“And for this reason God will send upon them a strong delusion so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in unrighteousness.” (II Thessalonians 2:11-12)
The words of Paul to the Thessalonians are as applicable to us as they were to the 1st Century believers in Asia Minor. An evil wind is blowing. It is a wind of strong delusion.
Nations and peoples who turn their backs and hearts from God incur the righteous judgment of God. Having grown up in California in the post WW-II and Korean War era, I did not envision our nation turning so far away from the beliefs of our founding fathers. It is evident from our national political turmoil and our financial indebtedness that a thinking person should at least consider the possibility of God’s judgment upon us.
As we continue to see the erosion of our Judeo-Christian heritage and the evident embrace of the spiritual bankruptcy of multiculturalism and secular humanism, we must ask ourselves, “Has God given to our people a “strong delusion”? – a deluding influence that they should believe lies? Is America to slide down into the pit of unbelief, as nations in the past?
The evil wind of unbelief blows stronger with ever year I spend in this “Land of the Free.” Unbelief breeds deeper delusion in the world of myth, lies, and heresy. Moral and spiritual poverty follow this delusion. The worst judgment of God upon us is not our national debt of 18 Trillion Dollars. Forbes “Opinion” reports,
“The federal unfunded liabilities are catastrophic for future taxpayers and economic growth. At usdebtclock.org, federal unfunded liabilities are estimated at near $127 trillion, which is roughly $1.1 million per taxpayer and nearly double 2012’s total world output” (1/17/14).
That ought to be enough to scare any Christian into their prayer closet, if they have one!
It is the damnation of our “pleasure in unrighteousness” that spells our demise as a great nation. It is our personal and national sin that invites our judgment and doom.
We who believe in the Christ who rules the Universe and will judge the world, have a three-fold responsibility to God and our nation, as Paul discusses in the context of the verses of my text.
First, we must constantly give thanks that “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2:13-14).
Second, we must “stand firm and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us” (2:15). The pagan beliefs of the ancient world and the skepticism of our atheistic age will go to hell, where those will dwell who believe their teachings.
Third, we must desire and then allow “our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen our hearts in ever good work and word” (2:16).
We must realize we have been converted – turned from the “broad road of destruction” to the “narrow road of life.” By our words and actions we have been called by God to stay the strong delusion of unbelief, which appears to be God’s judgment upon our land. We would do well to quote those words of John Bunyan from Bedford Jail,
“The hill, though high, I covet to ascent,
The difficulty will not me offend;
For I perceive the way of truth lies here.
Come, pluck up heart, let’s neither faint nor fear;
Better, though difficult, the right way to go,
Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.”