To those involved in this dying world he [Satan] will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused to love the truth which could have saved them. God sends upon them, therefore, the full force of evil’s delusion, so that they put their faith in an utter fraud and meet the inevitable judgment of all who have refused to believe the truth and who have made evil their play-fellow. II Thess. 2:10-12 (Phillips)
Consider the words of my dear brother Jon in his fine commentary on these verses—
There are only two prayers a man can pray: Either “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done”—or “my kingdom come; my will be done.” He who prays the latter, says, “I am king of my domain. I want to call the shots in my life.” God gives us freedom to pray either prayer. To do so, it is necessary for Him to send a “delusion” lest he who does not want to believe does so against his will.
Jesus touched on this same principle when He spoke in parables so that blind eyes would not see or deaf ears would not hear (Matt. 3:13). The power of Jesus’ words and life was so evident that had He not blinded the eyes and stopped the ears of those who did not want to believe they would have had no choice but to believe. Thus, they would have followed Him out of coercion rather than out of love.
That’s why when we witness to people, we find ourselves saying, “Don’t you get it? God is so good. Who wouldn’t want to be saved? Who wouldn’t want to know his sins are forgiven, that he has a Friend closer than a brother, that he’s going to live forever in heaven?” – only to hear people say, “No thanks.”
Who wouldn’t want to be saved? Even in the Tribulation, God will honor man’s choice. He will allow those who don’t want to see to remain blind.
The English sage, John Watson, of centuries ago, presents the question so very valid today—
One person we cannot avoid—the inevitable Christ; one dilemma we must face—
“What shall I do with Jesus, which is called Christ?”
Wrestle once again with Watson’s question– “What shall I do with Jesus…?” Consider from Oswald Chambers—“Our choice is indelibly marked for time and eternity. What we decide makes our destiny; not what we have felt, nor what we have been moved to do, or inspired to see, but what we decide to do in a given crisis, it is that which makes or mars us. Sooner or later there comes to every life the question – Will I choose to side with God’s verdict on sin in the Cross of Christ? I may say “I won’t accept,” or “I will put it off,” but remember, both are decisions. Just when is the right time for salvation, to place one’s confidence in God’s work of giving Jesus, and His death on the cross to provide forgiveness for us sinners? Today!
Paraphrasing II Cor. 6:2—“At just the right time I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you. Indeed, the right time is now. Today is the day of salvation.”