Open Your Bible
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Daniel 11:36-37, Ephesians 5:6-14
BY Erin Davis
In the Davis home, family meetings are reserved for serious business. If someone calls for one, everyone’s internal radar begins to beep, “Pay attention! This is important!” We sit on the edge of our seats as we gather in the living room to hear whatever weighty news is coming. In 2 Thessalonians 2, the apostle Paul calls a family meeting of sorts. The tone is familial but the topic is kind of scary: even God’s children are vulnerable to deception.
Can’t you picture the Thessalonians gathering together, family-style to read Paul’s letter? I imagine a few biting their fingernails with worry as they read these words, “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him: We ask you, brothers and sisters, not to be easily upset or troubled” (2Thessalonians 2:1–2).
My heart is right there with the believers who first read these words from Paul. I know I’ve been upset and troubled by the promise of Christ’s coming, even while longing for Him to come. Sometimes I wonder what is taking so long. What if we miss it? How can we know, really know, that when He comes He will receive us as His own?
Beyond the return of Jesus, I have other worries. I’ve seen my Christian brothers and sisters crash and burn on the runway of wrong theology. I’ve watched church leaders veer from the truth to their own peril. Though I trust my salvation is sealed in Christ, I also know I’m capable of falling for lies and grabbing on to false hopes. We must remember that God knows about our racing pulse and anxious heart (Philippians 4:6). Through His Word, He acknowledges our fears with a paternal warning: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way” (2Thessalonians 2:3).
But isn’t it the very nature of deception that it’s tricky? And who is the “man of lawlessness” (vv.5–12), and how do we steer clear of the “strong delusion” (v.11) Paul writes about in his letter?
In the Davis home, family meetings are also a space for reassurance. We consider something challenging and vow to tackle it together. We acknowledge that something isn’t working, and we stay in the huddle until we have a new game plan. God’s Word does the same. Deep breath. Let’s have a bit of a family meeting.
How can we know if we’ve been deceived? Look closely at verse 12. The answer was there all along. Those who are deceived do not believe the truth. They’ve turned from God’s Word. It’s that simple. And it’s also that easy to do, to be swayed by deception.
Sisters, huddle up. Here is the game plan for battling deception. Ready? We hold God’s Word high as the source of truth. Then we love the truth. We live the truth. We run away from every deception, by running toward our Bibles—together.