It is a promise of God that many “Christians” will believe the great lie.
This may not be taught in your church, but it is taught in Scripture. It is a serious warning to those who become complacent with their faith. From parish to pew to the privacy of our thoughts, many church-goers have accepted the pulpit pronouncements that they are assured salvation, in many cases for reasons contrary to the gospel.
Our Lord prophesied that many will abandon the faith, even while thinking they remain Christian. (Mt 24)
Peter portrayed some ordained within Christianity as dogs that return to their vomit, because they turn away from the truth, even while they continue feasting and doing the church thing. (2 Pet 2).
John, Jude, Luke–all the writers of Christian truth recorded in Scripture say the same thing: The Spirit has made it very clear, that many Christians will turn away from the faith and follow deceptive lies–without realizing it.
Of course, it can’t happen to you, because your minister said you’re good to go…or because, you believe that Eph 2:8 (which says that “it is by God’s grace that you have been saved”) was written specifically to you…or because such an idea would cause doubt and that can’t be godly. Or can it?
Humility, even as it impacts assurance and faith, is a tough pill to swallow. Even harder is swallowing the truth.
That is what the Apostle Paul reveals. Because many so-called Christians refuse to show passionate desire for discovering, understanding, and holding on to truth, God is going to fumigate their senses with spiritual fog so that they will sincerely believe the greatest lie of all.
“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way…
“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
“For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie” (2 Thes 2:3, 10-11).
And the million dollar question is: what is that lie? The text tells those with ears to hear it, what that great lie is, so long as one can still recognize truth by the light of Christ. Many will think they can see light, but the fog of deception, caused by indiscretion towards the truth, blinds real comprehension. So be careful with what follows here; it may not appear to be what you expect.
Back in verse 4, the Spirit reveals that the man-of-lawlessness (also called the Anti-Christ) will set himself up in the “temple of God” as the exact representation of God. The one who is writing this, defines this temple as the individual Christian (see 1 Cor 3:16).
In other words, the Deceiver will position himself within the minds of many “Christians” (who don’t treat the truth of God seriously enough) as God within them. They will think that all the evidence they can recognize confirms that God is in them, but they don’t realize is it the Great Lie that dwells within. They will be utterly convinced that they are Christians, when in reality they are fogged out “Christians”.
That is the warning from Scripture. It is also the point made within the book Claiming Christ, as to why many “claim” to be Christian, but don’t fit the evidence of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
The assurance of salvation is available within the truth of God, but it may not be what you have found commonly fed to you, whether from church or from seminary. As the word says:
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him” (Tit 1:16).
What does the pattern of your life reveal about the real god or God within? And, is that pattern completely in line with the all the gospel, or just select parts of it?
With all the love and passion I can offer, I strongly urge you to take this truth seriously and pursue confirmation in the Spirit according to the full gospel and not some fumigated version.