There is a passage in 2 Thessalonians 2: We ask you, brothers,a 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessnessb is revealed, the son of destruction,c 4who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
There is a verse that connects to this in Revelation 21:3
I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will adwell with them, and they shall be his people, and bGod himself shall be with them, and be their God.Last, we must be certain to note that the coming events are centered around persecutions:
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more adeath, neither bsorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more cpain: for the former things are passed away.5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things anew. And he said unto me, bWrite: for these cwords are true and faithful.6 And he said unto me, It is done. aI am bAlpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the cwater of life freely.8 But the fearful, and aunbelieving, and the abominable, and bmurderers, and cwhoremongers, and dsorcerers, and idolaters, and all eliars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the fsecond gdeath.9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last aplagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.” Matthew 5:10 (MSG)
“It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Cor. 12:9 – 10
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.” John 15:18-20 NIV
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12 NIV
“Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.” 1 Thessalonians 3:7
There is a great delusion coming. It will strike fear in the hearts of men. It comes on several fronts:
- There is fear of Islamic radicals. The threat of Islam on the world and on Christians in particular. It will be scary. The temptation will be to compromise when the tough times come.
- There will be fear of government and the evil that men do in the name of order. Those who were Christians in Nazi Germany had to deal with this. In many places we are at that place again. New World Order is in this camp. HAARP is in this camp.
- There will be those who live in fear under premilleianist doctrines and hope for a rapture which never comes. They will find themselves hiding out hoping. Hoarding food, ammo, water or whatever they think will preserve them until the rapture. They will not be overcomers, they will be hiding out. Read Rapture Ready for more. The attack on IRAN (next week for sure) is in this camp.
- There will be those who are convinced that the world as we know it will end in economic collapse. That all wealth is going to be destroyed. That people will be digging in the dirt with a stick looking for their next meal. Gold and sliver is their only hope. They are becoming driven by fear.
- In the last few weeks I have been sent articles and heard of fear of an alien invasion. That these green eyed monsters will come and eat us all. That we have been farmed. That they placed us here like cattle. That we are controlled. This one would be funny except when you hear and read what they say, many are former Christ followers now living in delusion to the point of renouncing any faith in God. Agnostics and atheists will be easy prey for this delusion.
There WILL be a great crisis. It may be any one (other than the alien invasion) or a combination of all three. The truth is the Bible PROMISES there will be persecution in the days and years to come. That there will be martyrs. That there will be delusions, some even from God to sort the spiritual men from boys. These delusions will look good at first. They will be causes we can be caught up in. I am cautious. We need to be aware and prepared as best we can. YET...fear on this side of the veil is a tool of the enemy to cause us to stumble. IF we are not prepared for martyrdom, we aren't prepared for heaven. Jesus gave us the capacity to be ready when he said:
Acts 1:8Amplified Bible (AMP)
8 But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses (Martyrs) in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.
John 16:13Amplified Bible (AMP)13 But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].
We must not be unaware of the truth that we are on the edge of a great delusion which has already begun. Fear is in the hearts of men.
People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Luke 21:26
The great delusion has many fronts. God has already provided the fullness of truth in HIS word, by the mouth of his Prophets and by the Spirit of God. Many will overcome. Most will not. When it gets very hard, when they come for your wife or child to take them into slavery, torture and eventual death unless you recant your belief in God and commit yourself to support evil most will recant (hoping that their fingers crossed gets them off the hook later). That choice is one that the Pastor from Iran faced. He overcame, but it's probably not over yet for him. The enemy doesn't give up that easy.
There will be no lukewarm Christians that will be overcomers in the end.
I don't know about heaven, how many will make heaven but not get the overcomer's crown. I am familiar with John Bevere's theory. I do know this, MOST Christians I know, when it gets really hard will fold up like a bad house of cards. We do not prepare them for the days to come.
We must become centered on Jesus. This noise is OK to hear, but don't believe every conspiracy theory that comes down the pike: blogs, late night programs, talk radio, Fox, MSNBC and a thousand other places. We must be focused on things above and not things below.
Be ready...The great delusion is on the horizon...it's already here.