Key verse: 2 Thessalonians 2:11
Big idea: The reward of rebellion is rebellion.
Isaac Newton's first law of motion says: "An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an external and unbalanced force. An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an external and unbalanced force." You knew that already. Something moving will keep moving unless or until something stops or slows it (like friction). An object which is not moving will not start moving unless something acts on it. Behaviorally, as well as physically, we have a tendency to keep doing what we are doing. We often think that we will make a change in our life tomorrow but do not realize that it will never be easier than today.
Paul warns that those who reject Jesus now will have a last chance to accept him. If they "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved," the time that they have to repent will not last forever. At a certain time, God sends a strong delusion, to reinforce them in the lies they have chosen, sealing their condemnation. This is no easy doctrine, but it is taught in several places (Romans 1:28, 1 Timothy 4:2, Revelation 17:17). There is a self-reinforcing cycle, where choosing obedience leads us to more obedience and choosing rejection leads us to more rejection. An object in motion will stay in motion, unless acted upon by an external and unbalanced force.
Thankfully, there is an external and unbalanced force which acts on us: the Holy Spirit. He comes and empowers us to respond to the message so that we can change direction. But if we reject that conviction then eventually God quits pushing and leaves us to lie. Do not wait, trust Jesus today.
Discussion idea: Read 1 Timothy 4:2. What does it mean to have a seared conscience? How does that relate to this passage?
Prayer focus: Pray for a heart sensitive to God's Spirit.