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Forklifter
Jan 29th 2009, 01:05 AM
Hello, what is the Amill view of this passage?

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

1- When is the falling away?
2- Who is the man of sin, son of perdition?
3- What is the temple?
4- Add any other important info!

Not wanting to debate but am curious about this passage as I find myself as an Amill and am not sure what to think of this one.

Thanks in advance
JP

RevLogos
Jan 29th 2009, 03:40 AM
Hello, what is the Amill view of this passage?

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

1- When is the falling away?
2- Who is the man of sin, son of perdition?
3- What is the temple?
4- Add any other important info!

Not wanting to debate but am curious about this passage as I find myself as an Amill and am not sure what to think of this one.

Thanks in advance
JP

I'll address 1 and 3 first with my thoughts as these are closely related.

In the new testament, what is the temple of God? In Matthew, Mark and John Jesus makes this statement:

Joh 2:18 So then the Jewish leaders responded, "What sign can you show us, since you are doing these things?" Jesus replied, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again." Then the Jewish leaders said to him, "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and are you going to raise it up in three days?" But Jesus was speaking about the temple of his body.

We see that the temple of God is Jesus himself. Brick and mortar are meaningless after His resurrection. Jesus also said He is greater than the temple:

Mat 12:6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.

Later, Paul elaborates. Jesus is the temple of God and by virtue of the Holy Spirit living within us, we are also the temple of God. Paul warns specifically against self-deception, exactly what he is doing in 2Th2.

1Co 3:16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
1Co 3:17 If someone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, which is what you are.
1Co 3:18 Guard against self-deception, each of you. If someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so that he can become wise.

2Co 6:16 And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, "I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."

And Jesus is the cornerstone of this temple:

Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer foreigners and non-citizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God's household, because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

So we need to keep this view in mind when we look at 2Th 2:3-4 as it is critical to what we can expect as the end-times near.

2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.
2Th 2:4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God's temple, displaying himself as God.

The rebellion, or the falling-away, or the apostasy, means that something else, a false Jesus, tries to take a seat in this temple meaning to replace Christianity with a false belief system. It means Christianity itself becomes its own enemy through false doctrines. The true Jesus is replaced by a false Jesus that leads many people who believe they are Christian to ruin. This is why Peter speaks so much about false teachings in the very apocalyptic 2 Peter. Read all of 2 Peter Chapter 2 its all about false teachings.

We see this in spades today. It is happening now. False teachings that seek to replace Christ, not destroy Christ with weapons of war and terror. To change Christ into something hes not, in the guise of Christianity. The prosperity Gospel; Name it and Claim it; Westboro; the Emergent church; the Jesus Seminar; Christian anti-Semitism which tears at the roots of the tree weve been grafted in to; opulent mega-churches whose leaders worship the dollar; new age spiritualism such as what Oprah espouses that see Christ as a guru, but worship materialism or humanism; and many false beliefs.

All of these want to change Jesus into another person leading people away from truth. All of these are trying to take their place in God's temple - the very body of Christ, and display themselves as God.

JesusMySavior
Jan 29th 2009, 03:54 AM
Amen to the post above. I am not Amill (I think) nor am I sure that it is a spiritual temple, but that was a good post above. Lots of good points.

My heart's Desire
Jan 29th 2009, 06:24 AM
The prosperity Gospel; Name it and Claim it; Westboro; the Emergent church; the Jesus Seminar; Christian anti-Semitism which tears at the roots of the tree we’ve been grafted in to; opulent mega-churches whose leaders worship the dollar; new age spiritualism such as what Oprah espouses that see Christ as a guru, but worship materialism or humanism; and many false beliefs.
Not to derail, but I agree so much. I was watching late at night a certain channel and thought I was seeing Financial info-mercials , (this being my main thought) I really did, but they were ministries instead. Pluleeessssss. How to get some money coming. Hows that for a sermon? I kid you not! And I thought I'd seen it all! Very blatant. These are not the names we are used to seeing in this realm of thing either. I wasn't familiar with them.
Almost makes you want to see the return of the hellfire and brimstone preaching!

John146
Jan 29th 2009, 03:00 PM
I'll address 1 and 3 first with my thoughts as these are closely related.

In the new testament, what is the temple of God? In Matthew, Mark and John Jesus makes this statement:

Joh 2:18 So then the Jewish leaders responded, "What sign can you show us, since you are doing these things?" Jesus replied, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again." Then the Jewish leaders said to him, "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and are you going to raise it up in three days?" But Jesus was speaking about the temple of his body.

We see that the temple of God is Jesus himself. Brick and mortar are meaningless after His resurrection. Jesus also said He is greater than the temple:

Mat 12:6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.

Later, Paul elaborates. Jesus is the temple of God and by virtue of the Holy Spirit living within us, we are also the temple of God. Paul warns specifically against self-deception, exactly what he is doing in 2Th2.

1Co 3:16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
1Co 3:17 If someone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, which is what you are.
1Co 3:18 Guard against self-deception, each of you. If someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so that he can become wise.

2Co 6:16 And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, "I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."

And Jesus is the cornerstone of this temple:

Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer foreigners and non-citizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God's household, because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

So we need to keep this view in mind when we look at 2Th 2:3-4 as it is critical to what we can expect as the end-times near.

2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.
2Th 2:4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God's temple, displaying himself as God.

The rebellion, or the falling-away, or the apostasy, means that something else, a false Jesus, tries to take a seat in this temple – meaning to replace Christianity with a false belief system. It means Christianity itself becomes its own enemy through false doctrines. The true Jesus is replaced by a false Jesus that leads many people – who believe they are Christian – to ruin. This is why Peter speaks so much about false teachings in the very apocalyptic 2 Peter. Read all of 2 Peter Chapter 2 – it’s all about false teachings.

We see this in spades today. It is happening now. False teachings that seek to replace Christ, not destroy Christ with weapons of war and terror. To change Christ into something he’s not, in the guise of Christianity. The prosperity Gospel; Name it and Claim it; Westboro; the Emergent church; the Jesus Seminar; Christian anti-Semitism which tears at the roots of the tree we’ve been grafted in to; opulent mega-churches whose leaders worship the dollar; new age spiritualism such as what Oprah espouses that see Christ as a guru, but worship materialism or humanism; and many false beliefs.

All of these want to change Jesus into another person leading people away from truth. All of these are trying to take their place in God's temple - the very body of Christ, and display themselves as God.Well said. The only thing I would add regarding the "man of sin" is that we should not assume it is referring to one person who most would call the Antichrist. It's easy to assume that because of the terms "man of sin" and "son of perdition", but let's look at the following passage, for example.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Is this passages speaking of one man of God or the people of God in general? Obviously, it's speaking of the people of God in general. So, we can't assume just because we see the term "man of sin" that it's referring to one particular man.

I agree completely with what you said regarding the temple of God. When Paul speaks of the temple of God elsewhere it's a reference to individual believers or the church as a whole. I don't see any reason to read 2 Thess 2:3 any differently. The man of sin represents all those people, like the ones you mentioned, who come into our churches and anywhere where people are searching for meaning or truth to deceive people. It's the same kind of people that Paul describes here:

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

I believe the man of sin represents "grievous wolves" that enter in among us as well as people who are already among us rising up to deceive whoever they can. I believe the falling away is directly related to the loosing of Satan when he goes to deceive the nations the way he did before Christ came when he had almost the entire world blinded in spiritual darkness. I believe it is the falling away that reveals the man of sin. It reveals these deceivers like those you mentioned that have entered in and risen up among us.

Joyfulparousia
Feb 1st 2009, 12:30 PM
We see that the temple of God is Jesus himself.



...something else, a false Jesus, tries to take a seat in this temple meaning to replace Christianity with a false belief system.

If Jesus is himself the temple, there is nothing that can dethrone Him is there? How can something replace Jesus? This doesn't make sense to me.



We see this in spades today. It is happening now. False teachings that seek to replace Christ, not destroy Christ with weapons of war and terror. To change Christ into something hes not, in the guise of Christianity. The prosperity Gospel; Name it and Claim it; Westboro; the Emergent church; the Jesus Seminar; Christian anti-Semitism which tears at the roots of the tree weve been grafted in to; opulent mega-churches whose leaders worship the dollar; new age spiritualism such as what Oprah espouses that see Christ as a guru, but worship materialism or humanism; and many false beliefs.

I agree with this

quiet dove
Feb 1st 2009, 07:47 PM
If Jesus is himself the temple, there is nothing that can dethrone Him is there? How can something replace Jesus? This doesn't make sense to me.


I agree, not only can Jesus, as the temple, not be at risk for a "abomination of desolation" happening in the Temple. But also, if the Church is the only entity referred to as a temple, then it cannot be at risk for "abomination of desolation" either, because the Church (true believers) is a part of Christ, indwelt by His Spirit, so the moment a person is not indwelt by the Spirit, that person is no longer the temple of God, so thus the true temple Christ or the Church cannot be both, the Temple/part of the temple - and - an entity that can be where the "abomination of desolation" happens.

MacGyver
Feb 2nd 2009, 01:34 AM
1- When is the falling away?
2- Who is the man of sin, son of perdition?
3- What is the temple?
4- Add any other important info!


1)Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth

2) is the Antichrist: a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

3) Possibly a temple rebuilt in Jerusalem or a church of apostasy.

My heart's Desire
Feb 2nd 2009, 07:25 AM
1)Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.Why in the world would Christ who rescues us from the wrath to come and who loved us so much that He died for us, would then want to put us through a trial to shake up our faith? In the Gospels He pleads with people to have faith in Him. Why? Just to shake it to the point of losing it? That, my friend, doesn't make a bit of sense to me. Yes, you will disagree, but Christ knows already what our faith is like. He doesn't NEED to shake it to find out what it is like.

MacGyver
Feb 2nd 2009, 12:04 PM
Why in the world would Christ who rescues us from the wrath to come and who loved us so much that He died for us, would then want to put us through a trial to shake up our faith? In the Gospels He pleads with people to have faith in Him. Why? Just to shake it to the point of losing it? That, my friend, doesn't make a bit of sense to me. Yes, you will disagree, but Christ knows already what our faith is like. He doesn't NEED to shake it to find out what it is like.God permits things to happen, not that He wants to see people suffer, but because He knows that good can come out of it. As for the Tribulation, it will be a time where the wheat will be seperated from the chaff, when those churches that are full of people who are there for all the wrong reasons, such as entertainment, social identity, to play church, etc, those churches will be purged, and those who are truly God's people will grow stronger while those who go to church for things other than Christ will not find Christianity worth suffering for. Also during that time, as tough times usually produce, there will be people searching for something with substance to believe in that gives them a purpose bigger than themselves, and the Church will grow in that way. The Church will grow stronger because all the half-hearted church goers who play church will have to make a decision about what they actually believe, and the truly devoted Christians will become even stronger in their Faith because they will be put to the test. This will be a period of time where Christianity will become much stronger and mature, and even more unified than ever. All the little fussing among ourselves will take a back seat when we come to a point where we need eachother.

Right now, when you look at all the materialism, vanity, and freak shows that you see in what some people call Christian churches, what do you think would happen if those churches no longer had all the thousands or millions of dollars of gadgetry and smooth talking preachers? How many people do you think would show up if the electric was out, or no air conditioning? Yes, I think there will be shaking up of peoples Faith, but as bad as it will be, good will come from it.

rom826
Feb 2nd 2009, 06:22 PM
Well said. The only thing I would add regarding the "man of sin" is that we should not assume it is referring to one person who most would call the Antichrist. It's easy to assume that because of the terms "man of sin" and "son of perdition", but let's look at the following passage, for example.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Is this passages speaking of one man of God or the people of God in general? Obviously, it's speaking of the people of God in general. So, we can't assume just because we see the term "man of sin" that it's referring to one particular man.

I agree completely with what you said regarding the temple of God. When Paul speaks of the temple of God elsewhere it's a reference to individual believers or the church as a whole. I don't see any reason to read 2 Thess 2:3 any differently. The man of sin represents all those people, like the ones you mentioned, who come into our churches and anywhere where people are searching for meaning or truth to deceive people. It's the same kind of people that Paul describes here:

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

I believe the man of sin represents "grievous wolves" that enter in among us as well as people who are already among us rising up to deceive whoever they can. I believe the falling away is directly related to the loosing of Satan when he goes to deceive the nations the way he did before Christ came when he had almost the entire world blinded in spiritual darkness. I believe it is the falling away that reveals the man of sin. It reveals these deceivers like those you mentioned that have entered in and risen up among us.


So you are saying that the "man of sin" has already been revealed? Who was the restrainer and when was the restrainer removed?

VerticalReality
Feb 2nd 2009, 06:40 PM
Well said. The only thing I would add regarding the "man of sin" is that we should not assume it is referring to one person who most would call the Antichrist. It's easy to assume that because of the terms "man of sin" and "son of perdition", but let's look at the following passage, for example.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Is this passages speaking of one man of God or the people of God in general? Obviously, it's speaking of the people of God in general. So, we can't assume just because we see the term "man of sin" that it's referring to one particular man.

I agree completely with what you said regarding the temple of God. When Paul speaks of the temple of God elsewhere it's a reference to individual believers or the church as a whole. I don't see any reason to read 2 Thess 2:3 any differently. The man of sin represents all those people, like the ones you mentioned, who come into our churches and anywhere where people are searching for meaning or truth to deceive people. It's the same kind of people that Paul describes here:

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

I believe the man of sin represents "grievous wolves" that enter in among us as well as people who are already among us rising up to deceive whoever they can. I believe the falling away is directly related to the loosing of Satan when he goes to deceive the nations the way he did before Christ came when he had almost the entire world blinded in spiritual darkness. I believe it is the falling away that reveals the man of sin. It reveals these deceivers like those you mentioned that have entered in and risen up among us.

Furthermore, I believe 2 Thessalonians 2 goes on to make clear that the "man of sin" and the "son of perdition" are both talking about more than one person . . .

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

This deception that they are buying into is a denial of the gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, that makes all these folks of an anti-christ spirit.

rom826
Feb 2nd 2009, 06:47 PM
Furthermore, I believe 2 Thessalonians 2 goes on to make clear that the "man of sin" and the "son of perdition" are both talking about more than one person . . .

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

This deception that they are buying into is a denial of the gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, that makes all these folks of an anti-christ spirit.

not too sure how you get that. Plainly reading it makes it "the lawless one" makes it abundantly clear the "man of sin" is one person. In any case, I'll ask you the same question I asked John146. Who was the restrainer and when was the restrainer removed?

VerticalReality
Feb 2nd 2009, 07:53 PM
In any case, I'll ask you the same question I asked John146. Who was the restrainer and when was the restrainer removed?

Revelation 20:1-3
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.

This angel who is restraining the devil will do so until it is taken out of the way so that the devil can have his last short little time of deception.

rom826
Feb 2nd 2009, 08:32 PM
Revelation 20:1-3
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.

This angel who is restraining the devil will do so until it is taken out of the way so that the devil can have his last short little time of deception.

Now your confusing me. In your previous post:


This deception that they are buying into is a denial of the gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, that makes all these folks of an anti-christ spirit.



it sounded like you were saying these people are being decieved now.

In the post where you say the angel who is restraining will do so until he is taken out of the way, it sounds like you are saying they will not be decieved until a later time. Which one is it that you believe? Are they being decieved now and therefore the restrainer has already been removed or will the restrainer be removed at a latter time.

VerticalReality
Feb 2nd 2009, 11:43 PM
In the post where you say the angel who is restraining will do so until he is taken out of the way, it sounds like you are saying they will not be decieved until a later time. Which one is it that you believe? Are they being decieved now and therefore the restrainer has already been removed or will the restrainer be removed at a latter time.

The restrainer could very well be removed already. In fact, I would say one could make a very good argument for it. The overall rejection of the Lord in the world today at such a large scale is pretty eye-opening.

John146
Feb 3rd 2009, 09:15 PM
So you are saying that the "man of sin" has already been revealed? Who was the restrainer and when was the restrainer removed?I'm not certain if it has already occurred, but it's possible. I do believe that the falling away from the faith is what reveals the man of sin. I believe that the restrainer refers to the restraining influence of God through the Holy Spirit. I believe that it has to do with God no longer striving with wicked people and instead just giving them over to their wickedness and sending them strong delusion as it talks about in 2 Thess 2:11-12.

It's similar to what happened in Noah's day. He gave people plenty of chances to repent and they never did. So, He finally said enough was enough and ended up giving them over to their wickedness and eventually destroyed them with the flood.

rom826
Feb 3rd 2009, 11:34 PM
I'm not certain if it has already occurred, but it's possible. I do believe that the falling away from the faith is what reveals the man of sin. I believe that the restrainer refers to the restraining influence of God through the Holy Spirit. I believe that it has to do with God no longer striving with wicked people and instead just giving them over to their wickedness and sending them strong delusion as it talks about in 2 Thess 2:11-12.

It's similar to what happened in Noah's day. He gave people plenty of chances to repent and they never did. So, He finally said enough was enough and ended up giving them over to their wickedness and eventually destroyed them with the flood.

In your previous post, you said this


The man of sin represents all those people, like the ones you mentioned, who come into our churches and anywhere where people are searching for meaning or truth to deceive people.


You also said in your previous post, the man of sin represents grevious wolves. Well there have been grevious wolves since the first century. There have been people coming into churches and decieving people since the first century. Now, since you are saying that the man of sin represents these "decievers" and II Thess. says the man of sin does not get revealed until the restrainer is removed, it sounds like you are saying the restrainer was removed way back in the first century.

John146
Feb 4th 2009, 06:52 PM
In your previous post, you said this


You also said in your previous post, the man of sin represents grevious wolves. Well there have been grevious wolves since the first century. There have been people coming into churches and decieving people since the first century.Right, but I believe that Paul was speaking of a time period where that would become a much more frequent occurrence. He speaks of a falling away. Well, people were falling away even then, so it seems to me that he was speaking of a future massive falling away well beyond the norm. He was clearly referring to a future event.

He did point out that even then the mystery of iniquity was already at work (2 Thess 2:7), but it seems that he is referring to a time when it would be much worse than it was then because wickedness would no longer be restrained. It seems to me that for more people to fall away deception would have to be increased and at the same time God's restraint against wickedness would be decreased.


Now, since you are saying that the man of sin represents these "decievers" and II Thess. says the man of sin does not get revealed until the restrainer is removed, it sounds like you are saying the restrainer was removed way back in the first century.No, I'm not saying that. I believe God has been restraining wickedness since the 1st century through the power of the Holy Spirit. The gospel has spread throughout the world and Satan has been powerless to stop that. But a time is coming (or has come) where that will no longer be the case. The increase in false religions and cults is making it so that the real truth is starting to no longer be heard.

rom826
Feb 5th 2009, 02:01 PM
No, I'm not saying that. I believe God has been restraining wickedness since the 1st century through the power of the Holy Spirit. The gospel has spread throughout the world and Satan has been powerless to stop that. But a time is coming (or has come) where that will no longer be the case. The increase in false religions and cults is making it so that the real truth is starting to no longer be heard.

So you believe that the gospel will not spread at all when the great tribulation comes?

John146
Feb 5th 2009, 07:38 PM
So you believe that the gospel will not spread at all when the great tribulation comes?I don't think I'd go that far, but I do think the persecution of Christians will be significantly increased, especially in places where there hasn't been much persecution in the past, such as in the U.S. and other countries.

I think it will become more and more difficult to get the truth of the gospel out there because there will be more and more false teachings and deception that lead people astray, which is what causes the falling away that Paul talks about.