In Part 2 I theorized why some Christians may be departing from the faith. I want to thank everyone who commented with their own ideas concerning why some Christians may be departing from the faith. I really appreciate it because you guys thought of stuff that I missed. In Part 3 I will discuss the falling away mentioned in 2 Thessalonians.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 references a “falling away” before the Second Coming of Christ.
(1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (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; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (5) Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? (6) And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. (7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” (2 Thess 2:1-7)
The Greek word for the term “Falling away” is apostasia, which means “apostasy” or “defection from the truth”. The word apostasia is only used one other time in the New Testament; the Book of Acts in regards to the Jews forsaking the Law of Moses:
“And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.” (Acts 21:21)
Due to the lack of references where the word apostasia is applied it is hard to fully determine whether the “falling away” refers to the Jews during the first three and half years of the seventh week of Daniel (a replay of how many within Israel left the Jewish faith to gain favor with Antiochus Epiphanies IV over 2000 years ago) or to Christians departing from the Bible and the Christian faith.
I can see why people would associate the “falling away” mentioned in 2 Thessalonians with the departing of some Christians from the faith. After all, Paul mentioned in 1 Timothy that “some shall depart from the faith”.
“(1) Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; (3) Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1 Tim 4:1-3)
I find it interesting that the phrase “depart from the faith” in Greek is apostēsontai tines. Recall that apostasia is the Greek word for “falling away”. I’m not an expert in the Greek language but it seems that a variation of apostasia is embedded within apostēsontai tines. This would lend credence to the argument that the “falling away” mentioned in 2 Thessalonians is the conditions of the latter times mentioned in 1 Timothy.
The “falling away” is going to get worse as we approach the End Times and Christ’s Second Coming. Christ warned in Matthew 24 that iniquity will become very prevalent and that love will grow cold.
“(10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matt 24:10-12)
Similarly, Peter warned that people will walk after their own lusts and chide Christians for expecting Christ’s Second Coming during the last days (I do not believe the “latter times” and the “last days” refer to the same time period as the latter times occur before the last days and the terms are different in Greek).
(3) Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (4) And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (5) For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:” (2 Pet 3:3-5)
Given my view that we live in the latter times, I believe we have not yet seen the full impact of the falling away yet. It’s going to get much worse… This may be disconcerting for some, but it is according to God’s plan that this falling away takes place.