December 5th

 

Loving the Truth

9The coming [of the lawless one, the antichrist] is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of [pretended] miracles and signs and delusive marvels--[all of them] lying wonders--
10And by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved.
11Therefore God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false,
12In order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe in [who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely on] the Truth, but [instead] took pleasure in unrighteousness.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 AMP 

The end times will feature a person known as the “lawless one,” who is also known as the Antichrist.  This person will be backed by Satan himself with all sorts of powerful deception.  He will deceive many people, including some Christians (Matthew 24:24), primarily because they “did not receive the love of the truth.”  A consequence of the people’s failure to love the truth will be that God “will send them strong delusion,” apparently causing them to believe the enemy’s lies.    

It’s important to note that God will send the delusion only in response to people’s rejection of the truth.  Though it may seem unfair, we must believe that everything that God does is just.  The scripture tells us that God is holy, meaning he is perfect in goodness and righteousness, which includes justice.  If we reject the truth that God has clearly marked by his word, we basically open the door to the deception of the enemy.  This deception is “justified” because we’ve rejected the truth.   

As we see evidence of people rejecting truth everyday in the news headlines, its quite possible that these are the times that Paul was writing about.  For example, when churches are condoning sexual sin such as homosexuality, it’s obvious that there is a monumental departure from the truth of God’s word.  We should take heed and do all that we can to stay rooted in the truth, regardless of the difficulties and persecution that may ensue. Here are three ways to stay rooted in the truth: 

1.      Abide in the word of God:  This means to accept the scriptures as truth and to live by their teachings. The word nourishes us spiritually, and is useful for wisdom and training in righteousness. It fully equips us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-16).   Jesus said that if we abide in God’s word we will know the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:31-32). 

2.      Exercise yourself toward godliness:  Godliness is the goal that we are called to pursue in our spiritual walk.  The daily practice of the Bible’s teachings is how we exercise ourselves toward godliness. Like physical exercise, exercising godliness can be difficult, painful and challenging, because it involves resisting the desires of our flesh and bringing them into submission to the Holy Spirit’s desires.  It yields  spiritual strengthening and profitability for all things (1 Timothy 4:7-8). 

3.      Be sensitive to and yield to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth:  He will guide us into all truth and remind us of God’s word (John 16:13).  We will remain sensitive to the Spirit by obeying the Spirit’s promptings and keeping away from evil. If we ignore the Spirit, our heart will become calloused from the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).  A callous heart is fertile ground for deception! 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God in heaven, thank you for your word which stands forever!  Thank you for giving me the truth that sets me free from the bondage of sin.  Please forgive me for rejecting the truth in any way, for not loving it and applying it fully to my life.  I embrace your word. Your word is truth and I pray that you will sanctify me by that truth.  I present myself as an instrument for righteous purposes today and not for sin.  I pray that you will reveal the enemy’s deception to me today in any temptations that I might face.  Please strengthen me to die to sin and resist the temptations.  Thank you, Lord!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”