Paul, in 2 Thess 2, writes of a time when God Himself will send a great delusion, so that people will believe “the lie”.
I have come across a variety of claims about the nature of that “great delusion”, including some that insisted it had already happened and others that suggest it is happening now.
The first example I saw was on a Christian forum, where a contributor claimed that God had already sent the great delusion upon America, and therefore sharing the gospel with Americans was a fruitless exercise. That person (while in my opinion misguided on that issue) did at least put his belief into action and moved to South America as a missionary.
More recently on a bible teacher’s blog, it was suggested that the current, widespread normalisation of homosexuality and the idea of gender flexibility could be the “great delusion”. I can understand his concern about the way such thinking seems to have flooded western culture so suddenly and so widely; but is that the great delusion God Himself will send?
I don’t believe so, although Romans 1 does include the warning (repeated several times) that God will give people who reject Him over to their vile passions, to uncleanness and to a debased mind; and homosexuality is specifically mentioned in regard to that giving over. But I see that is separate to Him sending “great delusion”.
In context, Paul’s warning about God sending a great delusion relates to something still in the future. The great delusion he writes about comes after “the lawless one” (commonly referred to as The Antichrist) has been revealed. I suspect there’s significance in the fact that Paul starts this section of scripture with an admonition not to be deceived about end time events and their timing.
The “great delusion” relates to acceptance of that lawless one, who comes:
“according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth,”
His lawless agenda and how he carries it out are based on everything contrary to God and God’s character, and yet people will willingly fall for him. But how and why would they do that?
Firstly, people (including professing Christians) love to follow a man who promises answers, even if those answers (and methods) may be contrary to the purposes of God. For example, it seems like many find it easy to get caught up in things related to national pride and patriotism, especially when they are dressed up in Christian rhetoric which makes them seem gospel (and God) friendly. Be wary of references to any nation’s “Judeo-Christian” foundations. Things were never as rosy in the past as they are made out to be, no matter how many pockets of genuine believers there may have been in a nation.
Secondly, it is unlikely that people will accept “THE lawless one” without prior conditioning, without first being seduced by “lawless-lite” leaders, precursors to that ultimately lawless leader. So before that end-time, satanically empowered man arrives in the world, his way may be made smoother, easing people into accepting the lawlessness he will personify. Look out for those seeking or gaining power through falsehood and deception. In other words liars who are effectively able to make lies acceptable, or can deflect attention away from their own lies, by portraying them as the real truth (or “alternative facts”) insisting that it’s others who are the deceivers.
The only way to ensure not falling for that kind of deception is to receive the love of the truth. Embrace truth and there will be no desire to excuse lies or liars.
We need to become familiar with GOD’s purposes and know what direction GOD is taking with HIS creation; instead of getting mixed up with human political schemes that exalt men (or A man) that have no relationship at all with God – not matter how often and how strongly they attempt to use the name of God to justify ungodly schemes.