2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (NLT)

What does 2 Thessalonians 2:10 mean?

According to Paul, a major figure in the end times is a “man of lawlessness.” This figure is credited with impressive satanic powers, which he uses to deceive the world.

Satan has always been a master of deception (John 8:44). In the garden of Eden, he deceived Eve (Genesis 3:1–7), and he has deceived millions since that fateful day. Revelation 12:9 identifies him as “the deceiver of the whole world.” In 2 Thessalonians 2:10, we are reminded that Satan’s deception works in the hearts and minds of “those who are perishing.” Scripture indicates that those who are saved have the presence of the Holy Spirit within them (John 14:16–17; Ephesians 1:13–14), which provides a certain level of spiritual awareness (1 Corinthians 2:14). Those who have rejected Christ do not have this defense (John 3:36). Unbelievers of the tribulation will be totally duped by the false signs and wonders the Devil parades before them. These same lost people had refused to love the truth and be saved (John 3:16–18, 36).

When the gospel reaches a person, he or she has an opportunity to believe and be saved, but “the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Only the grace of God can dispel this blindness (2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 2:8–9).


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