Summary: The deceptive power of the spirit of the Antichrist is growing. We must ever be on guard lest we also fall prey to his power of deception.
DELUDED AND FOOLED
2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 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."
There has never been a time that is more confusing than the time in which we are living right now. Nations and governments are perplexed because they are unable to solve their problems. Crises after crises come so very quickly that there is no time to recover from one before the next strikes and each one brings the world closer and closer to the brink of economic meltdown and military confrontation.
The spirit of the Antichrist is working overtime to destroy and deceive the hearts of people at an unprecedented rate. Yet, this deception will grow much worse before Jesus returns to set up his kingdom of peace.
Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians pointed to the spirit of the Antichrist that was already at work in the early church to deceive God’s people. Indeed, that same spirit of the Antichrist has been at work in the hearts of men since the fall of Adam in the garden and has continued to increase in power and influence as the population of men, women and children, created in the image of God, also increased.
Oh how easily the heart and mind of man is deceived. We are so quick to believe a lie and so quick to accept Satan’s lies. It is not only those who live in the world of sin who are easily taken in by the god of this present world whose goal is their eternal destruction. There are multitudes of people who claim to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior who are also caught up in this trap of deception.
Do you believe that you can be deceived even as you sit in church this morning? Is it possible that the spirit of the Antichrist has been at work to cloud your judgment and to pollute your heart and spirit and to engulf you in the delusion that all is well with Christ? Is your salvation assured this morning, or are you living in a world of delusion?
The greatest power of deception that Satan has is to compromise the convictions of the heart of a Christian. I’m not sure if I know anyone whose convictions are not compromised from time to time and there are some who live under this deception and have been in that place for so long that they don’t even realize how far they have come.
There was a time when righteousness and holiness was the rule in the church but now it is the exception.
We are all like Lot, Abraham’s nephew, who chose to live in Sodom. He was a righteous man who lived in a degraded society.
2 Peter 2:8, "(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)"
Lot lived in that sinful place and was bothered by they sin all around him. His heart was affected every time he walked out the door. Living in the midst of such a compromising situation clouded Lot’s judgment because we find that he even comes to the place where he offers his daughters to the mob who stood at the door to protect his angelic guests.
Let me ask you, was it necessary for Lot to protect the angels – of course not. But Lot had been compromised in his faith to the point that he didn’t remember the power of God over sin anymore. He took matters into his own hands and did that which was evil in an attempt to protect them.
Lest we condemn Lot, let me also ask this question – how many Christians are willing to let Satan destroy their children because they lack the faith in God to deliver them from the clutches of sin? How many cast their children into the streets of this world, leaving them at the mercy of the spirit of the Antichrist, simply because they don’t want to be bothered by them or they are tired of fighting against the powers of hell in order to reclaim their children from the stronghold of sin?