The Bible says there will be a great apostasy—a rebellion or abandonment of truth—during the end times.
Is there going to be a great apostasy / falling away in the end times?
Paul talks about the great apostasy in 2 Thessalonians. The believers in Thessalonica had been exposed to false teachings and feared that "the day of the Lord has come" (2 Thessalonians 2:2). Paul corrected these teachings and allayed their fears, in part by telling them that a rebellion as well as the revealing of the Antichrist would occur before the tribulation and final judgment. Paul had already addressed the issue of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18.
Second Thessalonians 2:3–4 says, "Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God."
This "rebellion," as the ESV and NIV term it, is the great apostasy of the end times. The KJV calls it "a falling away." The original Greek is apostasia, meaning a defection, or intentional turning away, from God, the Bible, and Christian faith. Though many have turned away from God, or rejected Him, throughout the ages, this final rebellion will be worldwide and the "man of lawlessness" will take control. This is a massive falling away, and it will require a leader. The "man of lawlessness" who steps in is the Antichrist. We believe the global apostasy and revealing of the Antichrist will occur after the rapture of the church.
Jesus told His followers about the signs of the end of days, both "the beginning of the birth pains" (Matthew 24:8) as well as the final times. In Matthew 24:10–14, He says, "And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."
Who is the restrainer the Bible talks about in 2 Thessalonians 2:6?
What does the Bible say about a strong delusion in the end times (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)?
Who is the man of lawlessness Paul talks about in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12?
What is the meaning of the abomination of desolation?
Who are the tribulation saints?
Truth about the End Times