What Can I Say?
This injustice will all have been done to those who are dying, because they would not love the truth that would save them. As a result, God will send them in the wrong direction so they will believe the lie, and in this way all who rejected the truth and celebrated injustice will be condemned. (2 Thes. 2:10-12 TGNT)
This passage of scripture speaks of a coming deception so powerful that even the most astute and observant will be fooled. Most Bibles translate "send them in the wrong direction" as “a strong delusion,” but the Greek words are literally “action of diversion” (ενεργειαν πλανης, energeian planEs) and can also mean to misdirect. Both meanings are indeed close and overlapping, so there is no doubt that people will be led astray. The point here is that it is God who causes the misdirection, and He does it because people have embraced lies and deception as a way of life.
The results of such an attitude of deception are clear: violence, destruction, depravity, cold-bloodedness... this in itself is a fulfilment of what Paul wrote in the first century:
But know this, that in the final days there will be difficult times. People will be selfish, stingy, fake, contemptuous, disrespectful of their parents, incorrigible, ungrateful, improper, cold-blooded, truce-breakers, slanderers, out of control, savage, haters of all that is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, and lovers of pleasure instead of God.
They will have the appearance of devoutness but renounce its power; turn away from such people! They are the kind who worm their way into people’s homes and make prisoners of war out of those who will follow anyone, because they are loaded down with many failures and are led around by all kinds of desires; though they keep on learning they are never able to understand the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these people oppose the truth; their minds are ruined and they are disqualified as far as the faith is concerned. But they will never make any progress, and their senselessness will be as obvious as it was for those two. (2 Tim. 3:1-9 TGNT)
Even the non-spiritual see this condition of the world today; even they sense that a pervasive evil has been unleashed. Yet in spite of all the signs and warnings, many are unprepared for the world as we know it to be shaken to its core. No matter how many news sites are reporting what the mainstream media will not, people are so jaded to all the reports of doom that such reports seem futile, like raindrops on the middle of the ocean. Does it really help anyone to know of approaching doom if there’s nothing that can be done to stop it? Beyond preparing to suffer and/or meet our Maker, not much, except perhaps to make amends as we’re able and tie up any other loose ends in our lives.
One would think that at least the Christian community would be at the forefront of explaining what all this deception and disaster mean in prophetic terms, but we too have become distracted, disillusioned, and disinterested... by design. There is a reason the churches and their preachers turned from the Gospel to politics and social norms, to playing roles or being non-confrontational even when it is required of us by scripture. There is a reason nobody wants to talk about prophecy, or they go to the other extreme and get "a word from the Lord" every five minutes. So many believers today, it seems, consider themselves Bible teachers and prophecy experts. They read the news like mental patients who see codes and symbols in the most mundane and ordinary things, such as clocks or TV shows. Granted, there really is a lot of occult activity today, and they do use the media to give hidden messages. But seeing significance in the time on a clock when one wakes from sleep is not a sign or symbol or word from God. Christians have lost any sense of... sense.
We all need to step back and survey the landscape, rather than get caught up in only the ever-changing details. No one doubts that the world is reeling from disasters of every kind, and that humanity has sunk to an all-time low. But there is no point in speculating on who is the Antichrist or whether today’s flare-up in the Middle East is "it". We all can relate to children riding in the car and asking, "Are we there yet?", and it was fun (for us, not our parents!) to "look for signs". But, as with our parents, God says "We’ll get there when we get there!". Keep looking, but don’t go claiming that God Himself told you something when it’s likely your imagination. The important thing is to watch and be prepared to "get out of the car" when we finally get to our destination.
Personally, I see the endless parade of false alarms as a sign in itself. It is designed to lull us to sleep the way we tune out an alarm clock by hitting the snooze button. The goal is to make sure we’re not ready for the end when it actually comes. It’s the perfect solution for a world saturated with news and filled with "watchers"; give them so much to watch that they can no longer distinguish true from false. It’s the old story about the boy who cried "wolf".
But this time of misdirection means that we must discern between what is meant for us to focus on, and what’s really going on. The western world is being deliberately dismantled, hence the old heathen saying, "order out of chaos": create chaos so that a "new world order" can be established. It happened during and after WWII, and it’s happening again. Regardless of when we expect Jesus to return, we as Christians must be prepared for life as we know it to disintegrate. And this preparation is not necessarily with bunkers and MREs, but in spirit. The time of evil that is upon us is not something you can "ride out" or rise up against; it’s something you can only brace for spiritually and mentally. Watch what the other hand is doing.