God will send them a powerful delusion so that they believe the lie (2 Thessalonians 2: 11)
“The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of power, sign, and false wonder, and with every wicked deception directed against those who are perishing, because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them. For this reason God will send them a powerful delusion so that they believe the lie, in order that judgment may come upon all who have disbelieved the truth and delighted in wickedness“. (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12)
Mankind certainly has no love of the truth, preferring instead to live in a ‘world’ of entertainment, trivia and frippery. When it comes to the subject of death, western ‘Man’ seems to live in total denial, it remains ‘his’ taboo subject. (This may not be so true of non-Western cultures). Many Western people have genuinely severe anxiety at contemplating this inevitability. Others posit a future of untrammelled happiness where all will ultimately be “all right” – another form of denial and (it must be said) of fear. “It’ll be alright on the night” – not a mature way for consider the eternal future!
The silliness of mankind also seems to know no bounds, which is why this recent article from ‘The Washington Post’ is both illuminating and troubling in equal measure. Death is to be defeated by Artifical Intellegence (AI), it seems:
AI’s new frontier: Connecting grieving loved ones with the deceased – The Washington Post
Scientists are using tech platforms and virtual reality to create avatars, chatbots and more to help people still mourning
The tragedy in all this, surely, is that it reveals that ‘Mankind’ remains ill at ease with the ever present truth of his own mortality. Mankind denies, or tries to reverse this truth. Our un-reality about death is surely reflective of our almost universal rejection of our Creator God, Who knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139: 14), and Who holds our future in His eternal hands.
Today we live in a world of mental illness epidemic, and we consider that death is to be feared above all else (think of Covid, and closing down the global economy for a ‘disease’ that was, in reality, no more serious than a vigorous seasonal influenza outbreak, and then – in the UK at least – gleefully announcing the daily death-rate to the background of mournful music on the nightly television news). We are both fascinated and afeared, in equal measure, it would seem.
So, expect an avatar to come to ‘comfort’ you some time soon. Will grieving relatives and friends begin to e-mail links to YouTube to display messages from the dearly departed? Ironic indeed that ‘mankind’ fears death above all – yet cannot accept it for what it is – and tries to find ever more ingenious ways of denying the inevitable.
Be afraid of death? How did our Lord Jesus place this into His perspective? (Matthew 10: 28). More delusions are surely coming ….. But Jesus is in control.