The Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

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).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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