In 2 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul taught that two things must happen before our Lord and Savior returns: the man of lawlessness must be revealed and the rebellion must come.

1Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3Let 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, 4who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2.1-4)

This rebellion, or apostasy, was described by Jesus as a time where many will fall away, lawlessness will increase, and the love of many will grow cold (see Matthew 24.9-14). Elsewhere, the Scriptures describe the rebellion as a time where many will depart from the faith and follow the teachings of demons (see 1 Timothy 4.1-3), and as a time of great difficulty where mankind is a lover of themselves and pleasure (see 2 Timothy 3.1-9).

During this time of rebellion, those who refuse to love the truth and who take pleasure in unrighteousness will be deceived by the lawless one, focusing on the false signs and wonders instead of the Christ they left far behind (see 2 Thessalonians 2.1-12).

While it is fashionable to try to predict the coming day of judgment or the end of the world, and billboards are popping up all over town predicting such a day in 2012 when the Maya Calendar runs out, the Bible tells us not to be “quickly shaken in mind or alarmed” about the coming day of the Lord.

But, the “rebellion” is coming. And while we don’t want to be the alarmists who cry that the sky is falling, we are also to be prepared to stand our ground as the world around us forsakes the faith, embraces lawlessness, and is both deceiving and being deceived.

So the question of the day is this: “What are you doing to prepare yourself not to be swept away by the rebellion?” If you read 2 Thessalonians 2, and drink deeply from the truth of God’s Word that describes a period of cultural upheaval the likes of which this world has never known, then you will understand that standing firm on that day will not be easy, nor will it be the majority course. Only those with a firm grip on truth and who daily work to put on the full armor of God will have a chance to stand on the day of evil. And since that day will come like a thief in the night, it is best to be prepared now.

Maranatha (Lord, come quickly).