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What did the apostle Paul mean by a "falling away" in the end times?

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Those interested in the signs of the end times often take note of a warning given by Paul to the Thessalonians, speaking about the return of Jesus Christ to earth. He writes, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 2 Thessalonians 2:3Let 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;
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). He then proceeds to explain this “falling away” in greater detail.

Paul writes that it will involve the revealing of “the man of sin…the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 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; 4 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
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). Some man is going to style himself as greater than God, pretending to be God—and people will believe him. Why? Because:

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
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).

The “man of sin” posing as God will be performing supernatural acts with the help of the devil, deceiving all those who have rejected God and putting himself in a position to be worshipped by the world.

Revelation 19:20 Revelation 19:20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
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describes this powerful religious leader as “the false prophet who worked signs” in connection with the political leader called the “beast.” The False Prophet is the same as the one called “another beast” in Revelation 13:11 Revelation 13:11And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.
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, who performs miraculous “signs” (verses 14-15). He is also the leader of the false church (“the harlot”) in Revelation 17:1-5 Revelation 17:1-5 1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying to me, Come here; I will show to you the judgment of the great whore that sits on many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit on a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And on her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
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. He is also referred to as “another horn” who will “persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law” in Daniel 7:8 Daniel 7:8I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
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, 20-22, 24-25.

There is much more to this subject of end-time prophecies. Learn more in the related resources below.

You Can Understand Bible Prophecy , The Book of Revelation Unveiled and Are We Living in the Time of the End?

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