2 Thess. 2:3 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;
Every truth in the Bible is substantiated by supporting scripture and then fits into an overall picture of God's plan of the ages. Most of us as Christians who know the Bible are currently and concurrently expecting Jesus to call us into His presence. It is commonly said that, "the rapture is the next big event in prophecy." The scripture above, says that the day shall not come except there come a falling away first. There is a small contingent of Christians who believe that the phrase falling away actually refers to the rapture itself. They have to twist the English and the Greek to do this. Won't pan out, especially since other scripture describes a depreciation of the power of God through His Church in the last days.
Regardless of how the second two chapters of the Book of Revelation is interpreted, one has to see that the Church at Laodicea is literally a picture of what Churches will become in the days just before the rapture and tribulation. What better phrase would describe that church than "fallen away." Paul told Timothy, "in the latter times some would depart the faith." If there were to be a continuing faithful church and fervent Christians, then Christ would not have had to say, "in an hour that ye think not, the son of man cometh." When there is a portion, large or small, of Christianity that no longer thinks about the second coming of Christ, then the Bible accurately describes a falling away, before the man of sin, Anti-christ, will be revealed.
By now you may have guessed that the subject of this article is the falling away. There has to be a falling away first, before any thing else in prophecy can occur regarding the second coming. It becomes necessary for us to take a few minutes and think about what that phrase is talking about.
When something falls away, first it means a loss of former position. Some of my hair is falling away. I have a mature spot forming in the top of my head that parallels a former part. And I used to have a full head of black hair! Simple illustration, but it will help when I say that Christians lose some things that they used to have, do and be. They are less than what they used to be and they are less than what they ought to be. I remember when Christians regarded Sunday as the Lord's Day. It wasn't just a day off from work. It wasn't a day to go fishing or hunting. It was not a day to work unless absolutely necessary. I remember being told that before my time, Sunday was a day to go to church morning and evening. The afternoons were spent studying and reading the word of God. Christians of today do not have the power of God through prayer as they did even in my early days as a child of God. In years gone by within my lifetime, I recall that there were open and vocal debates on the doctrinal stands of Christians. It was not uncommon to hear two sides of a doctrinal issue being openly discussed at non church gatherings. Sometimes those were heated discussions and very animated. Today, it seems that Christians are ashamed of what they believe, or that they actually cannot defend what they believe. Some towns were kept "dry" or became "dry" because Churches stood against the booze guzzlers. If a member lowered their testimony to a point of becoming a bad testimony or causing their church to have a bad testimony, the person was approached and admonished to correct his or her behaviour. If the sincere concern was disdained then ultimately the matter was brought before the Church for a decision. If there was no repentance then the member was excluded from membership.
This gives an idea how we have fallen away.