8th April, 2019
IPR DAILY DEVOTION
Topic: IS THE DAY OF THE LORD THE SAME AS THE RAPTURE?
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (NKJV)
 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,  not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
It’s important to draw the distinction between the coming of the Lord in the air, which is commonly referred to as “the rapture”, and the coming of the Lord to the earth, which is also known as “the day of the Lord” or “the second advent.” Christ will come to the earth to reign for a thousand years, but this will be after the Church is gathered together to meet Him in the air.
The verse 1 of our theme Scripture makes reference to these two events. First, it talks about “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Whenever the phrase “the coming of the Lord” or “the day of the Lord” is used in Scripture, it generally applies to the second advent of Christ or His coming to the earth. Second, the rapture is described in Scripture as, “our gathering together to Him” or “Christ shall appear and we shall appear with Him in glory” ( Colossians 3:4; 1 John 3:2); or “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven...we shall be caught up to meet Him in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17).
The Christians in Thessalonica were going through persecutions and tribulations (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5); as a result, certain individuals forged a letter in the name of Apostle Paul, that, the day of Christ had come (2 Thessalonians 2:2). This caused a lot of panic and fear in that Church, because, it implied the rapture had taken place, and they had missed out on the rapture, but Apostle Paul admonished them not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, because in his first epistle to this same Church, he had shown them that the rapture will take place before the day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5: 1-11). That’s why in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 he says, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.”
The day of the Lord will not come unless the falling away comes first; this “falling away” is referred to as “the great apostasy.” Presently, it is the Church in this world that is preventing evil from taking over the world. As the light of the world, the presence of the Church is that which is taming darkness; as the salt of the earth, people’s lives are preserved because of the presence of the Church here in this world. But when the Church is gone from this world through the rapture, those who didn’t believe the gospel will be so hardened that, their iniquity will be unparalleled (this is the great apostasy or the falling away). And because the Church will not be around, the antichrist, referred to as “the man of sin” or “the son of perdition” will be revealed.
The events that will occur on the day of the Lord will be discussed in detail in subsequent devotions. We needed to draw the distinction between the day of the Lord and the rapture, so we could properly appreciate the events which will occur in this world immediately after the rapture.