Does God want people to believe lies? A question about 2 Thessalonians 2:11

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #1

Hi everyone. I have a question about 2 Thessalonians 2:11 KJV
[11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
-why would God want people to believe a lie? I know there is an answer, but I don’t see it off hand. I don’t ask as a skeptic, as I am a committed Christian, but I just would like some biblical clarity, thank you.

(SeanO) #2

@O_wretched_man That is an excellent question. Thankfully, the answer is in the verse right before the one you quoted. If we look at 2 Thessalonians 2:11 in context, we see that God sends them a delusion because they have refused to love the truth. God does not want them to behave this way - they have chosen to reject God and to reject truth.

We see a similar concept in Romans 1, where God gives people over to a depraved mind because they have chosen to reject God and instead chase after the world. God does not force a delusion on anyone - this delusion is a result of peoples’ prior decision to reject God.

I have highlighted the parallel phrases in the Bible passages below to show that this delusion / depraved mind is in response to people rejecting truth and God in favor of sin and the world.

Does that help clarify this Biblical concept? Do you have any follow up questions? Please do dig deeper - I am always open to further discussion. The Lord grant you peace and wisdom as you study the Scriptures.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 - The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Romans 1:21-25 - For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Romans 1:28 -Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #3

Thank you! I had a feeling that was the answer, but I wasn’t quite sure. It reminds me of the part in the past book of the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis where the Dwarfs still think that they are in a dark shed full of mud and dirt, but are actually in a beautiful garden surrounded by a wonderful banquet, and no one can convince them otherwise.

(SeanO) #4

@O_wretched_man Yes, speaking of Narnia, there is actually a very good illustration in ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ as well. When Aslan was creating Narnia through song, here is Lewis’ description of what Uncle Andrew experienced (versus what the children and the good hearted cabby experienced).

When the Lion had first begun singing, long ago when it was still quite dark, he had realized that the noise was a song. And he disliked the song very much. It made him think and feel things he did not want to think and feel. Then, when the sun rose and he saw that the singer was a lion he tried his hardest to make believe that it wasn’t singing and never had been singing - only roaring as any lion might in a zoo in our own world…And the longer and more beautiful the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring…He soon did hear nothing but roaring in Aslan’s song. Soon he couldn’t have heard anything else even if he had wanted to. And when at last the Lion spoke and said, “Narnia awake,” he didn’t hear any words: he heard only a snarl.

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #5

Wow, that’s actually a great example! I had forgotten about that one. I love C.S.Lewis! Thanks for reminding me and for clarification! I really appreciate it, and God Bless!

(SeanO) #6

@O_wretched_man Yes, Lewis is largely responsible for the conversion of my imagination, so to speak. Glad to be helpful and the Lord Jesus be with your spirit!

(SeanO) #9

@O_wretched_man While this is not the topic of this thread, I think it is important to realize there are a few different views on how to interpret the nature of the end times. I have attached a pdf explaining some of the main views and a few articles that I thought were helpful. A difference in view can lead to a different understanding of the ‘coming of the lawless one’ in 2 Thessalonians 2.

millennial_views.pdf (42.4 KB)

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #10

Thank you so much! I’ll be glad to hear it! God bless!

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #11

Thank you, I’ll be sure to check those out! God bless!