On the list of end-time events, nothing has to happen before Jesus snatches His people from the face of the earth. That means the rapture could happen many years from now, or any second now. The Bible calls it our “blessed hope.” Titus 2:13 says, “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” [NKJV]
Notice that we are not looking for the appearing of Antichrist, but of Jesus Christ. A lot of Christians now believe that Antichrist must appear before the rapture. They base this on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3.
“Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 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.” [NASB]
People often confuse “the day of the Lord” and “the rapture.” A study of the day of the Lord in both the New and Old Testaments shows that it is not a single day, but an epoch. It begins at the beginning of the seven years of tribulation (also known as “Daniel’s Seventieth Week”). It ends at the end of the millennium. But the rapture happens before the day of the Lord.
Paul taught the Thessalonian Christians about a pretribulation rapture and about the day of the Lord. Sometime after he left, a group began teaching that the day of the Lord had begun. To the Thessalonians, this meant they had missed the rapture — a notion that shook them to the core.
Paul tells them to remember what he taught them about the day of the Lord. Daniel 9:27 says that the tribulation (“Daniel’s Seventieth Week”) begins when “the prince who is to come” (Antichrist) makes a treaty with Israel. Before Antichrist can make such a significant treaty, he will obviously have to arrive on the world scene. So, before the tribulation can begin, Antichrist must have risen to a high level of power and prominence, probably as leader of the European Union or its successor.
He cannot rise to such a position now because Satan’s work on earth is being restrained. Paul went on to write, “Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.” [2 Thessalonians 2:5-8, NASB]
The restrainer is the Holy Spirit working through the Church. At the rapture, that restraint on Satan will be taken out of the way. The teaching here is clear. The day of the Lord cannot begin until the rise of Antichrist, and Antichrist cannot rise until the Church has been taken out of the way. Therefore, the rapture must take place before the tribulation.
People who believe that the Antichrist must appear before the rapture face a conundrum. Instead of looking for the appearing of Christ, they must look for the appearing of Antichrist. But as we just read in Titus 2:13, we are to be “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
In other words, we are looking for life, not death; love, not hate; and so, we look forward with joy rather than despair.
Have you received Salvation from Jesus the Messiah? Time is running out. Jesus will return very soon. The signs of His return are everywhere in this crazy world we are living in. Please read below so that you can be saved. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. The Words below are directly from the Bible, so you can trust them.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all )is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
For those of us who persevere and do what Jesus says to do, we have this to look forward to in eternity: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The Bible – New King James Version, NKJV