Since the war in Israel began, I have seen all kinds of stuff on social media about getting ready for the return of Christ because there is a war in Israel, pictures of Jesus on a white horse in the air with captions about his authority, etc. So, I thought we could ask the Apostle Paul for some insight. And this is what he wrote almost 2000 years ago to the church at Thessalonica.
1 Now concerning the [second] coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together [caught up in the air] to him, we ask you, brothers [and sisters], 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion [or apostasy] comes first, and the man of lawlessness [aka the Anti-Christ] is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. (2Th 2:1-4)
Paul, what two events are we looking for?
- We are looking for a great apostasy or rebellion against worshipping the one true and living God. But Paul, what about a war in Israel? Well, Paul might remind us of what Jesus said in the Olivet Discourse. Jesus said, “You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet” (Mat 24:6).
- Paul would then go on to tell us not to be deceived. The ‘man of lawlessness’ must come first. Again, Jesus’ words reinforce this perspective from Matthew 24:15, “So when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place…”
Notice, Hamas attacking Jews in Israel does not meet either of Paul’s criteria. Jesus taught his disciples, and Paul wrote the churches about the return of Christ and what we will see. In 1 Thessalonians 5:4, Paul states that we are not in the dark. The return of Christ will not surprise us. We have the revealed word of God. Read the book of Revelation. Look at all the seals in conjunction with the trumpets and bowl judgments. Read about the beast of Revelation 13, who is the man of lawlessness Paul wrote about. Let me give you a preview of what you will read about. (Start in Revelation 4 and keep reading till 19.) The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up (Rev 13:7). When you see a third of the earth’s trees burned up, you should post this verse on Facebook and tell everyone still alive to repent. Until then, be faithful, serve the Lord, share the gospel, make disciples, and pray for peace.