Will You Succumb to the Coming Great Deception? Part One
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
I’ve purposefully separated the text of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 into paragraphs to make it easier to see what I’m going to point out. The first paragraph is where Paul reminds his readers that they should “not be quickly shaken” from their calm regarding the coming Day of the Lord. Paul declares that they should allow no one to deceive them in any way regarding this event that he had previously taught them. In other words, they knew the truth, so in spite of what they might have heard or read, if it was not in line with what he had told them, they should simply ignore it. It’s interesting to note that even during Paul’s day, there were fakes who pretended to have apostolic authority and sent letters from one church to the next. Satan is not above stooping to that level.
At any rate, some type of event occurs which acts to reveal the identify of the man of lawlessness (Antichrist). Paul then mentions the “restraining influence” that keeps the Antichrist in the shadows, but he is also careful to note that the spirit of lawlessness was already at work in the world even in Paul’s day. How much worse has that influence become since that time? Paul also clearly notes that regardless of the power that will be inherent within the Antichrist, Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth upon His return. In other words, there will clearly be hardly any effort at all on the part of Jesus to slay this counterfeit Christ.
The third paragraph highlights something that is just as important as the two paragraphs leading up to it. Notice when this Antichrist is revealed, the events surrounding his big reveal will be accompanied by “the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders.” Beyond that, “God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false…”
God is going to send His deluding influence upon whom? The text tells us it is sent upon those who “did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” and those “who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” Do you love truth? There is only one truth and it is God’s truth. You either agree with Him or you’re calling Him a liar. Where do you stand?
Think about something. When Antichrist is revealed, the events surrounding the reveal are not only accompanied by all the supernatural power of Satan, but will also include a deluding influence that God Himself sends! If you do not love the truth, there is little to no hope for you at all and that should terrify you. Don’t be a Pontius Pilate!
The world has all types of technology today and some of it, we simply marvel at. We have 3D TVs, virtual reality, and many other technologies that provide “out of this world” experiences. I firmly believe though that the events surrounding the revealing of the man of lawless, aka Antichrist, will be so supernatural and literally out of this world (along with God’s own delusion sent to allow people to be deceived), that it will be impossible for people to see through it.
People will fall for it, hook, line, and sinker! They will not be able to wrap their brains around the events. They will not be able to have these events adequately explained to them because no one will know how they were accomplished. Even hardened scientists and atheists will be taken for a ride. What will be seen will be something this world has never experienced before and will have no way to reference it or connect the dots to adequately explain it. The delusion God sends will seal the deal.
Can you avoid being taken in?
I want to go into this more and will do so in our next installment. Stay with me.