2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Because They Refused to Love the Truth
Man’s condemnation is deserved. Men who refuse to love the truth and instead embrace the lie deserve damnation. Scripture is clear about this. It makes no excuses for their choices, their behavior, or their beliefs. A man’s upbringing, the family to which he was born, the religion or values of the country in which he lived, the disadvantages he was unable to overcome—in short, nothing renders a man excusable before the Almighty for refusing to love the truth. The heavens declare God’s glory and man’s very soul cries out against himself (Psalm 19:1-6; Acts 17:26-28); moreover, God’s word enlightens man’s eyes (Psalm 19:7-14). But unredeemed men prefer their sins to the light (John 3:19-21). And this is why against all reason, men will cling to their sins even against the most severe judgments (Revelation 9:20-21; 16:8-11). The most glaring examples of this in our own day are AIDS and STD’s—real time judgments of the Almighty on sinners who love their lies more than God’s truth. And the longer they embrace the lie, the deeper they descend into the abyss such that the lie for them becomes the truth.
And it is at this point that the Scriptures tell us that something happens which is by far the most frightening thing in all the world—that is except to the persons to whom it happens since they have so forged their iron chains as to prefer slavery and death to freedom and life. It is God’s righteous judgment on unrepentant sinners. In one place, the judgment is rendered, “And God gave them up” (Romans 1:24-28); in the case of Pharaoh, it is written, “The LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 10:20, and several other places); and if there be any lingering doubt concerning our Lord’s activity in this matter, now we have before us in this very passage, “Therefore, God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Another way to say this is that the most severe judgment God renders upon unrepentant sinners is to allow them to sink ever deeper in their sin. Thus, sinful man is rendered so perverted by his sin that manure smells of a rose and a landfill he sees as a fruitful paradise. I see no way to sugarcoat this, and to do so is to be unfaithful to God and His word.
In the meantime, “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 21-23).