2 Thessalonians 2: 1 - 4, 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 is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. NIV
For over two thousand years false prophets have been misleading and deceiving people about the return of Christ. Paul had to write a second letter to the believers in Thessalonica to warn them against the reports that they had heard about the Day of Christ having already come and gone. He qualifies his argument about the eminent return of Christ with two immutable facts.
Note: Whenever someone teaches you "A WORD" from the Word of God concerning subjects such as eschatology, look for more than one Bible reference. Jesus tells us plainly to let every truth be established by the witness of two or three in the Bible. It proves helpful that there are four distinct and different gospels that establish truths concerning the validity of Christ. Anyone can take "a word" out of context from the Bible and make it say anything they want, but true principles, that are forever established, are confirmed in the Word of God by more than just one prophet.
Back to the teaching: Paul warns the believers against false predictions concerning the return of Christ, and then he gives us two different signs that we must look for when considering the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. He taught that there would be a massive falling away of people from the faith before the great and terrible Day of the Lord. Jesus said in Matthew 24, that lawlessness shall abound, and it will cause the love of many ("Christians") to grow cold.
Matthew 24: 8 - 13, All these are the beginning of sorrows. "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. NKJV
Paul is only confirming the warnings of Jesus in his letter to the church. Take notice that false prophets will seize the opportunity of people turning on one another in the faith. As a personal note from a pastor, I have seen Christians, who refused to obey the will of God while He was dealing with them, turn their hearts toward offense, and begin to spew bitterness toward leadership and other believers as an excuse to justify their disobedience. When schisms are created in the body of Christ because of blatant disobedience, it opens the door for the enemy to come into the midst of the people to sow discord and lies. Jesus and Paul both agree that when there is a falling away by Christians from the faith, it gives place to falsehood.
The next truth that Paul mentions to establish the season of Christ's return is the rise of the Anti-Christ. Jesus gives the details surrounding His second return. He tells about false prophets arising while, at the same time, people are departing from the faith. Although we are seeing a resurgence of false teachers in our day, and even though we're witnessing the love of many grow cold... who used to walk in the faith, both sheep and leaders, we haven't seen the rise of the Anti-Christ to prominence. So when you hear "another" false prophet or voice rise up and say that the "rapture" is on a certain day, PRAY!!! They're a vain attempt of the enemy to mislead and hurt lost people who don't know the TRUTH. Trust is the key when it comes to people believing and accepting Jesus as their Savior. The more voices rise up and say Christ's return is going to occur on a certain day, the more this has the potential to harden lost hearts to the truth concerning Jesus' return.
In the words of Paul, "Don't be easily unsettled or alarmed by some false teacher or report." Let's guard our hearts with all diligence and be prepared for the DAY that Christ does return in the clouds to receive us unto Himself. Didn't the angels scold the disciples for gazing into the heavens as Christ ascended? We mustn't become distracted by false rumors or false hope, but we are to keep our eyes on Jesus. "Occupy till I come."