Love of the Truth, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-17

“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.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10.

Verse 9 which was covered in the study “The Devil’s Child, 2 Thessalonians 2:9” posted on 3-6-21 has been included for context.

The term “lying wonders” implies that they are all lies. Lying power, the lie is that the power comes from God not Satan. Lying signs, the lie is that Antichrist is God the Son rather than a child of the devil. Lying wonders, the lie is that he is the Christ rather than the Antichrist, “and with all unrighteous deception”.

The Amplified New Testament; Zondervan Publishing House, phrases the words, “…and with all unrighteous deception” in this manner, “And by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception…”

The thought here is that, not only are those who see Antichrist’s signs and wonders deceived by their assumed authenticity, they are seduced by their own lusts for evil which the Antichrist gives them license to engage in. Making him the god they would prefer.

Man sins because he can (not that he always gets away with it).

From man’s standpoint, the degree of sin depends on the man or woman; most lies are a throwaway, adultery depends mostly on the person and on the perceived ease of getting away with it.

Drugs and bank robbery are for those who are out of touch with reality; all sin is, or has the reality of or appearance of being fun, a thrill, or a way out.

In short, this “unrighteous deception” is deceit to promote unrighteousness.

God will not have sin in His presence, any sin. The fib, little white lie, or stealing apples off the cranky neighbors tree will keep someone out of heaven just as much as serial rape or mass murder.

God is a buzz-kill, no one likes a killjoy, and as a result, they will search everywhere to find someone who is not so picky.

“For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.” Psalm 5:4-6.

It “…is according to the working of Satan,” that Antichrist comes in “…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.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9.

This unrighteous deception is, “among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” It is not that they were not given the truth of the gospel, otherwise they would have nothing to, “not receive”; it is because they loved the lie.

Throughout the tribulation there will be 144,000 Israelite evangelists preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

There will also be the two witnesses in Israel, they too will preach the gospel, and they will do it accompanied by amazing miracles.

They will work tirelessly for the first three and half years until they are killed by the Antichrist about the time he takes his place as God in the Jewish temple, see Revelation 11:3-14. These things will hardly go unnoticed.

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…” Ephesians 2:1-5.

It says of those who embrace Antichrist’s lie, “…they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” The love of the truth is the love of the gospel of Christ; the knowledge of and the love of truth is the only defense against deception.

“I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.” Psalm 119:30.

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:17.

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” George Orwell.

“…they did not receive the love of the truth”, rejected light results in greater darkness.

“And the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.’” Matthew 13:10-12.

Israel as a nation had by the time of the above quote rejected their Messiah, Jesus, in spite of His many attesting miracles. As a result His words became obscured due to their hardness of heart.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind [depraved, non-functioning mind, a mind that does not work], to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:28-32.

“And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12.

The lie being that Antichrist actually is God. The strong delusion is that they should believe the lie that he is God.

God has allowed lying spirits to delude evil men in the past.

“Then a spirit [fallen angel] came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ The Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And He [God] said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’” 1 Kings 22:21-22.

Read all of 1 Kings chapter 22 for context. The spirit above is likely a fallen angel rather than one of God’s own righteous ones.

Part of the reason for this delusion is likely to keep them all following the Antichrist, rather than breaking up into different factions.

It would seem that with Antichrist ruling with an iron fist, things would be somewhat stable; yet when you consider some of the types of people who are citizens of his empire, there is no wonder that things will be chaotic.

Some of the traits of these citizens are described in 2 Timothy 3:1-9. A few of them are as follows.

“For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, brutal…traitors, headstrong…these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds…” 2 Timothy 3:2-8, not a complete quote.

The Antichrist’s empire is described in Daniel chapter 2 as the feet and toes of the statue Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed of.

The statue illustrated five future kingdoms; with a head of gold representing Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian kingdom, chest and arms of silver the Medes and the Persians, belly and thighs of bronze the Greeks, the legs of iron represented the past Roman Empire.

The feet and ten toes were of clay and iron mixed together, representing the ten kingdoms which Antichrist will take over and rule.

This weakest and most inferior of all, iron and clay shows both the strength of iron and the brittleness of clay, indicating some serious deficiencies in Antichrist’s future kingdom which will consist of the most brutal and cowardly among men, making this the most evil and most violent of all kingdoms.

The “strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” did not come first; they first, “did not believe the truth” which was clearly presented to them by God, perhaps many times, but they rejected the truth because they “had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

God does not reject men or choose them to go to perdition, they reject Him first and then He eventually gives them over to the things they love, even though it will destroy them.

“Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’” Ezekiel 33:11.

“…that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:12.

“Condemned” or judged guilty which is what is implied. The more a person says no, the more they become hardened to the truth.

After having said no enough, they become entrenched in their thinking. That is to say, they will never change their mind, and God gives them over to a reprobate mind.

“He who is often reproved, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1.

“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.

Because of His foreknowledge God knowing who would accept Christ as their savior placed these people in Thessalonica and sent the apostle there to preach the gospel to them because He chose them to be of the first fruits in Europe.

Their sanctification by the Spirit, who set them apart to the hearing of the gospel of Jesus Christ, opening their eyes to the truth, which they received with joy; this is in contrast to those who do not “receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

“…to which He called you by our gospel”; salvation comes through the hearing of the gospel. God has said this about His word.

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11.

Bear in mind that it is the hearing of the gospel that saves. Not everyone who hears is listening; the followers of Antichrist do not have a love for the truth, which results in their not listening to the truth even though they have heard it.

The irony is that upon their death the Antichrist’s lie dissolves into an acrid smoke, suffocating them as they sit in the lonely hole they have dug in hell, and the truth becomes a distant place they will never go.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

This then is the third time the apostle warns the Thessalonians about false prophets.

“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21.

“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2.

It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to hold fast to the word of God, whole nations have fallen away because Christians have failed to hold the line with Scripture.

The vast majority of the damage done to the body of Christ has been done in increments, small bites, here a little, there a little, and most of these errors have not come from Christians but by godless men fraudulently pretending to know the mind of God.

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” 2 Peter 2:1-3.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast…” stand fast in the word of God, stand fast in your principles, stand fast against the lies that have become a way of life in this country, stand fast against being pressed into the world’s mold, stand fast against sin, stand fast against intimidation, stand fast against bullies who try to cow you into shutting up about Christ, stand fast against time wasters that keep you from praying for your loved ones and others that God brings to your mind, stand fast against the devil himself.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Sprit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…” Ephesians 6:11-18.

These letters were written to the Christians in Thessalonica but they do not belong to them alone, they are for us too. Read them as though God were talking to you alone and let His words sink down into your heart as a comfort and an encouragement. This blessing is for all who read these words.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.

Love of the Truth, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-17 taken from posted on 11-7-13, updated on 3-10-21.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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