I was listening to David Hocking the other afternoon. Mr Hocking is, of course, a committed pre-trib rapturist, and he addressed the one passage I have often quoted that I believe disproves that very position.
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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. 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; (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 KJV)
Mr Hocking went on to explain that the falling away (Gr. apostasia) merely meant, "departing," and applied it to the rapture, as in, the church, "departing." In fact, Strong's Concordance, as referenced in the Blue Letter Bible gives no such definition. In fact it gives only one,
1) a falling away, defection, apostasy
He then said, plainly as you can hear in his radio broadcast, that, at the temptation of Christ, when the angels ministered to Christ, "...it then says they departed..."
Well, first of all, I could find no reference in the Biblical text to the angels departing. The closest reference is the devil departing (Luke 4:13) and secondly, in any case, the word used is not apostasia. In fact, apostasia is used only twice in the entire New Testament, and never in the sense of a mere physical departing.
I have e-mailed Mr Hocking for clarification. Hopefully he will reply, but I'm afraid that, unless I stand to be corrected, this is another case of naivety, myopia or just plain fudging of Scripture on the part of someone clinging to an end-times pre-tribulation rapture position.