Saturday, September 3
This chapter comes with some very big warnings. From the very beginning of the chapter to the very end, it is full of warnings not to be deceived. If this was such a big problem 2000 years ago, how much bigger is it now? We need to heed all of these warnings because just like the Thessalonians, we also have others trying to deceive us in every step of our lives.
To be able to keep from being deceived, we must first know the truth. In John 8:31-32, Jesus says, ‘“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”’ According to these verses, the very first thing we need to do to keep ourselves from being deceived is to hold to Jesus’ teaching. To do this, we need to first know what Jesus taught and to obey it. When we hold to the teachings of Jesus, we are really his disciples. Then, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Paul writes that the Thessalonians were “saved… through belief in the truth.” The Thessalonians not only knew the truth, they also believed it. For this reason, they were saved. We also can be saved when we know the truth and choose to believe in it. But, if you choose not to believe in the truth, there are serious consequences.
In verse 13, Paul writes, “[S]o that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” It is a matter of life or death, whether or not you believe in the truth. If you believe in the truth, you can be saved and have eternal life in the kingdom. If you do not believe in the truth, however, you will be condemned and will perish.
Verse 15 says, “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” Paul has told us what our choices are. The choice to believe in the truth or to not believe in it. He urges us, then, to stand firm and hold fast to the teachings. When we hold fast to the teachings, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. It’s not a trivial decision! It is life or death, so choose the truth!
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- How can you be sure you are not being deceived?
- How are you following Jesus’ teachings, not the pastor or creeds or traditions, but following Jesus’ teachings?