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Summary: The Bible tells us that in the latter days there will be a collapse of morality ethics, & faith, called the falling away.

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Has the falling away happened yet? Nov. 10th 2013

Introduction

A Watching the world go to hell in a hat basket is depressing. (family, government, economy, social structure are collapsing.)

1 The Bible tells us that in the latter days there will also be a collapse of morality ethics, & faith.

a Are we too far gone to ever recover?

b Will there be a spiritual awakening, revival?

aa Only God really knows the answer to these questions.

bb However, there are “signs” that precede the latter days that are undeniable.

2 Israel is back in their homeland in an international conflict that matches spiritual prophecy to the letter.

a In nearly every corner of the world dark occult & demonic schemes are growing in prominence.

aa Evil genetic experimentation is now a reality.

bb Morality is being gutted by shameless behavior.

b Christian sees - prophecy that brings us great concern - Prior to the tribulation the Bibles tells us there will be a “falling away” of Christians from their faith.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (NASB) 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,

aa How will we know when this “falling away” happens?

bb How much worse will it have to be before Paul’s prophecy is fulfilled?

B Two weeks ago I preached on Paul’s 1 Thess letter concerning the rapture, resurrection of saints, living Christians will be “caught up” together with the dead in Christ.

1 A few months after Paul wrote 1 Thess, Paul sent them a second letter. (An update, clarification of his former letter.)

a In the time that the Thessalonicans got Paul first letter, false teachers teaching false doctrine had.

aa These false teachers had entered congregations & preached that the ongoing Roman persecution of Jews/Christians, developing revolutionary undercurrent was the Tribulation.

bb The false teachers said, “We are already in the latter days, Tribulation & the Rapture still hasn’t happened.”

b Paul corrects the false teaching the 2 Thess to assure them the Rapture will occur before the day of the Lord. (Which begins with 7 years of Catastrophe)

2 Like Paul & the early church, we find ourselves in an increasingly tumultuous world.

a we see a marked increase in Anti-Christian reality. (Post Christian)

b Israel has set the stage for a procession of prophetic fulfillment.

c Christian turn to Scripture for words of hope in a world that is spinning dangerously out of control.

3 Today, many Bible expositors are suggesting the Christians are on earth while the Day of the Lord begins.

a In other words, the same errorist teaching that went on in the early church is alive & well to this day.

b Those of us who live moment by moment that our “blessed hope,” Jesus promises to personally escort us home as we experience rapture and resurrection.

aa The rapture can happen at any moment. (Doctrine of immanency)

bb The apostle Paul believed in Christians imminent return, taught it to the early church... Christ can come back at any moment.

c 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NASB) 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

aa Paul was adamant that the church would be gone when the day of the Lord happened, which begins with rapture, and wouldn’t experience the Tribulation.

bb 1 Thessalonians 5:9 (NASB) 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

I The falling away precedes the Rapture.

1 The first century church believed they were in the Tribulation.

a At the time of 1 & 2 Thess the Roman Emperor was Claudius (Reign was riddled with debauchery, political deceit, & eventually his assassination would bring Nero Ceasar to power)

aa Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome in response to their continuous disturbances - Jews/Christians were shocked/repulsed by the Emperors household.

bb Claudius had appointed Herod Agrippa II as King of Chalcidica (Married his own sister, Bernice)

cc Controlled the finances/politics at the Temple in Jerusalem: Priests had been corrupted with their unholy alliances with both the Roman & Herodian gov

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