THE ANTICHRIST’S FOLLOWERS
2 THESSALONIANS 2:10-12
In this study we will be looking at those who choose to follow the Antichrist.
NOTE: This study stands as a very strong warning to mankind, especially the unbelievers. It reveals just who the followers of the Antichrist WILL be. Remember, we are seeing the future through John’s eyes.
This study will also show who runs the risk of becoming a follower of the Antichrist. This will be dangerous because the Lord Jesus Christ is going to deal with them in a most serious way. So, let’s think about some specific facts concerning the ones who will follow the Antichrist:
- They are perishing (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
- They are the persons who do not believe the truth (v. 10).
- They are deceived (v. 11).
- They are the damned (v. 12).
Now let’s do a quick dive into (2:10) – Antichrist and his followers. The followers of the Antichrist are those who are perishing (apollumenois). Note the continuous action: those “that perish” that is, the people who are in the process of perishing.
- He is perishing, he is on the road to being lost.
- He has turned away from God
- He is traveling in the opposite direction along the road that leads to perdition (Matthew 7:13-14).
- The word “perishing” means to be lost, to be in the process of being destroyed or ruined, corrupted and put to death.
NOTE: The thing to understand is this: when a person is on the road to perdition (damnation, eternal punishment), he has TURNED AWAY FROM GOD and is pointed in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION. He is traveling away from God. He has DELIBERATELY CHOSEN to be separated from God. He has severed all ties with God. Nothing could be worse for a human being than to be separated from the God who created and sustains him.
Therefore, he cannot see God nor the things of God.
- His face and eyes are not turned toward the gospel, but toward the world that perishes.
- The gospel is HIDDEN TO HIM because he is perishing,
- Why? Because he is traveling the road of the lost.
- He is on the road of those who are perishing.
- He is simply facing in the wrong direction, looking away from the gospel.
- He has decided to go through the broad gate of Matthew 7:13-14. He wants to travel with the lost who love the world and the things of the world (I John 2:15-17).
- He has chosen to ignore the narrow path (gate) which leads to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14).
- Good Question: which gate have you chosen???
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
“For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law” (Romans 2:12).
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish FOOLISHNESS; but unto us which are saved it is the POWER OF GOD” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption” (2 Peter 2:12).
“And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish” (Deuteronomy 8:19).
“For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1:6).
Note why the followers of the Antichrist will be perishing: they will be DECEIVED BY THE ANTICHRIST. He will deceive them to live unrighteous lives — lives that are not right before God.
Note: The Antichrist will use all kinds and forms of deceit to secure the loyalty of the lost ungodly people:
- He will lead people away from the truth.
- He will mistreat people by lying to them.
- He will lead people to believe false ideas and untruths.
- He will exalt man, government, and science.
- He will cheat people out of the inheritance they could receive.
- He will misguide people.
- He will keep them from knowing peace, true inner peace, true assurance, security, love, joy, and confidence — all the qualities that build the very best kind of life.
Now we will examine (2:10) – the Antichrist and his followers:
The followers of the Antichrist are the persons who do not receive the truth. The word “received” (edechanto) means to welcome.
Note: They do not welcome God’s love through the gospel; in other words, they do not love the gospel (John 3:16). What a terrible indictment against the followers of the Antichrist. There are things the Antichrist will keep from as many people as possible. He does not want them to know 4 things:
- the way for them to be saved.
- the way for them to escape death.
- the way for them to live eternally.
- the way for them to live victoriously over the trials and sufferings of this life.
But despite all this, they do not want the truth of the gospel. And the result is awful, terrible; THEY ARE NOT SAVED! They love the darkness of sin.
The followers of the Antichrist will be those who have not welcomed the love of the truth — those who have rejected the love of the gospel. Good question: do you love the gospel, the truth of God in John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13 in order for you to be saved and go to heaven??? Only you and God know the truth about yourself.
“And this is the condemnation, that light (Jesus – John 1:4-5) is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).
“That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12).
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12).
“I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not” (Jude 5).
Now let’s move to 2 Thessalonians 2:11 and see that the followers of the Antichrist are deceived. There are always two factors involved in deception:
- the deceit of the deceiver.
- the willingness of the person to reject the truth and to believe a lie.
Note verse ten above and both factors are clearly seen. Now note what this verse says: “For this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” Does this mean that God misleads unbelievers? That God deceives people? No! Scripture shouts a thousand times “no”! A person is not deceived…
- apart from his own will.
- against his will.
A person is deceived only because he chooses to disbelieve God and His Word. What Scripture teaches is that God has set certain laws in the universe…
- laws both within man and within nature.
- laws which go into motion and take effect when man acts.
If a person does something, certain things will happen. If a person does something else, then something else will happen. Scripture teaches that unbelief is governed by these laws. For, example…
- there is the law of sowing and reaping. If a person sows unbelief and deception, he shall reap unbelief and deception.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).
- there is the law of measure. If a person measures unbelief and deception, unbelief and deception shall be measured back to him.
“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:2).
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).
The point is this: it is because people reject the truth of the gospel that they shall suffer strong delusion and believe the lie of the Antichrist.
Note the words “strong delusion” (energeian planes) verse 11. The words mean a working error. In the end time, people will work error after error, sin after sin, evil after evil. They will become stronger and stronger in their sin, harder and harder. They will become steeped in their rejection of the gospel more and more.
Leon Morris says, “It is the law of life that those who take this step (disbelieve the gospel) go further and further astray into error….men who reject the truth are bound to end up by accepting evil as true. Thereby God uses Satan as the means of punishing them (the Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians” Tyndale New Testament Commentaries,” page. 134).
In the simplest of words, A.T. Robertson says, “(God) gives the wicked over to the evil which they have deliberately chosen (Romans 1:24, 26, 28)” (Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. 4, p. 53).
“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23).
“Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14).
“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:14; read also 2 Corinthians 4:4).
“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18).
“But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (I John 2:11).
“And they will deceive everyone his neighbor, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity” (Jeremiah 9:5).
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
“For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth” (Micah 6:12).
CONSIDER: The warning to men! The followers of the Antichrist will be those who are DECEIVED about the gospel — the persons who do not believe nor love the truth of the gospel.
The great tragedy is that a person cannot reject Jesus Christ and expect things to stay as they are. God loves His Son too much to overlook His being rejected. Jesus Christ has done too much for man for God to bypass a person’s unbelief and rejection. When a person has the chance to see the gospel and open his heart, but chooses not to look and closes his heart, that person suffers the consequences.
It is that person who suffers more and more unbelief and deception; he becomes stronger and stronger in his rejection, believing more and more in the lie of the Antichrist. The unbeliever is the prime target of the Antichrist: It is the unbelievers who will become his followers.
Now let’s move to 2 Thessalonians 2:12. It is the followers of the Antichrist that are the damned — it is those who take pleasure in unrighteousness. The word “damned” (krithosin) means judged, condemned, punished.
There are two reasons why the followers of the Antichrist will be judged. We will examine those two reasons in our next study. Right now, we want to look at the road to heaven and give you enough Biblical truth for you to understand how easy it is to accept Christ as your personal savior. Remember the way to heaven comes through God’s Son and His actions on your behalf.
Let’s consider for a moment John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
THE GOD OF LOVE: God so loved the world that He loved the whole world. The fact that God truly loves is shocking to many. Some wonder and others question how God could possibly love the:
vile person wife beater thief murderer child abuser alcoholic immoral person prostitute street person oppressor enslaver bitter vengeful
FACT: God loves every man, not just the religious and the good. He does not love only the people who love Him. He loves everyone, even the unlovely and the unloving, the unbelieving and the obstinate, the selfish and the greedy, the spiteful and the vengeful.
God wants man to know His love. He wants to reach everyone in the world with His love.
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…” (I John 3:16).
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slack ness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Good Question, do you know this God who loves you and wants you to spend eternity with Him in heaven? If you have never accepted Christ as your personal Savior please read:
Romans 10:9-13 and follow the road to Heaven. God is waiting for you…
Log onto wilkinsradio.com to find a station near you that streams live our “Reaching Out” broadcast.