About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Away - 2 Thessalonians 2:3
Thessalonians 2:3 in the KJV reads, "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 same verse in the NIV reads, "don't let anyone deceive
you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs
and the man of lawlessness is revealed…" Scholars
have debated this verse for centuries.
I won't end that debate. However,
I would like to throw my two cents worth into the confusion.
people understand the words "that day" to refer to the day
when Jesus returns to earth. The
"man of sin" (KJV) or the "man of lawlessness" (NIV)
is normally seen as the anti-christ.
The words "falling away" (KJV) and the word
"rebellion" (NIV) refer to the same event.
you read 2 Thessalonians 2:3 in both the KJV and the NIV you'll notice
one major difference. The
word "first" appears in the KJV but doesn't in the NIV.
In my thinking, the KJV states that the falling away will come
that the lawless man appears on the world scene.
The NIV in my thinking suggests that the rebellion and the
appearing of the lawless man happens at the same time because the NIV
does not include the word "first" in its text.
the word "first" be in the text or not?
Notice how my Greek interlinear New Testament translates 2
Thessalonians 2:3. Remember,
in an interlinear translation, the English word appears directly beneath
the corresponding Greek word. Since
Greek sentence structure differs from English sentence structure, the
English translation is disjointed. The
verse reads, "not anyone you may deceive by no way because unless
occurs the apostasy firstly and is revealed the man the
lawlessness…" Did you
notice the word "firstly"?
According to the text I have, the word "firstly" does
occur in the Greek text.
That tells me the "falling away", or the
"rebellion", occurs before the lawless man appears on the
scene because it comes "first".
The anti-christ does not lead the falling away spoken of in this
verse. He may lead a
rebellion, but not this particular one.
So if I'm right, and that may be a "big if", the
anti-christ comes after the "falling away".
next logical question to ask is, "what is the "falling
away?" Concerning the
words "falling away", my Greek interlinear transliterates the
Greek word "apostasia" into the English word
means a defection, or a falling away from something.
In this case, the defection is a departure from the truth of the
gospel of Jesus. This Greek
word is also used in Acts 21:21 where Paul is accused of "turning
away" (apostasia) the Jews from the Law of Moses.
presently believe that Paul predicts a defection from Biblical faith and
practice before the appearance of the anti-christ.
I suggest this defection might be taking place right now.
Defections aren't new in the Christian church, but the present
defection is severely impacting society as well as the church.
Even in Evangelical circles people are defecting to "another
gospel", as Paul puts it in Galatians 1:8.
defection from Biblical truth in the church has weakened the church's
influence in society. The
western world has been greatly influenced by the gospel of Jesus since
the time of the Reformation. That
has now changed. Western
society has been moving away from a Christian consensus for years, but
even more so in the last ten years.
Christian thinking is now obsolete in the minds of many.
only common sense that this present defection from Biblical truth in the
church, the state, and society makes it easier for the anti-christ to
appear on the world scene. If
there was still a strong Christian consensus, there would be too much
opposition to him. Once the
Christian consensus weakens sufficiently, or "falls away", he
can arrive on the scene with little opposition. That's
why the "falling away" comes "first".
reminds me of Romans 1:28 that reads, "since they did not think it
worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a
depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done."
That sure sounds like our western world today.
The Greek word "adokimos" translated as
"depraved" means, "to be regarded as useless, not being
able to pass the test, thus is discarded."
Paul uses this term in regards to people who do not retain the
knowledge of God, and that's not some "generic or all purpose
god" that is being promoted these days.
It's the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will turn such godless people and nations over to their own
depraved stupidity, ending in God's final judgment.
day of testing is near for us all. May
each one of us who have retained the knowledge of the God and Father of
our Lord Jesus stand with Him and Biblical truth, no matter the cost.
May we never be found as "depraved defectors".