Daily Readings and Thought for November 19th. “They refused to love the truth and so be saved”
We were struck by 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 it cannot be called outright lies all the time, 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 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 serve God at the same time. 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, our emotions; it is the outworking of a living relationship with God and with His Son.
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?