Dr. Lawrence Butler
The Bridge Church, Pembroke
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thess. 2:11-12).
I find these two verses to be quite troubling. We usually think of God as being merciful and kind, but who ever thinks of God as one who sends delusions to people? He does this, or allows this, to encourage them to believe a lie. To discover the cause of such an action, we need only look back at verse 10; “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Why does God bring deceit upon them? Because they “received not… the truth.” Those persons absolutely refused to accept God’s offer of the truth which would have brought deliverance from sin and salvation for the soul. After their rejection of the truth, they were sent a delusion which caused them to believe a lie.
“That they should believe a lie; or rather, the lie, namely the falsehood which the man of sin disseminates by his deceit of unrighteousness. Being destitute of the love of the truth, they are necessarily led to believe a lie— their minds are open to all manner of falsehood and delusion” (Pulpit Commentary). Thus, because of the loss of truth, people will accept and believe the lie that the “man of sin” is the Lord God. They will look to him for deliverance from the overwhelming problems of their day, and will trust in the miracles shown them to take care of all their dire circumstances.
God shall send them strong delusion - For this very cause, that they would not receive the love of the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness, therefore God permits strong delusion to occupy their minds; so that they believe a lie rather than the truth, prefer false apostles and their erroneous doctrines to the pure truths of the Gospel, brought to them by the well-accredited messengers of God; being ever ready to receive any false Messiah, while they systematically and virulently reject the true one (Adam Clarke Commentary).
Why would God do something like this? “That they all might be damned” (v. 12), because they loved sin more than the truth. It is not the will of God “…that any should perish” (II Peter 3:9), but unfortunately that will happen to those who receive not the truth. If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, be thankful and walk with Him daily. There are such great blessings in doing so. But there are very sad consequences for those who do not serve our Lord. The end of that soul is destruction.