from an email study series on "SIGNS" (no. 6)
If there is one message for which I could easily develop an obsession, it would be the second coming of the Lord Jesus, commonly called "the Rapture".
The heart and core of this series of studies is that very subject. This may shock you but there is the greatest of dangers - FOR THE CHURCH - in the message of the Rapture.
The common understanding among Christians pertaining to the subject is only what they have heard someone else say. They have never studied it for themselves with an open heart and mind being subjected to the Holy Spirit who would show them the truth. He is the great teacher of truth. If we listen to Him we will never stray from the truth of the Word. John 14:26
As recorded in the discourse of Jesus, pertaining to His second coming, in Matthew twenty four, the very first sign to which He referred was that of a deception perpetrated against His very own.
It is a very strong warning, that preceding His second coming, there will be a flood of deceptions and deceivers attacking the body of believers in Christ.
Mt. 24:4 For MANY will come IN HIS NAME, saying I AM CHRIST, and MANY will be deceived.
This is prior to His coming, and is a great and serious problem facing the church of today. We have already seen smatterings of this around the world; some have attracted larger following than others, but they are out there, and will increase in number as the day of His coming draws nigh. The knowledge of the rapture is far too casual, too light, and even sometimes too frivolous.
Because of that, when the man of sin comes, he will imitate the true Christ with signs and wonders, until many who are today serving the Lord will follow him - out of ignorance.
They will say; "he fits all the requirements".
Mark quoted Jesus, and gave us a bit broader perspective of the coming deceiver and his co-workers who are noted to be false prophets. Their main weapons will be false signs and false wonders. Mark 13:22
These demonstrations will be very powerful and convincing. Unless one is filled with the Spirit and the Word, the possibility of deception is there.
Their efforts are to seduce the people of the Lord into following them, and foolishly, there will be those who look at the manner of their appearing, and the demonstrations put on by these false ones, and be thoroughly fooled.
This is not a dollar store deception, but is a first class operation. Paul warned that Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 2 Cor. 11:14.
Good counterfeit money often is passed and received as authentic - because the receiver cannot tell the difference.
The position of an angel of light is pretty impressive.
Many will believe and receive the antichrist when he comes,
Editor's comment: Jesus said that many of us would, didn't he? (In Matthew 24:4, and Mark 13:22, quoted above)