2 THESSALONIANS 2:3 “let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first…”
What will Christianity look like as we get closer to the return of Christ? Does the Bible foresee any general trends? Do we see some of those trends already at work in Christianity? What is some of the emphasis in Evangelical Protestant groups? These are some of the topics we will be looking into as we study Christianity in the last days.
When we talk about the last days, we usually think about the period just prior to the return of Christ. The last days in the Bible is an era that started from the 1st advent of Christ and ends in the 2nd coming of Christ (Acts 2:17, Heb 1:2, 1Peter 1:20, 2Tim. 3:1).
2 Thessalonians 2:3 says, that there will be a falling away. The word for falling away is apostasia which means falling away, forsake, defection from the truth. As we get closer to the return of Christ we can anticipate a departure from the truth of the word of God.
What is the cause of this falling away?
In 2Timothy 4:3 we read “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires…they will heap up for themselves teachers;”
As we get closer and closer to the 2nd coming, more and more people will not put up with sound healthy teaching.
They gather for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires. The problem with these people is, they inwardly have desires that will be contrary to the truth of scriptures. Instead of allowing scriptures to point out the errors of those desires, their love for what is forbidden is greater than their love for God. Consequently they look for teachers who will approve of their desires. The fallen world will have no problem with these types of Christians and ministers.
The sad part is, these teachers will tell these Christians what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.
During the time of the prophet Jeremiah a similar situation took place. There were prophets who told people what they wanted to hear rather than what they needed to hear. This is what God said through the prophet Jeremiah in regard to these false prophets.
Jeremiah 23:16 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. … V.17 they say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, “it shall be well with you” and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say no disaster shall come upon you”. V.28 …”let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully”.
One the trends that we could anticipate is a moving away from following the Lord and his ways to our own ways and desires. There would be denominations and ministers who would approve of what these people want.