“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 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.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
The setting of this portion is in the days of the Antichrist, also known as “that Wicked One.” When will he be revealed? At the mid-point of the tribulation. The Tribulation comes right after the time we live in. This is how we know that the “rejecters” mentioned in these verses are speaking of those who are living in the present dispensation.
What did they do?
What will be the end of these ones? “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned.” Even after the rapture, these rejecters will not repent. Even though all the evidence will be loudly attesting that they made a big mistake, they will still refuse to believe. Instead they will be deceived by the lies of the Antichrist. The “strong delusion” itself comes from God. God will judicially blind them to the obvious truth, and harden their hearts as He hardened Pharaoh’s heart so many years ago.
The book of Revelation refers to a certain class of people living in the seven-year tribulation as “them that dwell upon the earth.” If you look at the references, it is not just random people living on the earth, it is those that are opposed to God and His purpose. They are those who have rejected heaven, and chosen earth. This gives us a hint as to the deception that we read about in 2 Thessalonians 2.
“And it deceives those that dwell upon the earth by reason of the signs which it was given to it to work before the beast, saying to those that dwell upon the earth to make an image to the beast, which has the wound of the sword, and lived.” Revelation 13:14
Therefore, we can see that earth dwellers will be swept up into the delusion of Antichrist, and will not have a second chance.
Also, it says ALL. There won’t be any that change their minds after the rapture and repent. The Word of God doesn’t hold out any hope for future repentance for those who reject the gospel now. The door of mercy is open now, but one day it will be closed. The privilege of hearing the Gospel preached does not gain you anything if found outside the door of mercy when it closes.
“When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation.” Hebrews 2:3