“THEY REFUSED TO LOVE THE TRUTH”
We noticed how Paul uses the word “truth” 3 times in Chapter 2 of 2nd Thessalonians – and he uses it 11 times in his letters to Timothy, which we are just about to read. There is not much “truth” spoken today. Maybe much of what is said or written cannot be called outright lies, but the tactic of deliberately giving a misleading impression is all too common.
Paul writes of those who are to perish “because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” [v.10] We are challenged to understand the character of God when we read in the next 2 verses, “therefore God shall send them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” [v.11,12]
All to many who claim to believe pull a curtain across their minds when it comes to understanding what the Bible really has to say about the character of God: to simply say ‘God is love’ is to look at just one side of the coin. Those who have pleasure in unrighteousness cannot really ‘believe’ in God at the same time – which is much more than believing that he exists. . God knows our hearts; we can understand intellectually what is true – but that is a separate thing. To love that which is true is a function of the heart, of our heart-felt emotions; it is the outworking of a living relationship with God and with His Son.
Jesus told the Pharisees, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” [Luke 16 v.15]
We understand, because Scripture forcefully tells us in several ways, that God is soon going to make his power known to all human beings, and that very dramatically! Do we “see” in our hearts that God is being “righteous” in doing this? It is the right thing for God to do, because the world deserves this!
Verse 13 says we are chosen by God “to be saved through sanctification (holiness) by the spirit and belief in the truth.” When Jesus returns he will “inflict vengeance on all those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel …” [1 v.8] To “know” God is to have a relationship with Him – just as we “know” each other. What wonder and joy is to come for those who do! [1 v9-12] And for those who do not? We “refuse” to let our minds imagine the answer to that question: our chapter tomorrow in Joel is awesome.
Let us all, as Paul told the Ephesians (4 v.15], live “speaking the truth in love … grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ …”