Dr Jeremiah is, of course, a committed pre-tribulation rapturist. But on his show last night he quoted the very passage to make his point that I firmly believe refutes it.
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (2 Thes 2:1-3)
He said that the first verse is clearly speaking of the rapture which, if I were in his camp, I would agree with. But then he leapt to the conclusion, and I am basically quoting him here, that this passage proves that the church will be gone before the antichrist appears! My response was an incredculous, "What ??????"
He walked word for word through the passage and then insisted on his point. What am I missing?
I'm afraid I just can't understand how someone could be so blind. Either he is seeing something I don't, and I am blind, or he is so overtaken by his pre-trib position that he, at least in this case, just doesn't see the clear teaching of Scripture. The passage clearly states that our being gathered together with Christ (the rapture) does not occur until after a rebellion (a falling away or apostasy) and the revealing of the man of lawlessness (the antichrist) is revealed.
As I have said before, there are a lot of well-known and high profile Christians in the pre-trib, or "left behind" camp, and I think that this is a most dangerous teaching, even if one subscribes to a premillenial return of Christ.
Because even if the pre-mil position is true, then teaching that the church will be gone when the man of lawlessness is revealed leaves their followers wide open for deception. If the antichrist arrives on the scene, and believers are still on the earth (as I believe is the logical Scriptural conclusion of the pre-mil position, proven by this very passage), then all those who have believed the pre-trib position will not believe that he is, indeed, the antichrist, because they will have been told all this time that he couldn't be. They will have been told by teachers they admire that they will be gone when he comes.
I believe these teachers should be careful about how adamantly they preach their beliefs, and acknowledge that their position may not be quite the certainty they insist it is.