What does 2 Thessalonians 2:10 mean?
ESV: and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
NIV: and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
NASB: and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not accept the love of the truth so as to be saved.
CSB: and with every wicked deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth and so be saved.
NLT: He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them.
KJV: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
NKJV: and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Verse Commentary:
According to Paul, a major figure in the end times is a "man of lawlessness." This figure is credited with impressive satanic powers, which he uses to deceive the world.

Satan has always been a master of deception (John 8:44). In the garden of Eden, he deceived Eve (Genesis 3:1–7), and he has deceived millions since that fateful day. Revelation 12:9 identifies him as "the deceiver of the whole world." In 2 Thessalonians 2:10, we are reminded that Satan's deception works in the hearts and minds of "those who are perishing." Scripture indicates that those who are saved have the presence of the Holy Spirit within them (John 14:16–17; Ephesians 1:13–14), which provides a certain level of spiritual awareness (1 Corinthians 2:14). Those who have rejected Christ do not have this defense (John 3:36). Unbelievers of the tribulation will be totally duped by the false signs and wonders the Devil parades before them. These same lost people had refused to love the truth and be saved (John 3:16–18, 36).

When the gospel reaches a person, he or she has an opportunity to believe and be saved, but "the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4). Only the grace of God can dispel this blindness (2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 2:8–9).
Verse Context:
Second Thessalonians 2:1–12 discusses the ''day of the Lord'' as an event from which Christians are exempt. Some Thessalonian believers were confused, thinking they had entered this time of hardship and judgment. Paul tells them to put such thinking aside, regardless of the source. He assures them the day of the Lord will not commence until a rebellion or apostasy occurs, followed by the emergence of the man of lawlessness. This figure will try to take on the role of God and deceive those who are lost and had rejected the truth. Empowered by Satan, the man of lawlessness will deceive unbelievers by performing signs and wonders. But at His coming, Jesus Christ will destroy the man of lawlessness.
Chapter Summary:
The Christians of Thessalonica have not missed out on the events described in Paul's prior letter. Despite what some teachers apparently thought, they were not experiencing the ''day of the Lord,'' a time of God's great wrath and judgment. As proof, Paul offers instruction on events which had yet to occur, prior to the coming of the day of the Lord. The first is a rebellion, or a ''falling away.'' The second is the emergence of a ''man of lawlessness'' who will demonstrate satanic power. This will correspond with God removing His restraint, in some way, leaving sin freer rein to enable His judgment.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 praised the Christians of Thessalonica for their spiritual growth and acts of love. This chapter seeks to correct a discouraging error present in that same church. Paul encourages these believers by stating that they have not missed out on the events described in his prior letter and have not entered into the judgment of the ''day of the Lord.'' Before that catastrophic time can begin, certain events must occur. These include a widespread spiritual apostasy and the rise of a satanically-empowered figure. Chapter 3 commends the value of a strong work ethic, both in a spiritual and a secular sense.
Book Summary:
Second Thessalonians follows Paul's earlier letter to the same group of Christian believers. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul had praised them for their faithfulness and given them reassurances about the day of the Lord. This included teachings on the rapture and a description of death as ''sleep'' from a Christian viewpoint. In this second letter, Paul corrects possible misunderstandings about those ideas. Among his teachings here are the importance of a good work ethic and God's impending judgment on sin, including judgment on those who persecute the Christian church. Paul also provides the Thessalonians with reassurances that they have not somehow missed out on Christ's return.
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