Premise 1: The Bible teaches that Jesus can return during any generation (e.g. Matt 24:36–25:30).
Premise 2: The Bible teaches that the Antichrist will arrive before Jesus’s return (e.g. 2 Thess 2:8).
Conclusion: Therefore, the church should have a real expectation to face the Antichrist’s arrival this generation.
Conversely, if we think that the Antichrist could not meaningfully arrive this generation, then we should not believe that Jesus could arrive this generation.
You cannot teach the arrival of one without the other.
Why did God design this biblical teaching as such? Because the prospects of both the Antichrist’s arrival and the Lord’s coming function for every generation of the church as a means of sanctification, which is why there are a host of warnings and exhortations for believers to think and behave in such a faithful and godly manner. This is why the Bible does not predict a specific date for the Lord’s return. The events and conditions associated with the Lord’s return will happen rapidly when they do happen, and this can all occur within a small window of time during any generation.
When pastors and other teachers preach and teach of the expectation of the Lord’s soon coming, they need to be biblically consistent and also teach about the sober expectation of the Antichrist’s arrival.
In Matthew’s Olivet Discourse when the disciples asked for a sign for the parousia and the end of the age, notice that Jesus did not immediately talk about his return. Rather, he delayed talking about it until all the way to verse 27! Everything up to verse 27 was about warning of the persecution and trials that they must face first.
Since Jesus teaches that we should expect the Antichrist to arrive before his return, pastors should follow their Lord’s line of reasoning, rather than dismiss it or be afraid to warn and prepare their flock.
Jesus will hold church leaders accountable for not just what they teach their flock, but what they choose not to teach them.
Difficult time are coming. . .