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.

The truth must be loved to be received. If a person does not love the truth, he is liable to believe a lie.

It is the truth that saves. A lie can only condemn.

Here Paul warns about a secret power of lawlessness already at work. It is the work of Satan in the world.

This is no surprise. In the very beginning it was he who led Adam and Eve into rebellion against God’s command. Lawlessness is his goal for mankind, and ultimate ruin his plan for the world.

Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden because of disobedience. Willful disobedience to God is wickedness. And wickedness leads to destruction.

Here Paul predicts the coming of the man of lawlessness!

He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Many ideas about who this person is have been proposed through the years. Some have even suggested is not one person, but a general state of lawlessness that will pervade society immediately before Jesus comes.

It is not as important to know exactly who or what Paul is talking about as it is to avoid falling into the trap of lawlessness. This is done by loving the truth of God.
There are two spirits evidently at work in the world today: lawlessness and obedience.

Nobody likes to be told what to do. There is a spirit of rebellion in every person. But anyone who has been changed by the power of God loves to be told what to do by Jesus.

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