Is the Day if the Lord at Hand or Not?
Two thousand years ago the Apostle Paul claimed the day of the Lord was at hand at that time. Paul wrote, “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2). So, did Paul get it wrong? Of course not. We have been living in the last days from the ascension of Christ to now. We are to watch and be ready for Christ return. He can rapture His church at any moment and that is what Paul was saying, the day is at hand.
2 Peter 3:3 tells us that the “Scoffers” will sound of in the last days. Scoffers today say things like, “See, someone in the early church shook up believers with the message that Christ was about to come. And Paul told them, ‘No, don’t worry about it. Don’t let it trouble or concern you.’”
But that is not what the text is saying. The root word is “[be not shaken] …that the day of the Lord has come.” What had shaken and disturbed the Thessalonians was they thought Christ had already come, and that they’d missed it. Paul reassures them in the next verse, “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2:3). Paul was only addressing their fears when he said, “Don’t be worried, because two things have to happen first.”
So, what was Paul’s primary message about Christ’s return? We see the answer to that question in two different passages. The first is: “Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now, is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand” (Romans 13:11-12). The second passage is “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5). Paul is crying out, “Wake up! It’s past midnight already. The Lord’s coming is drawing near, so stir yourself. Don’t be slothful. Jesus is coming for those who expect him.”
Skeptics will probably ask, “But what about Paul’s own words? He said two things had to happen before Christ returns. First, the Lord can’t come until a great apostasy takes place. And second, the Antichrist must rise and proclaim himself God. We have to see the Antichrist sitting in the temple, demanding that people worship him, before Jesus will come.”
First, you must be spiritually and willfully blind not to see a full-blown apostasy gripping the whole world. Unbelief is sweeping through nations, with believers falling away from faith and truth on all sides. The apostasy Paul refers to has clearly arrived. The “falling away” or Apostasy is from the TRUTH not from church. I personally believe that we live in the day where the churches are filled with religious but lost people.
I’m sure there are those who will say, “Paul clearly says Jesus can’t come until the Antichrist is in power.” Consider what Scripture says: “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22). According to John, the Antichrist is anyone who denies the Father and the Son. Then John tells us that the increase of such Antichrists is proof we are living in the very last days. In other words, nothing is holding back Christ’s return! The Text could also say the order is” a great falling away, then the rapture, then the son of perdition revealed. So, wake up, it’s later than you think! God Bless!!