Perhaps you have heard of "the rapture." According to many Bible scholars, the rapture is the next event we can expect in the chronology of God's end times agenda. If you are not a Christian, if you have not yet freely admitted your need for a savior and called upon Jesus to apply His saving work to your need, then you may very well be a witness to the most dramatic world event to ever occur, since the resurrection! I would rather you partake in the rapture, than be an outside witness, however; because what follows for those who remain on Earth is called The Tribulation. A time of chaos and ruin when God's wrath, and Satan's unrestrained enmity, will be a torment to all.
Rapture means "caught up." In one tiny moment every believer, first those who have died, and then those still alive will be resurrected or simply taken away from whatever they are doing at the time, and be brought to Jesus. As "the Church" (the complete body of believers in Christ) is thus removed from the planet, so is the Holy Spirit's role as "the restrainer." Through the past two thousand years His powerful supernatural presence indwelling each believer, has actually restrained Satan from his goal of establishing the Antichrist on Earth. After the rapture the restrainer will no longer restrain and the tribulation period can begin.
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed 2 Thessalonians 2:7,8a
We can observe that there is in fact a "power of lawlessness" oppressing the people of the Earth. All kinds of evil runs rampant, and is ever more liberally tolerated. But what we don't realize is how much this anti Christ attitude is tempered by the presence of the Holy Spirit at work through the Church today. Those who miss the rapture-- who might even rejoice once it is figured out that only Christians have suddenly vanished from their posts--will soon discover first hand just what effect the "Restrainer" had over "the lawless one."
For more (and better) explanations of these topics and more, I recommend "The End Times in Chronological Order" by Ron Rhodes.
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