2Th 2:11-14 “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In verse eleven, Paul has told us about the condition of those who “received not the love of the truth.” There is a great judgement of God upon those who do not love the truth. He will send them strong delusion so that they should believe a lie. This is another indication that Paul is dealing with a gospel judgment and not an eternal one.
We contend that God does not send men to hell (whatever your concept of that may be). Rather, we understand that all men are deserving of such condemnation and God, according to His sovereign grace, has elected a people to be saved from this condition. Out of the multitudes He has saved, there is a remnant here in time that has the knowledge of that salvation revealed to them and worship and honor Him accordingly.
God does not send men to eternal banishment, nor does He cause them to behave in a manner deserving of such. However, we see Him here actively sending strong delusion (deceit, error) to those who do not love the truth. Because, after hearing (an attribute of life) the word of truth they do not love that word, God, in His righteous judgement, sets them up to believe a lie. This is not entrapment; this is God’s righteous judgement on His people who refuse the truth.
The root of the word “damned” means to punish or condemn. When we do not believe the truth the outcome is to have pleasure in unrighteousness. God has always punished (damned) His people for not believing the truth He sets before them. A whole generation of Israelites died in the wilderness because they saw the truth of God (a land that flowed with milk and honey) but did not believe His word that He had given them this land.
They listened to the lie that they could not take the land. They did not cease to be God’s children, but they were damned to not walk in the land of promise (a type of the church, not of eternal heaven). They died in the wilderness as the result of God’s condemnation of their faithlessness concerning His word. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever: His judgement against those who love not the truth is the same today. He sends them strong delusion that they should swallow up the lies of men’s religions.
We, therefore, ought (are bound) to be thankful to God constantly for His church of believers. We are assured that we are the church first of all because it pleased God to choose us to this deliverance through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. Our eternal salvation was secured by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, and our belief (either way) has no bearing on the outcome.
Those that love the word of truth are called by the gospel that Paul, Silas, and Timothy preached. This is the same gospel of sovereign grace that we preach today. Still today, there are those who do not love this word of truth because is demands man’s recognition that he has no power to save himself.
There are still those who witness God bringing them out of bondage with great power and still turn and fashion golden calves to worship instead of giving God glory. These still die in the wilderness, murmuring against God and taking pleasure in their unrighteousness. For those who love the word of truth (gospel), the land of promise is ours.
In the church of the living God, lovers of the truth are called together by the good news of Jesus Christ as revealed to us by God through the Holy Spirit. Here we come into possession (obtaining) of the worship and praise of our Lord Jesus Christ. We fall in love with Him and His word of truth and live to the praise of His glory who first trusted in Christ.
May we give thanks always to God for the love of the word of truth!