‘Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me. . . ‘  (Isaiah 29:13)

Why have the churches become so much like the world?  My firm opinion is that they are populated with many people who have not been born again.  Repentance is necessary to conversion, but it is no longer preached.  Instead, people are told that all you have to do is believe in Jesus to be saved.  Well . . . that puts them in the same camp with the devil.

‘Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.’  (James 2:19)

Jesus tell us that there will be many people that believe they are Christians, that He will turn away.

‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’  (Matthew 7:22-23)

Either these people were wolves in sheep’s clothing and are trying to con Jesus on judgment day . . . or they are people who believed in Jesus, whose faith in Him produced works, but who are rejected for some other reason.  The last words of the verse give a clue: ‘ye that work iniquity’.

I believe these are the same people spoken of in 2nd Thessalonians 2:10-12

‘And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’

The devil will use the ‘deceivableness of unrighteousness’ . . . to ensnare them.  Unrighteousness (sin) deceives people.  The people spoken about here, that will receive strong delusion from God and be damned, are people who practice sin.  The passage confirms this–‘they . . . who . . . had pleasure in unrighteousness’.

My belief, is that part of the strong delusion is that many people will believe they are saved, even while they continue to live in sin.  And that the truth they won’t receive or believe, is that they must repent to be saved, and then live in obedience to God to continue ‘abiding in Him’.

‘And he called [unto him] the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; . . . And they went out, and preached that men should repent.   And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed [them].’  (Mark 6:7, 12-13)

‘Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’  (Revelation 14:12)

‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.’  (John 15:6)

Those who receive this truth: that being reconciled to God requires repentance and obedience, can be saved.  Those who won’t receive the truth . . . who are only looking for a way to avoid hell (fire insurance, if you will), will be ensnared in the trap.

‘Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.’  (Proverbs 26:27)

‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’  (Galatians 6:7-8)

Those who want to ‘have their cake and eat it too’ . . . who want to escape the fires of hell, yet live like the devil . . . will be the ones pleading with God on judgment day.

‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.’  (Matthew 7:21)

‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?   For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Those who mock God’s grace by attempting to get eternal life without having a change of heart, by insincerely making a profession of faith with their mouth while denying it by their actions . . . they will get what they deserve.

‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?’  (2 Corinthians 13:5)