“…and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved“
among those who perish,
The idea of “perish” is not extinction but ruin, not loss of being but a loss of well-being. We can see this from the parables of the lost items in Luke 15 that the idea is not extinction but ruin. The phrase “among those who perish” refers to the condition of those without Christ. If we do not embrace Jesus’ work on the cross, we lose everything. False religion always trashes the cross as the only way of salvation.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
The word “because” means in requital for. They will get just retribution for rejecting God’s truth as it exists in Christ.
they did not receive
The word “receive” in the Greek is the word welcome. They did not welcome the love of the truth. They were not cordial to the truth but mistreated it. They were more interested in lies than truth. Negative volition, choosing against God, makes it harder to receive the truth.
the love of the truth,
The reason people perish is that they do not “love the truth.” Some will believe the lies of the man of lawlessness, and some will believe God. They heard the truth, but they did not embrace it. They view the Word of God as so much drivel.
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
that they might be saved
The main reason people do not come to Christ for salvation is that they do not love the truth. They have vested reasons for not believing it.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:18-21).
Millions will come to Christ in the Tribulation, but it will be very difficult because of the dissemination of lies throughout the world. Negative volition opens people to lies and deception.
It is difficult to persuade a person that they are headed for hell. When a person is religious and moral, they do not deem that they need salvation. Only the Holy Spirit can convince them of this.
The best defense against error is the love of the truth.
No one ever comes to God without a love for the truth. No one can become a Christian without first understanding the claims of Christ. The foundational claim is that He died on the cross to pay for our sins. When we trust His work on the cross as our only hope for eternal life, we have eternal life.
There is no such thing as being a little lost. Either we are lost, or we are not. Either we are completely saved, or we are completely lost. There is no middle position. If you are almost a Christian, you are totally lost.
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Are you “saved?” Have you come to the place in your life where you embrace Jesus’ death on the cross as your only hope of salvation?