2 Thes. 2:10....the primary characteristic of those who perish

"Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness." Matthew 19:18

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21

In his book, "The Truth War," John MacArthur writes that one of the distinguishing qualities of every true believer is love for the truth:

"...a genuine love for the truth is built into saving faith...In Jesus' words, they have known the truth, and the truth has set them free. John 8:32" (p. xi)

The reverse is true of those who will not enter the kingdom of God. The primary characteristic of those who perish (2 Thessalonians 2:10) is non-submission to truth:

"...where there is true faith in the Gospel of Christ, and in Christ the substance of it, there is salvation; the reason therefore of these men's perishing is not the decree of God, nor (for) want of the means of grace, (or) the revelation of the Gospel, but their rejection and contempt of it." Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The haughty spirit that rejects or holds truth in contempt is aligned with the will of Satan:

"He (Satan) is your father, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and was never grounded in the truth....for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

"Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

In "Against the Heathen," early Church Father Athanasius reveals that pride and a haughty spirit preceded the fall of pre-flood men into idolatry, superstition and violence. Violence always accompanies man's fall into worship of self, selfish ambition, status, sexual pleasures and acquisition of things.

Violence is the effect of a human will (i.e., Cain) not in submission to the will of God. It is the use of force, which may be psychological (i.e., fear, terror), physical or both, to dominate, control, outrage or transgress the dignity and integrity of a righteous man (i.e., Abel) in his physical and spiritual welfare.

From the time of Cain, violence has been perpetrated by self-centered individuals and organized groups as a way of attaining their objectives.

In "The Taproot of Violence," Vincent P. Micelli, S.J., writes that the cause of the violence washing over the West and America is modern man's rebellion against and attack upon God,

"...as demonstrated far and wide in a hatred for the truth. Behind the metaphysic of murder...lies the metaphysic of hatred of the created order, a hatred that is embodied in the slogan, 'I will not serve, therefore I am.' Refusal to serve God was the battle cry under which Satan rallied his revolutionaries among the angels to create a violent war against God and his faithful angels..." (p. 9)

The sin of pride begets the vice known as hatred of truth. Hatred of truth leads to many evils, not the least of which is the arrogant action whereby the creature (i.e., Buddha, Karl Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud) attempts to rearrange God's hierarchy of being and values into an order which the creature prefers to the plan of God:

"Six centuries before Jesus Christ, the Buddha already knew that if God does not exist, then the human self cannot exist either......Therefore, he (took God away and) deconstructed the Hindu idea of the soul (causing loss of sense of self) ....Reality (became) nonself (anatman). You don't exist. Liberation, the Buddha taught, is realizing the unreality of your existence." (The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, Vishal Mangalwadi, p. 6)

The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization. It must be destroyed.” (Karl Marx, Marx and Satan, Wurmbrand, p. 59)

The strangely twisted, spiritually desolate atmosphere of our age is the "death of God" made tangible and it is the self-described antichrist, the German philosopher Nietzsche, who foresaw and foretold the coming beast of violence. He realized that man's rebellion against the Christian God that began during the Renaissance was tantamount to man's assassination of the God of Revelation and seizure for himself the role of being his own God. But for man to be his own God necessitated the murder of God and willful rejection of His revealed truth. Nietzsche understood that this decision opted for a life of violence and in 'Joyful Wisdom" he asks,

"Who will wipe the blood from us? With what water could we cleanse ourselves? What lustrums, what sacred games shall we have to devise? Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us? Shall we not ourselves have to become Gods, merely to be worthy of it?" (Nietzsche, pp. 95-96)

Four years later Nietzsche expounded further on the 'most important of recent events---that God is dead:'

"...the belief in the Christian God has become unworthy of belief (and) already begins to cast its first shadows over Europe...In the main...one must say that the event itself is far too great, too remote, too much beyond peoples' power of apprehension, for one to suppose that...the report of it could have reached them...(But now) all must collapse now that this belief had been undermined---because so much was built upon it, so much rested on it, and had become one with it: for example, our entire European morality. This lengthy, vast and uninterrupted process of crumbling, destruction, ruin and overthrow..is now imminent..." (ibid., pp. 447-448)

Nietzsche's dark prophecy is immeasurably tragic because he states that apostate Christians have themselves killed God. This accounts for the sacred dread he experiences over the oncoming cataclysmic wars he envisions advancing on Europe and the whole world. Nietzsche clearly sees that nihilism (hatred of truth resulting in meaninglessness and spiritual emptiness) is inevitably connected to violence unleashed by the decomposition of Christianity and everything built upon its' foundation.

Apostate Christians 'conceptually' killed God, and their Big Lie was the beginning of the inevitable catastrophic violence that swept over Russia and Germany, eventuating in the murder of 100,000,000+ men, women, and children and which drew the West and America into wars that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

For over two hundred years, godless philosophies have been working their way through Western and American culture, embedding themselves often unconsciously, within our minds (spirit). This means that not only is the way we see ourselves and America colored by godlessness, but to the degree that our minds have been polluted are we immobilized by nihilism, the spiritual emptiness that in agreement with Pilate says, 'who can know truth?'

Our age is an age when the very idea of truth is being attacked and scorned, even within the church where Christians, clergy, and church leaders ought to revere truth most highly but instead boast of thinking outside the box, of not being restricted by rules, and in the spirit of Emergent Church leader Brian McLaren, of having "captured, stuffed, and mounted truth on the wall." (MacArthur, p. x)

The church is supposed to be "the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15)" said MacArthur, yet today's contemporary, increasingly worldly evangelical church expresses a high level of discomfort with any hint of certainty.

But to refuse to acknowledge and defend the revealed truth of God said MacArthur,

".... is a particularly stubborn and pernicious kind of unbelief. Advocating ambiguity, exalting uncertainty, or deliberately clouding the truth is a sinful way of nurturing unbelief." (The Truth War, p. xi)

As Athanasius makes clear, the corollary to the outright rejection and/or contempt of the revealed truth of God is the fall of man because the primary characteristic of those who perish is non-submission to the revealed truth of God. Such are the rebels who do not do "the will of my Father who is in heaven."

@Linda Kimball