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One of the most troubling passages for me concerning the last days is 2 Thessalonians 2:3: “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction…” This word “rebellion” is the Greek word apostasia, and it has meanings of falling away, departure, and abandonment. Our English word “apostasy” comes from this word.

Is it true that before the Lord Jesus returns, the Church will fall away? Jesus said this: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:9–13).

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