Day 11

Do Not Let Anyone Deceive You

from the 1 & 2 Thessalonians reading plan

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

BY Andrea Lucado

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.


Post Comments (42)

42 thoughts on "Do Not Let Anyone Deceive You"

  1. Susie says:

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

    1. Melodie Anderson says:

      The message translation of the Bible most likely.

  2. Audrey Gonzalez says:

    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.

  3. Lisa Thompson says:

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

  4. Pam says:

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

    1. Gina Glennon says:

      Praying for the love of Jesus to enfold you in His arms.

  5. Chris says:

    Amen. Such great lesson— thank you again SRT

    1. She Reads Truth says:

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

  6. Kinsey Nickell says:

    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.

    1. Veronica Dummit says:

      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.

  7. Terri says:

    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?

    1. Lizzieb85 says:

      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.

      1. Pam says:

        Yes, I had to get out the Message to read and understand at all.

      2. Whitney says:

        Thanks for posting this. I was also a bit confused and seeing the verse in the Message version helps sort it out!

      3. Gina Glennon says:

        God gives us what we really want..Himself or our sin.

  8. Kenya says:

    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.

    1. Gina says:

      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.

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