The wicked have always been “destitute” of the truth—despising it, trampling it, mocking it with disdain. I saw an example of this recently in The New York Post, as one writer confidently declared, “Science has now replaced faith.”
Paul's greater concern was always for those who had known the way of truth, confessing their faith in Christ, yet continued to flirt with sin. Paul wrote of those who attempt to hold the truth in unrighteousness—an act that enrages God. “Who changed the truth of God into a lie . . . for this cause God gave them up unto vile affections” (Romans 1:25-26).
Others, held in bondage by their lustful pleasures, turned to false teachers to try to find peace. They ended up accepting “damnable heresies . . . and many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:1-2).
All of Paul’s messages on apostasy and the Antichrist were aimed at such carnal Christians. They were not meant for the idolaters of Rome, the heathen of Greece, the pagan tribes in unknown places. Paul’s message was one of great importance to the church and he wrote it to be read in churches, directly to believers!
You see, Paul was calling God’s people everywhere to love the truth—to search it out, study it and obey it. He wrote, in essence, “Let the truth be your guide and do not turn aside from it. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see it, ears to hear it, and a heart to love it. Otherwise, you will open yourself to deception and end up believing a lie. Satan will be able to initiate you into the cult of Antichrist!”
If you do not believe this, simply recall the Scriptures. The Bible says that in the days just prior to Jesus’ return, Satan will bring such an overwhelming flood of seduction that he will attempt to deceive even the elect, if that were possible. It will not matter how long a Christian has walked with Jesus; he will face temptations he has never had in his life. Even the strongest believer will be tempted to doubt God’s faithfulness and mistrust His Holy Word.
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).