Thursday: Truth and Lies
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Read 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Why does God allow so many to be deceived? According to this passage, what have the wicked rejected?


Verse 11 is a text that many people find extremely challenging. Paul states very directly, “God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie” (2 Thess. 2:11, NIV). The knee-jerk response to this text is something like, “How can a God of truth send deception? How can He act the same as Satan at the end?” (compare 2 Thess. 2:11 with 2 Thess. 2:9).

In today’s passage Paul draws back the curtain and gives us a glimpse of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, which involves much more than just the affairs of this earth and its history. Satan has accused God of being unreasonable, a bully, and a deceiver. In the final crisis of earth’s history, God “sends” a delusion upon the wicked, not because He lies but because He allows the wicked to choose lies over truth and, thus, expose the outworking of decisions that they have already made (2 Thess. 2:12). He simply allows them to bear the fruits of their wrong actions. The events of the end time clearly expose the mind and character of Satan and his followers for all to see.

The process of delusion begins when people reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. In verse 10 the wicked refuse to receive the love of the truth. The offer of salvation in the gospel is the subtext that lies behind the apocalyptic powers of 2 Thessalonians 2. Through its teachings and practices, the papacy has undermined the gospel. That work continues until it is exposed by the final events described in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12. Thus, the final proclamation of the gospel (Matt. 24:14;Rev. 14:67) sets the stage for both the final judgment and the delusions of the end time.

In the end, whatever the outward political and religious manifestations of the great controversy as it plays out here on earth, the gospel of Jesus Christ, not political events, has always been the crucial divide between good and evil throughout Christian history. Antichrist reveals its true character by usurping the life, death, and heavenly reign of Jesus. All other actors in the drama play subordinate roles.

Read carefully 2 Thessalonians 2:12. What’s the key reason people do not receive the truth? How have you experienced this principle in your own life? That is, how has the “pleasure” of unrighteousness, even subtly, kept your mind from being open to truth?

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Thursday: Truth and Lies — 2 Comments

  1. In my opinion this lesson is a bit confusing. It asks, "Why does God allow so many to be deceived?" Then in the next paragraph it goes on to say, "The knee-jerk response to this text is something like, 'How can a God of truth send deception? How can He act the same as Satan at the end?'”

    The knee-jerk reaction comes because of texts such as, "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (James 1:13 NKJV). The Bible gives us the right understanding on the matter when we read about the temptations Jesus went through in the wilderness. The Father was not tempting Jesus - the devil was! Besides that we have the first two chapters in Job that describe God allowing Satan to punish Job and tempt him to curse God. God is not doing any of that but He does allow it to happen when people reject the truth. It is a matter of the wrath that Paul speaks of in Romans 1 where God pulls back His protection and allows people their choice in the controversy.

    Very often in scripture God is said to do things that He simply allows to happen and temptation and deception are some of those things.

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  2. Jehovah witnesses beleive that Jesus and His kingdom are already among us. I have a feeling that we need to stop shutting our doors in their faces and take the occasion to teach them about the Truth. For according to this lesson, they will be greatly deceived.

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