Have you ever wondered when Jesus will return? I think it will be soon, but I don’t know. Only God the Father knows when He will send His Son back to the earth. As recorded in the Bible, the brethren in Thessalonica thought that the return of Jesus was soon – in their life time. But the apostle Paul explained that there had to come a falling away first and a lawless one would come and deceive many. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” It is not my purpose to tell you who I think this lawless one is. Instead, I want to address the attitude of those who were deceived and followed him. The apostle says that they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. As a result, God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie because they did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
There are many today who do not love the truth. I will put them into two broad categories. First, there are those who do not believe in the one true God. This includes the atheists, the agnostics, and those who worship what God has created. Romans 1:18-21 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” These suppress the truth about God. The evidence of God is everywhere and obvious. Many do not want to believe in God because they have pleasure in their unrighteousness. They would have to give up their sexual immorality. They would have to give up their lying and cheating and their materialistic and pleasure seeking life style. It is easier to deny the existence of God and live as they please. God sends them strong delusion so that they will believe their lies, because they do not have a love for the truth.
My second category of people who do not love the truth is those who believe in God but they follow false doctrines. Many people who call themselves Christian fit into this category. Some are deceived by false teachers. The Apostle Paul gave the following instruction to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2-4 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” These do not endure sound doctrine. They find teachers who tell them what they want to hear. They have turned away from God’s truth. There are many false doctrines in the Christian world today.
Do you have a love for the truth? Then you must have the attitude of the Bereans. Acts 17:10-12 “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.” The people of Berea tested what Paul and Silas were teaching. They searched the scriptures daily to determine the truth of the matter. Since they loved the truth, they found it and believed. If you have a love for the truth, and you seek for it, I am confident that you will find it.
I believe that God wants you to find the truth. Therefore, I believe that the promise applies that was given by Jesus in Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Ask God to lead you to the truth. Seek after the truth in your search of the Scriptures. Knock and the door of truth will be opened for you.
The truth can be somewhat painful. Following the truth may mean that you have to leave what is comfortable. You may have to leave family and friends behind. If you have a good and honest heart, and you ask, seek and knock, God will lead you to the truth. If you do not love the truth, then God will cause you to be deceived. My encouragement to you is to love the truth and follow it, wherever God leads you.