2Th 2:8-10 “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
There comes a time in the life of every member of the church when the lawless (wicked) man is revealed. It convicts our hearts to realize, to borrow a twist from a statement attributed to Commodore Oliver Perry, “we have met the enemy and he is us.” To recognize that our human nature is enmity against God (Rom 8:7) is a very sobering understanding.
Until we have that experience of grace, we go about under the delusion that there is good in man. We swell with pride as we talk about our individual accomplishments and the accomplishments of mankind as a whole. Our minds are consumed with such things as putting a man on the moon, our many advances in medicine, and the wonders of modern technology.
As we pat ourselves on the back for these things, we fail to realize that all these things come by the grace and mercy of God. We look at the wonders and modern-day miracles and exclaim “Look at what we have done!” Only the believing Christian recognizes that we have these wonders because of a wonderful God and that He can remove them just as quickly as they were given. Therefore, when we are giving man the glory for these things, they are “lying wonders” because we us them to bolster the notion of the supremacy of man.
All these notions dissolve in a heartbeat when God is please to speak His holy truth into our hearts. When Jesus reveals Himself in us, the brightness of His coming consumes our false sense of self-worth. The Lord destroys our dependence on the flesh by teaching us the truth of who He is and what He has, is, and will do in our lives both here and hereafter.
We no longer run to the same ruin as we did when we were steeped in unjust delusions (deceivableness of unrighteousness). The final phrase in Paul’s statement in verse ten is, to me, very telling as to the application of all he has said in this chapter. Those that are ruined (perish) in the deceivableness of unrighteousness did not receive the love of the truth.
Paul does not say that these did not receive the truth, but that they did not receive the love of the truth. This sounds much like the teaching in Romans 1:21. Further, they were not saved because they did not receive the love of the truth. We understand the sovereign grace of God to teach that we are eternally saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ without regard to what we love or don’t love, receive or reject, believe or disbelieve. The only deliverance (salvation) where what we do has any bearing is in God’s kingdom here where those who love Christ obey Christ.
May we give Him praise for His mercy wherein we have received the love of the truth!