Q. I was talking with a Bible study teacher at my church who interprets 2 Thes 2:8-10 as indicating that after the rapture anybody who has heard the Gospel and rejected it prior to the rapture is ineligible to receive salvation in any sense before the 2nd coming. In so doing, he is putting this in the same arena as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and receiving the mark of the beast. His focus on this is with the words “those who perish” and “they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” What are your thoughts on these verses?
A. I believe that at the end of the day, God will always allow us to take our choices to their ultimate conclusion. Those who choose to be close to God will be given an eternity of unimagined blessings in His presence. Those who chose to reject Him will be given an eternity of separation from Him. Neither group really deserves what they wind up getting, but it’s the ultimate conclusion of their choices.
2 Thes. 2:8-10 is an example of that. It’s not that God has made those who reject Him ineligible for salvation, because He doesn’t want any of us to perish (2 Peter 3:9). Look at the extremes to which He’s gone to save us. His desire is always that people will see the error of their ways and turn back.
But for some there will be no turning back. Their hearts will have become so hardened against Him that they will have lost the ability to change their minds. To them He will say, “OK, if that’s what you really want.” 2 Thes. 2:11-12 says that he’ll send them a strong delusion so that they’ll believe the lie, because they loved wickedness so much that they no longer have the ability to believe the truth. They will have made themselves ineligible for salvation.