There’s a difference between knowing truths and believing them. For example, death is inevitable, and all things die. However, most of us don’t live lives that reflect this. We do things that don’t promote health and well-being, like eating right, getting the sleep we need, and generally taking care of our bodies and minds. Our behavior in these areas often reflects our age. The younger we are, the more likely we are to not eat right and take care of our bodies and minds. There’s a propensity to live more carefree lives the younger we are. Even though we know we’re going to die.

I’d even suggest that “getting away” with the mistreatment of our bodies and minds is a reinforcement that we can continue whatever it is we’re doing until we can’t do it anymore. We start saying things like, “I’m too old to…” Sometimes those “too old to’s” don’t reflect a behavior we shouldn’t have been doing, but often they do; I’m too old to stay up all night long; I’m too old to eat whatever I want to eat. You get the picture. 

With these thoughts in mind, I’d like to take a gander at this verse from 2 Thessalonians. 

For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.

2 Thessalonians 2:11 (NIV)

Some people have a hard time with this verse because they don’t understand what it means. This verse doesn’t mean that God sends delusions to people to get them to believe lies. Let’s consider it in context.

9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (emphasis added)

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (NIV)

Paul’s talking about the Second Coming and the anti-Christ. In verse 10, we see that the wicked people are those who refused to love the truth, while verse 12 also lets us know that they didn’t believe the truth. Instead, they delighted in wickedness. This is like us. We know that we’re going to die and yet have not lived like it. I’m not saying we’re wicked. I’m pointing out how people can know the truth, yet not live accordingly. 

Here’s another verse that shows us that it’s not God who directs people to do evil things, but people who choose to do them.

They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

2 Timothy 4:4 (NIV)

Here’s another:

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

Romans 1:28 (NIV)

God loves us so much that he allows us to do what we want to do. If we want to sin, then we can sin. If we want to turn away from the truth, he allows us to do that too. This isn’t a new idea. We saw a manifestation of this back in Exodus with Pharaoh and the hardening of his heart. In Isaiah 66:3, the Lord tells Isaiah, “They have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations (NIV). 

Frankly, I think those who have problems with verses like 2 Thessalonians 2:11 are people who may have heard the truth but choose to not believe it. Instead, they point the finger at God and try and blame him for everything. However, this doesn’t mean that we stop praying for those people. After all, if someone like me, who went to church for five years just to please someone else, can be saved, they can too. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.