2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
I must confess, the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians unnerves me. It deals with the End Times and each occasion that I read it, I feel that it is happening now. I find it scary to read that people will be deluded by someone or something they think is right. Instead of discerning the truth, they will be deceived by what they want to believe. Rather than look for God’s guidance, they will embrace their own ideas and disregard what is plainly placed before their noses. Human beings have this tragic propensity for being in denial when it comes to their favorite leaders, celebrities, and heroes. Instead of seeing their flaws, they are blinded by flattery. Instead of recognizing and embracing the truth, they quickly let go and discard it.
When I read this chapter and in particular today’s verses, I reluctantly ask myself, am I being deceived? Do I see what I want to see? Do I only hear what I want to hear? Am I discarding my faith? Am I diminishing the truth? Those are not easy questions to answer, so in the end I have to come to Christ with my imperfect, flawed thinking and ask Him to forgive, guide, and assure me, so that I may become aware of what He wants, as well as what God wills.
Being a Christian is never easy. Allowing Christ to influence me more than the media is a daily struggle and a constant temptation.
Questions for personal reflection
Who or what influences most of my choices? How often do I seek God’s will in what I believe, think, and do?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant us the gifts of discernment and acceptance. Help us to know what is right and the courage to accept it fully. Keep us from being deluded by those who tell us what we want to hear. Instead, allow us to listen to Your words and apply God’s ways. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to send him a message, please do by email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s Communion drawings called “Give Thanks.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Thanks.