2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
If you examine the Greek word translated as “received” in the above verse, using the Strong’s Concordance you will see this definition.
G1209 dechomai dekh’-om-ahee
middle voice of a primary verb;
to receive (in various applications, literally or figuratively). Compare G2983.
There is much debate regarding the middle voice usage and its’ meaning in Koine Greek. Which makes it difficult to derive at a exact meaning for the word translated into “received” and its’ effect on the meaning in that verse. Suffice it to say the middle voice falls somewhere between the active and passive voice in verb function. In the Concordant New Testament, the author describes it like this. “In the middle voice the subject is affected, more or less, by the action” Even that definition seems ambiguous to me and difficult to put into context within 2Th 2:10. But suffice it to say that those that perished, for whatever reasons, did not receive the love of the truth. The distinct possibility in my mind, is that God did not intend for them to have the love of the truth at that time. In John 17:17, the Apostle John places no small importance in the truth of God’s word.
John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
From personal experience, once I received the Holy Spirit, the truth of the scriptures became a burning desire for me. Over 30 years ago I received the Holy Spirit and promptly bought a hard cover copy of The Strong’s Concordance. When I finally threw it away, it was dog eared and well worn, but I had not yet arrived at the truth of the gospel. Unfortunately circumstances in my life became extremely difficult and my pursuit of the truth was sidelined for a good deal of time. Once I found I had the time and the inclination to pursue the truth of the gospel again, the computer and the resources available online, greatly aided my quest for the truth of the gospel. I have in fact, largely arrived at the truth of the gospel and this web page is devoted to the attempt to convey that truth to others. In 2Ti 2:15, Paul encouraged Timothy to study to show himself approved and to rightly divide the word of truth.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Timothy was acquainted with the scriptures from his youth, 2Ti 3:15, and yet Paul urged him to study to show himself approved of God. Approved for the first resurrection or being saved, as stated in 2Th 2:10. Many Christians erroneously, because of Awana, think that 2Th 2:10 applies to children, but that is not so. God, 4 or 5 years ago, chastised me with this very verse when I was having a trial of my faith and was questioning my faith. Largely the reason I was questioning my faith, was because many scripture verses seemed to contradict one another. After being disciplined I resumed my quest for truth in a more determined fashion. Part of the process of studying and understanding scripture is to rightly divide the scripture. The definition for the Greek word translated into the English word “dividing” offers insight.
G3718 orthotomeo or-thot-om-eh’-o
from a compound of G3717 and the base of G5114, to make a straight cut, i.e. (figuratively) to dissect (expound) correctly (the divine message).
In my mind this means that when you use a scripture verse you use it in context, and make sure that that verse, and the meaning you give that verse, is in agreement with all the other scripture verses in the bible.
Ps 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth, And all of Your righteous ordinances are eonian. CLV
Granted deriving the truth of God’s word is not a easy task, but attainable, if in fact you have a love of the truth. A apt analogy is assembling a large 5,000 word puzzle. I and my brothers and sisters assembled these types of puzzles when we were children. The hours spent fingering and placing pieces of the puzzle together, in order to achieve a completed picture, is a very apt analogy indeed, of understanding God’s word. Except the bible and scripture verses therein are much more numerous and complex. You have to have a love for it. And I do, thank God. So the goal is to take the pieces, scripture verses, and fit them together into a harmonious whole. You can’t force pieces together nor can you ignore or throw any pieces away, in order to get a completed picture. I also have a passion for woodworking, and use traditional joinery techniques, which is a similar process except that you fashion the pieces of wood needed for a piece of furniture and then assemble/glue them into a unified whole. So when I see a scripture verse that apparently does not fit together with other verses, it bothers me. The landscape of Christian denominations that litter today’s Christian world, is a testament of those men and organizations in the past, who did not rightly divide the word of truth nor had a love of the truth. It may sound harsh, but you cannot read and study scripture on a regular basis without seeing verses that state God intends to save all men. The article posted previous to this one, Universal reconciliation, contains well over a dozen of these verses. And yet most, if not all of the Christian denominations, believe in a eternal hell where a large amount of unrepentant sinners burn in a torturous, eternal punishment. And yet it states clearly in the Word, that God is love, 1Jn 4:8, and He sent Jesus to be the saviour of all men, 1Ti 4:10, especially those who believe. So those people mentioned in 2Th 2:10, those that are perishing, are not lost and never going to saved. They are just not in the body of Christ and are not slated for the first resurrection.
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
In order to understand properly 2Th 2:10, it is necessary to know that Paul is addressing the Thessalonian church and their fear that the first resurrection had already taken place. So, Paul clarifies the events that need to take place before the coming of the Lord. Those who do not have the love of the truth, when the Lord comes, will perish and not see the salvation of the first resurrection. The word of God is precise and fits together wonderfully as a unified whole, if you are able to undo the indoctrination of the religious institutions of man with their winds of doctrine. You can do that, by studying the scriptures as Paul urged Timothy to do, and be no longer children.
Eph4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Decades after the birth of the New Testament church, the Apostle Paul warned of the coming apostasy and his warning very much applies to today’s Christian world.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
So coming full circle, it is of great importance that those of us who want to take part in the first resurrection, 1Th 4:16-17, make learning the truth of the gospel, of primary importance in our lives. And then stand fast in that truth, just as those brethren that Paul urged in the Thessalonian church to do.
2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.