started blogging back in 2006. His name is Dr. Alan Kurschner. Of course he wasn’t Dr. Kurschner back then. Since then he has studied and become very well educated. His Greek skills are as good as Dr. James White’s. His position on the Rapture is Pre-Wrath. He sent me his first book to read back in 2013. It is called “ANTICHRIST Before the Day of the Lord”. It is a very scholarly presentation of the Pre-Wrath Rapture position. Here is a link to a 2 hour video on that->https://youtu.be/xwXoMNpOhos

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  3. I recently read an author that likened the church to a bread bakery! Some churches had cold ovens empty shelves, and crumbs on the floor. Those congregations would attend scheduled services, get a small dose of scripture, a sermon that had the weight and content of a book report and then be told they had been fed a ‘full’ meal from the crumbs on the floor. Others were like a bakery with hot ovens, full shelves, and every one coming in was served a whole loaf.

    If a church is losing membership, look to the amount and nutrition of the Spiritual food they are served. If someone is hungry, they go where ever thy can find food! If they can’t get fed in church, they go to other places! Another church, a bar, a social club, anywhere at all!

    Am I overstating the situation? I don’t think so. Look around at the churches in your area. If they are shrinking, determine the message being delivered. If they are growing, what’s the message? I think you will find the difference is surprising, or perhaps not. God will grow a church where HIS message is being declared, in fullness and truth!

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  4. In Matthew 24 when our Lord is talking to the disciples about His return he gives the signs and He warns them to be on watch.

    40 Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.
    41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.
    42 Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

    I get the pre, mid, or post tribulation arguments but whenever it is I worry more about watching for it than when it is. It doesn’t say the ones being left aren’t believers but it does emphasize watching. I hate being cynical but for pastors to teach this they would have to talk about the punishment to come. I’m guessing well over 90% of today’s prosperity pimps and what passes for pastors today won’t talk about it because they might lose members.

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  5. Mike, our Lord’s teaching in Matthew 24 is very clear. What he is describing is what will happen just before and during His return. There is enough information given so that we will recognize the season when these things are starting up such as the Man of Sin being revealed and committing the abomination of desolation and then beginning to persecute the Jews and the Christians. This is not the wrath of God but is what is called the Great Tribulation or Jacobs Trouble. It starts at the mid-point of Daniel’s 70th Week. How long does it last? We don’t know, but our Lord says that unless He returns and cuts that time short no one will survive. So, the next thing on the schedule after the AntiChrist starts persecution of believers is our Lord’s return and those verses you posted our Lord used to describe it. Those taken are His. Those not take are not His. How often have we heard this preached? I have NEVER heard this preached. However, you are correct in describing why it is not.

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  6. There is a teaching of the end times done by R C Sproul on Youtube you can find under “The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul”. I just went through all 12 lessons and have gained a much better understanding of the Last Days.

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