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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… 2Thessalonians 2:9-11

If I were writing a longer article, I might argue that the Restrainer of verse seven is being removed (i.e., gradually, not in a future event). I might even argue that one cannot fall away from something if he is not already a viable part of that something. These are all subjects unto themselves, and possible distractions from the primary matter of this article.

Deception will overcome those who have not received a love of the truth, and it will do so WITH GOD’S HELP. Furthermore, that deception will prevent those poor individuals from being saved. There is no other way to interpret this passage. I am trying to avoid the “once saved, always saved” argument. Let’s not go there, except to admit that it is better to be safe than eternally sorry.

Okay, so let’s focus on “they did not receive the love of the truth” as THE way to avoid deception. Consider:

  1. The direct articles are important. There is a “the love” and a “the truth”. There is not a variety of loves, nor a variety of truths.
  2. The “love” is agapē, the same love that God has toward the world. It is a sacrificial love. The love with which we are to love the LORD with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
  3. The “truth” is alētheia, what is true in any matter of consideration. It is reality with a big “R”. And it is what Jesus called Himself.
  4. To “receive” suggests something has been offered. That gift is the sacrificial love for Christ and His Reality. Sacrificial love cannot be created by man, nor imposed on another. It must be discovered and received, personally.

Therefore, THE way to avoid deception is to personally receive the sacrificial love for Christ and His Reality. This requires our willing sacrifice for Jesus Christ and the Gospel (Mark 8:35), an ongoing “deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23).” Receiving is not without condition; there must be a willingness for the sacrifices inherent in the gift. Read the rest of this entry »

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