This past summer, I witnessed a number of believers, in print and speech, expressing how the Lord’s return is any moment because the Antichrist will “rise soon” but only after the rapture. The tumultuous events in the world is a sign to them that the rapture is imminent (e.g. Chuck Smith). They have used the belief in imminence to write off critical prophetic passages that were intended for the church.
One important passage is Jesus’ warning in the context of the Antichrist and false prophets: “See, I have told you beforehand” (Matt 24:25). Jesus does not just say, “See I have told you,” but he adds “beforehand.” This is an ominous warning that the temptation to capitulate to persecution and deception will be real. And yet we are told to believe by pretribulationists that this warning is for “Jewish believers during the tribulation period.” This is patently false as we have demonstrated many times. The disciples were representatives of the church and Jesus nowhere conveys his Olivet Discourse should be applied to anyone but his elect (i.e. church).
The Father of lies seeks to deceive the church on this issue. He wants God’s people spiritually unprepared. And what better way than to have the church believe they will be “raptured out of here before the Antichrist’s great tribulation”? Thankfully, the entire church is not deceived. There are remnant, sober, thinking believers who read our Lord’s teachings as applied rightly to the church.
Much of the church today is either deceived or apathetic being infected by panmillennialism. Difficult times are coming. If the Lord calls this generation of the church to encounter the Antichrist, we are in trouble, especially American believers who enjoy their false security in the warm sand of imminence.
“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”” (Luke 18:8)