Saturday, 7 October 2017
…that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:12
“That” is referring to “God sends them a strong delusion” of verse 11. As noted in the previous verse, the “strong delusion” or literally, the “working of error” will be begun by God, but it will be responded to by the people in a way where they carry the blame for their actions. God is not purposefully sending people to hell. He allows them to make their own beds, but He provides the opportunity for them to do so. This is actually confirmed in the coming words of this verse.
“They all” is speaking of those referred to in verses 10 & 11. Paul says (according to this translation) “that they all may be condemned.” The word “condemned” here is incorrect, as is the term “damned” used by the KJV. The Greek word krinó simply means “to judge.” Condemnation may be implied here, but it is based on judgment on those “who did not believe the truth.” Here is the key to the entire passage, belief.
God does not ask the world to do great or fantastic things in order to be saved. He simply asks for faith. No matter how great or how fantastic our deeds are, they can never replace faith in what He has offered. In demonstrating faith, it then conveys the fact that God is righteous. In accepting this, we then should naturally desire to pursue Him in this capacity. But because of unbelief, those who are to be judged “had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Such a delight in that which is opposed to righteousness is incompatible with what is true, moral, and holy. Instead of lacking understanding what is right, they simply desire what is morally perverse; they believe the lie. It is a willful rejection on their part, and it is what condemns them. It is completely unnecessary to find an active sending of delusion by God into the minds of man in order for him to be judged. Rather, God provides the opportunity for those who willingly reject Him to receive what they deserve.
Life application: What does God desire from you? He simply asks for faith in what Christ has done. From that springboard, we should naturally desire to be like Him, to follow Him in righteousness, and to be holy just as He is holy. If we fail to do these things, it does not negate that we demonstrated the faith that saved us. If it were to do so, then we would not be saved by grace through faith. Our salvation would still be conditioned on what we do. Have faith, and then be responsible enough to exercise that faith in right living.
Lord God, how weak we are in our natural selves that we would see what Christ has done, accept it by faith, and then be unwilling to do our best to emulate Him and be obedient to Your word! You save us by your grace through faith, and so help us to live out that salvation in a manner which is holy, pure, and acceptable to You. And in order to do that, we must know what You expect. And so give us the desire to pick up the Bible, read it, and apply it to our lives. Amen.