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.”
There are many professing Christians in America who give lip service to Jesus Christ (God) only, but their hearts are far from him. They prayed their prayer and said the words and now they believe heaven is guaranteed them when they die regardless of how they live on this earth. And this is because Satan has convinced them to believe the lie as the truth, and to reject the truth as though it is the lie. For he is very clever and conniving.
So, what is the truth? The truth is that Jesus Christ gave his life up for us on that cross in order that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we would now live for him and no longer for ourselves. And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would now honor God with our lives. And he died to put our sin to death with him so we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to him and to his righteousness.
The truth is that when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We aren’t supposed to live any longer like we did before. So we are not to let sin reign any longer in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For sin shall have no more dominion over us. For if sin is what we obey, and not obedience, it will end in death, not life everlasting.
[1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24; Romans 12:1-2; Titus 2:11-14; Romans 8:1-14]
But Satan has pulled specific Scriptures out of their context and he has twisted them to say what the Scriptures do not teach. And he has convinced his servants that the lie is the truth, so they are passing along the lie as though it is the truth. And since the lie makes no demands for dying with Christ to sin and walking in obedience to his commands, many, many people are preferring the lie to the truth so that their lives are what they want to make them, not for God’s purpose.
For the Scriptures are quite clear on this subject. God is going to render to each one of us according to our works. And for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. For we are all going to reap what we sow. And if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, according to the Scriptures we don’t know God and he does not know us and we will not inherit eternal life with God.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
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.”
So, we need to be fully aware that there are many, many liars out there preaching feel-good messages to tickle itching ears, and it seems the vast majority of those professing faith in Jesus Christ, at least here in America, are believing the lie and not the truth. And that is evident by the things they say and do, that they do not honor God with their lives but they are still living to please the flesh and not God. And so they make all sorts of excuses for their continued sins or they just claim that God’s grace covers it all.
But for us of genuine God-given faith, it should be a different story. We should be those who are denying self and dying with Christ daily to sin and who are walking in obedience to his commands. This is not saying we will be absolutely perfect in everything that we do, but lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for deliberate and habitual sin. So daily by the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the flesh and we walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, living holy lives, pleasing to God.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Near the Cross
Hymn lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby, 1869
Music by William H. Doane, 1869
Jesus, keep me near the cross;
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me.
Near the cross I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand
Just beyond the river.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
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