Most Churchgoers worry only about the Antichrist’s coming persecutions, but Jesus and Paul were primarily concerned about the Antichrist and deception.
When we think about the Great Tribulation, we generally think about the beheading of those who refuse to worship the Antichrist and the extreme distress of those days. However, Jesus and Paul spent more time discussing Antichrist and deception than they did his persecutions.
Why is this important? View the following video to find out AND to learn an announcement of an exciting new project.
Who is at Risk of Being Deceived?
In the ongoing debate about Rapture timing, it is common to hear “it will all pan out in the end whatever you believe.” Certainly if the Rapture occurs before the 70th Week of Daniel, this is true. Believers will be ushered into the presence of Jesus whatever Rapture timing theory they held to.
But what if the Pretribulation Rapture Theory is wrong and churchgoers face the Antichrist? This is a very real possibility and something we could potentially encounter as soon as within the next decade. So this is a very important subject to examine.
If this turns out to be the case, then certainly all who have saving faith will overcome the Great Tribulation as well. But what about those who only think they are Christians but are actually unsaved? What will happen to them? In today’s “hyper-grace” environment, churches seem to assume that nearly everyone who has said a sinner’s prayer in their pews is saved. But is that what Jesus taught?
As we mention in the video, Jesus seems to indicate that a vast portion of those in our pews are actually unsaved. In the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13), half of those who are anxiously awaiting the bridegroom and who think they are entering the wedding feast won’t. Jesus calls these churchgoers “foolish virgins.”
Let me state that again, because it is very, very important. Jesus indicates by metaphor that 50% of those thinking they will be raptured into heaven won’t be. This should be a primary, if not THE primary, focus of our churches. If every other person sitting in our pews is unsaved, it is the greatest mission field in the world. There are approximately 2 billion self-processed “Christians” world-wide. This means 1 billion are actually unsaved and are at risk of not entering the wedding feast.
And Jesus tells us why they won’t enter the wedding feast:
The bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast (Matt. 25:10)
So those who weren’t ready for the return of our bridegroom are those who won’t enter the feast and will be left to suffer judgment.
Antichrist and Deception
For arguments sake, let’s consider that the Church will face the Antichrist. If this will be true, the meaning of “ready” in Jesus’s parable is that they weren’t ready for the Antichrist. Let’s see how this meaning plays out in the parable.
Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps (Matt. 25:5-7)
Notice that all the virgins (those anxiously awaiting the bridegroom) fell asleep. But then a shout goes out that awakens them, and that that point they all light their lamps. This indicates that the return of Jesus will surprise everyone (everyone is asleep), however, an event (a shout) will awaken all churchgoers prior to His return and after that they will take action (light their lamps). However, only those who were prepared were able to keep their lights lit.
This implies that some time elapses from the “shout” until Jesus actually returns. The shout is a warning or sign that Jesus will be coming. All the virgins know they should light their lamps at that point, but only those empowered by the Holy Spirit can keep them lit because it will be an extremely challenging time.
This parable is part of the Olivet Discourse, it is an application of what Jesus taught previously. So what is this about? It’s an explanation of the Great Falling Away depicted in Matt. 24:10-13 that takes place during the Great Tribulation. These former churchgoers will fall away primarily because of deception. Jesus taught:
For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Matt. 24:24)
Everyone except the elect will be misled and fall away. In the parable Jesus teaches that 50% of those who are looking forward to his return will be among this group that falls away.
Paul’s Teaching on Deception
Paul discussed these same exact points in 2 Thess. 2. You’ll be surprised how closely this chapter of Paul’s epistle matches Jesus’s teaching on the Great Falling Away. First Paul mentions the Great Falling Away also called The Apostasy. Notice it is “the” Apostasy, the most significant of all time, not a minor apostasy such as we are experiencing in our churches right now.
With regard to the [a]coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him (the Rapture) . . . 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, 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. (2 Thess. 2: 1,3-4)
Paul explains the Parable of the Ten Virgins quite clearly. The “shout” or “sign” that the Rapture is coming is the revealing of Antichrist at the midpoint of the 70th Week when he takes his seat in the Temple of God. An unmistakable sign for those who are ready or prepared to see it.
Second, this is followed by many unsaved churchgoers (who think they’re saved) falling away in the apostasy. This is the same event as the virgins having their “lamps” go out.
Paul then even further explains these two related events in more detail:
The one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 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. (2 Thess. 2:9-10)
Notice, just as Jesus mentioned in the Olivet Discourse, the Antichrist will deceive everyone who doesn’t love the truth with false signs and wonders! Paul is basically following the Olivet Discourse in this teaching.
Pretribulationalism and Deception
If Pretribulationalism is mistaken, it is an error and not the truth that we are to love and believe. And it is a most peculiar deception – one that teaches Churchgoers that they will not face the Antichrist.
So if those attending our churches DO see the Antichrist sitting in the Temple of God acting as if he is God (the Abomination of Desolation), what will they say? Perhaps some of them will say:
“This can’t be the Antichrist because we have been taught that we are to be Raptured first!”
Imagine the danger of not knowing it is the Antichrist. So unsaved churchgoers (50% of the church according to Jesus) who also believe the Pretribulation Rapture Theory are set up to fall away and be deceived by the false signs of the Antichrist because they won’t recognize him.
This is the danger of the Pretrib. Rapture position.
But what if our churches taught the truth that Paul presents, that the Rapture will not take place until churchgoers see the Abomination of Desolation? Might the Holy Spirit move in those moments of truth and save many? Many who right now are “playing” at being Christians looking only for blessings?
Might the truth that Jesus might call most of us to martyrdom in the Great Tribulation be the deciding moment in the lives of many? In the Middle East where persecution is an everyday reality, churches don’t baptize anyone unless they are willing to die for Jesus.
So if you have lived your life thinking there are no negative consequences to your church espousing a Pretrib. doctrine; think again.
And what you need to think again about is whether the Pretrib. Rapture theory is correct. I think you can know ‘yes or no’ with almost complete biblical certainty.
That is why The Gospel in the End Times has completed a brand new revolutionary DVD teaching Dawn of a New Day: The Timing of Christ’s Return and Why it Matters.
This DVD consists of 8 primary videos and 8 bonus videos, all of which will be available absolutely free on this website!
Our ministry can’t wait to share this video teaching with you. Continue to watch this site for more updates on when it will be released!