A Strong Delusion
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 ESV
“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
We live in an age of great deception. A lot of that deception is made possible through modern technology. Anything can be faked. Anything can be made to appear as one thing while it is truly another. We can’t trust anything, even if we are seeing it before our eyes, if we are seeing it through the lens of a camera, for pictures and videos can all be altered or photoshopped.
Liars and manipulators abound! Truth tellers are rare. Politicians lie, preachers lie, parents lie, spouses lie, children lie, and the news media lies to us, too. Many use trickery and manipulation to get what they want. Even preachers are being taught to use marketing schemes and manipulation tactics to get the people to do what they want them to do.
The gospel of Christ has been altered, too, to appeal to human flesh and to be more appealing and acceptable to the world. The word of God is being taken out of context and twisted and made to say what it does not say, and the masses are buying into this cheap grace gospel because it allows their flesh to still reign supreme in their lives without guilt.
We are being bombarded with all kinds of messages via the news media, social media, music, TV shows, movies, games, advertisements (a big one), big pharma, our political leaders, preachers, teachers, sports figures, and the like. So, this calls for much discernment, and it calls for cutting out of our lives needless things which have the potential of leading us astray.
We have to guard against “jumping on the bandwagon” of everything that sounds good or seems right depending on who is presenting it and how it is being presented to us. For, we live in a fast paced society where decisions and conversations happen quickly and sometimes without much forethought, and if we aren’t careful, we may be agreeing to what is wrong, not right.
Many are refusing to love the truth and are buying into the lies because the lies appeal more to their flesh. And the more truth they reject, and the more lies they accept, the more vulnerable they become to receiving and to embracing the lies and to rejecting the truth. For God hands them over to their own devices to do what ought not to be done (See Romans 1).
So, as believers in Jesus Christ, we need to be on our guard against deception. We need to recognize that it exists, and that it is everywhere coming from multiple sources, even trusted sources. And we need to accept that not everyone is who he says he is, and that we are not to believe everything we hear or think we see, but we are to test everything!
Sanctification by the Spirit
2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 ESV
“But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are called to holiness, to purity of devotion to our Lord, to be seekers of truth and righteousness and to be discerners of what is false so that we are not led astray, and so we stay the course which our Lord laid out for us to follow without wavering.
As the chosen of God we are not merely saved from the punishment of sin so that we can go to heaven when we die, but we are saved from our bondage to sin so that we can now become slaves of God and of his righteousness, and so that we can now honor God with our lives.
And our salvation is not a one-time event which takes place in our lives, but it is a process of a lifetime of us being sanctified and made holy of the Spirit of God as we yield control of our lives over to our Lord and as we submit to our Lord and to his purposes for our lives.
For, daily we are to be dying to sin and to self and following our Lord in obedience. Daily we are to be submitting to him as Lord (master) of our lives, listening to him speaking truth to our hearts, and walking in obedience to his commands, doing all that he requires of us.
Daily we are to be discerning and rejecting the lies of Satan and we are to be embracing and following the truth of God’s word. We are not to be just hearers of the word, but we are to be doers of the word who put the word of God into practice in our daily lives, by God’s Spirit.
So, in this present world we live in where there is so much chaos, and so many lies and deceiving spirits, we as followers of Jesus must hold to the truth of God’s word and we must stand firm on that truth and not waver and not allow ourselves to be easily deceived.
We must guard our hearts against quick decisions and quick acceptance of whatever sounds good or whatever sounds truthful, and we must step back and pray and ask the Spirit of God to show us what is true and what is false so that we are not led astray and so we don’t fall into the devil’s traps.
And, with regard to the gospel of our salvation, the Scriptures teach that we must die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, that we must put on the armor of God with which to fight off the devil’s schemes against us, and that daily we must surrender our lives to Christ and follow him in his ways.
So, if you are being told that you can “believe” in Jesus but that you don’t have to repent of your sins, and that you don’t have to obey the Lord, and that you don’t have to submit to his Lordship over your life, then you are being lied to, for the Scriptures teach that you do.
So, know the truth, believe the truth, discern the lies, and reject the lies, not in your flesh, not according to what sounds good to you, but according to the word of God and what it teaches us in context. Know the context of what you are believing so you know if what you are believing is the truth, indeed.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”