1 & 2 Thessalonians: Day 11

Do Not Let Anyone Deceive You

by

Today's Text: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17, Daniel 11:36-37, Matthew 24:30-31

Scripture Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17, Daniel 11:36-37, Matthew 24:30-31

I’m not sure who began the rumor, but somebody did. Somebody in the church at Thessalonica whispered to somebody else that the Day of the Lord had come, and panic began to spread.

Perhaps this person saw evil happening around him and drew his own conclusions. Perhaps someone misinterpreted Paul’s first letter that described Jesus’ Second Coming to be a warning that the Second Coming was upon her. We don’t know, but from the way Paul addressed the issue, we do know that this rumor caused anxiety.

Paul pleaded with the church,  “We ask you, brothers, not to be easily upset in mind or troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us, alleging the Day of the Lord has come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).

Paul’s strategy to dispel this rumor was to fight it with the truth. Referencing a visit recorded in Acts 17:1-13, he asks: “Don’t you remember that when I was still with you I told you about this?” (2 Thessalonians 2:5). He then details the events they had gone over together in Scripture, the events that would precede the End Times, how Christ would prevail over the evil one, and how all of this would happen under the sovereignty of God’s timing.

In their state of confusion, Paul used the truth to reassure the church. The truth can do the same for us. What rumors do we fall prey to? What causes us to feel fear or to panic?

It is not only rumors about the End Times that can upset us. It can be rumors about other aspects of our faith. Rumors about people we know. Rumors about people we don’t know. Rumors are so dangerous because beyond misleading people with falsities, they cause unnecessary fear and anxiety. They cause us to trust the story rather than our God. Or, they cause us to judge others based on what we’ve heard about them, rather than what God says about them.

Though rumors may be impossible to avoid, especially in our social-media-driven culture, they are not impossible to dispute. As Christ followers, we are also truth followers, and as truth followers we should also be truth seekers. The ones who—before buying into the rumor—ask ourselves, as Paul did with the Thessalonians:

What is the truth here?
What does Scripture really say about this?
Where is the Holy Spirit guiding me on this topic, or this story?

In this way, we will not be deceived.

Rumors cause shadows of confusion, but the truth exposes lies to the light. Rumors cause fear and panic, but the truth brings freedom and peace. Rather than adding to the rumor mill, may we be the ones who put a stop to it with truth—a truth that says God loves us and has given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace. Now that is a story we can trust in.

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  • Lois Wilson

    The belt of truth.

  • Im just catching up on yesterday’s reading and this was just perfect. I have a situation where I don’t know who or what to believe and this told me, before you do anything, stop, think & check your facts. Thank you.

  • Ally Gould

    God has continued confirming these truths over and over in my life lately! How important it is for us to read and know the truth of the scriptures. In a world filled with information at our fingertips (both true and false), we are easily faced by rumors or even false teachings or misunderstandings. If we don’t understand the truth for ourselves, we can easily be swayed. I am thankful for this community of women who are committed to reading and KNOWING the truth! <3

  • Could anyone tell me what the “message” is? Several people referred to it in the comments section.

  • Audrey Gonzalez

    Love this. I always love the verse “lean not on your own understanding” …I have to often stop myself when I get caught in a whirlwind of fear and doubt and say Lord I’m not going to trust what i understand this situation to be. I am going to choose to believe and cling to truth.

  • Lisa Thompson

    What a great analogy, Katy! I’m going to think on that.

  • Twenty years ago today we laid my husband to rest. Feels like yesterday.

  • Amen. Such great lesson— thank you again SRT

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re so glad to have you reading along with us Chris! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Kinsey Nickell

    My family and I have made a decision to sell our home, downsize, and follow God’s lead. Yet the devil keeps trying to get me to worry more about what people think than the truth. This devotional opened my eyes once again to trust God’s truth. To understand that rumors and falsehood is common on this earth, but if we are following His truth, He provides peace and comfort. And more than we could ever hope for.

    • Veronica Dummit

      Hey Kinsey, just wanted to encourage you to continue following the Lord. I admire your strength in the face of social pressures. As my kids grow I’m starting to feel the weight of those inevitable pressures and it gives me courage to know I’m not alone in my desire not to give in and instead to pursue and truly exalt the will of the Lord above the will of others.

  • Does anyone else have a confusion over “God sends them a strong delusion” (verse 11)? When in the previous verse it is Satan sending “every wicked deception” in the first place? How can they understand when they are deluded by Satan? God sends anyone a delusion?

    • Lizzieb85

      The Message version may help:
      9-12 The Anarchist’s coming is all Satan’s work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake, evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them. And since they’re so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it — gives them what they want. Since they refuse to trust truth, they’re banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions.

  • This study definitely left me feeling convicted of being including myself into gossip. I can admit I am nosey about things going on with other people but what business do I have worrying about others business and gossiping about them. If I am not going to pray for them or offering to help them then I shouldn’t be involved in the rumors about others that I do not have solid truth about. This study also makes it clear about why it is so important to read the Word everyday and feed our spirits with God’s truth. The enemy knows how to deceive us and is working to steer us away and confuse our minds with a lie. I pray that we continue to seek God’s truth through continuous prayer and reading of His word.

    • Gina

      Kenya, what a great step in changing your ways. I think when we notice what our weaknesses are, that’s half the battle right there!!
      In the last year or so, I have discovered many in myself…and it was through a study on Acts through these devotions. You know, the kind that is so good you read ahead, but they also make you squirm because you see alot of yourself in ‘the bad guy’.
      Really loving She reads Truth.

  • SRT I think this is your best study yet. Hard hitting, challenging truth that urges us to look straight to God for all we need. Thank you!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks so much Kara, we’re so glad that you’re enjoying the study!

  • I find that gossip comes easily to my tongue and rumor easily to my ear. it’s how I was raised to make small talk. BUT it is just that…small. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” of course we want a road map, a timeline, a notification of when He is coming. BUT I think (because we are in the beautiful time between He is Born and He is Risen) that we are called to continue the good fight. Watches off, silence your phones, and share the Good News!

  • Katie Morrison

    The truth brings peace. This is sticking with me today. In my prayer time I prayed that God would be a tower of peace over my family. Tower of peace. That is something the Lord gave me in my prayer time. That His peace will encompass us and we will dwell under that protection. His peace. That others will be drawn to this tower seeking refuge and rest. Realizing the source of our peace, brings to light that Jesus is the only answer for us. Thank you God. Thank you Jesus for the punishment that brought us peace. You’ve claimed it as ours. I love you.

    • Katy Day

      So true Katie! I heard a teaching referring to our homes being an ‘embassy’ for the Lord, as an embassy represents another kingdom and place of safety in a foreign land, and that’s how we live in this world. I pray my home is a place of peace and love and safety for all who come through the door and that they sense God here.

      • Kara

        I love both of these analogies!

      • Melinda

        Your analogy is very relevant to me in light of a recent sermon I heard. Ephesians 6:20 and 2 Corinthians 5:20 refer to Christians as ambassadors. An ambassador, such as Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, represents their homeland. Ms Haley insures the US has a voice in the UN and insures the US message is shared with the world. As ambassadors of Christ we too insure that God’s message is shared with the world. We have the responsibility to insure that we are His voice to the world around us. An ambassador in a foreign land resides in an embassy so your analogy expounded on the idea of that sermon. This repeated message seems to have special emphasis for me. I hope to apply it and remember my responsibility to share God’s message.

  • Churchmouse

    She reads truth. That’s why I am here. This site promotes TRUTH, not opinion or rumor or guessing. Truth. It sometimes seems in short supply in our world but it is in abundance in the Scriptures. That is why I spend time in the Word and why I spend time here. Thank you SRT and thank you fellow truth-seekers.

  • Paul knows how easy we get anxious and interrupts himself to speak a blessing in Christ over the Thessalonians and over us today:
    “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word”. (16,17) Don’t be afraid! Take courage! He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world!! We are his! Sanctified by his Spirit, believing the truth of Christ’s Word. Amen

  • Sandy Forsythe

    … people refuse to love the truth, … but take pleasure in unrighteousness… (paraphrased a little) but the Bible speaks of our world acting like this. It must make our Father God so sad. I know I’m heartbroken when my adult kids don’t live facing the truth.
    But Andrea is so on target with her commentary- Fight with Truth.
    For me – that brings our only hope because God is Trustworthy and Faithful. Praise God.

  • Kaitlyn Reed

    I was deceived by other “Christians” performing great miracles and giving incredible prophecies. Since they had the label of “Christian” I trusted them and what they said, until it was clear that they were missing the biblical mark. We have to be SO CAREFUL to not let ourselves be deceived, even by people inside our church.

  • I rarely comment on the studies but I love reading them and the community that springs up discussing them. Today my heart is troubled even though my spirit tells me it shouldn’t be! We are clearly in the End Times, Jesus and Paul describe it so clearly and it’s the world I see around me. My question is this, are we here throughout the Great Tribulation? Or are we snatched away (raptured) before? People give valid scriptural reasons for both views but I would like to know what the thoughts are of women here! I don’t want to be deceived and not be ready, but equally I don’t want to spend time thinking about it too much and miss opportunities every day to serve God and spread His Word and worry about how bad things are going to get. Help! X

    • Tina

      Katy, I wanted to write to reassure you that all will be well however or in whatever way the end times come… for absolute certainty. We know that Jesus’ coming will be the beginning of the end…
      What I wanted to say, from my heart, as I am not a theologian, is this … as a child of God who has Jesus in your heart, you are saved, by your acceptance of who you believe Him to be…

      You won’t believe this, but as I write, this song came on my ‘Alexa’ ?..The voice of truth…
      I will say no more because I believe this is for you…

      Heres the link…https://g.co/kgs/pZMrNQ
      Believe what you know in your heart as truth… dear Katy. For now, I believe thats all we need to know.. Amen..xxx

    • Kaitlyn Reed

      Hi Katy. I wouldn’t focus on the end times at all, regardless if we’re raptured before or not. Focus on God’s peace and protection, because we are His children, and He will protect us from things. Whats designed to happen will play out perfectly, exactly as it should, and if you trust that our God is good, then you will have perfect peace regardless of how it should play out. I personally think it’s clear from the Bible mentioning that God shortened the days of tribulation for His children that we will be here through it. But I trust Him and I know He will take care of us, even through all of that. We need to focus on doing His will and that’s it. Love to you, sister!

      • Rhonda Johnson

        Thank you for this great reply! I often too get scared thinking of how bad things can be, your words say it perfectly, to only dwell in HIS peace!

    • Kaitlyn Reed

      Katy, I just did some biblical research and I totally change my stance. Tribulation is basically God’s wrath, which He removes completely from His children. So that seems inconsistent with the belief that we will be raptured mid or after tribulation. Seems like it will be right at the start, as we will not suffer in His wrath at all.

    • Pam White

      Dr David Jeremiah has some good sermons related to this. He believes Christians will not be on earth during the tribulation.

      • Tahoechild

        Agreed about what David Jeremiah has to say about the Tribulation. So Katy Day, if you haven’t read any of his sermons, they would be a good resource for you.

    • Katy Day

      Thank you ladies! I try not to dwell on the ‘end times’ but really feel it’s important to be watching, which Jesus tells us to do, so that we’re not deceived. To me, a pre-tribulation rapture fits so well with Jesus’ teaching on ‘not knowing the day or hour’ and not worrying about tomorrow but spending each day close to Him, and having an answer for the hope we have in a world that so many are finding so difficult. It makes me pray more urgently for those I love who don’t know God. I just want to hear the Truth! I will look up, I’m sure our redemption is close! Blessings ladies xx

    • Erika Breeden

      Honestly, the rapture is a mystery to me. I know that we are definitely in the end of times as I can see and feel the evil all around us. I try not to dwell too much on those last days though. I pray that God has mercy on us and that he gives us the strength and peace to get thru it all.

    • Leslie VanNess

      Mathew 24:31 of today’s reading As Jesus’s followers/believers we are His “Elect” Thank you precious Lamb if God ♥️

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