Wednesday, November 7, 2012
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 ... that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
EVENTS BEFORE CHRIST'S RETURN
There can be little doubt that the "falling away" Paul speaks of has already taken place. Throughout the centuries the church has been splintered -- divided by false teachers and false teachings. The magazine "Christianity Today" claims that there are over 41,000 different denominations that call themselves "Christian." While many of these churches still teach the Gospel message, many have watered down Christ's message, completely abandoned it, or they tolerate doctrines and practices which directly contradict Christ's clear teaching.
There can be little doubt that the "man of sin" has been revealed as well. The head of the Roman Catholic church, the pope, claims to be the God given "stand in" for Christ on earth. Official Catholic doctrine states that when the pope speaks on spiritual matters, he cannot make a mistake. It claims that the pope has final authority to interpret what the Word of God means. The pope claims he can forgive a person's sins on a whim and by his own authority. The pope who preceded the current one once declared that it was possible for people to make it to heaven without any faith in Christ at all, if only they led a good enough life. Just after the time of Luther the papacy announced, in an official document that still stands today, that anyone who thinks they're going to heaven through simple faith in what Jesus did for them -- is damned. What other "man of sin" who sits in the "temple of God" exalting himself to be above God fits the description God has given us?
The great falling away has happened and the "man of sin" has been revealed. The return of Christ can come now at any time.