Question: In 2 Timothy 2:24-26 Paul talks about God granting people repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth....What is this talking about? Would you address this passage sometime? | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

Question: The amount of time you invested in your careful writing of What Love Is This? was well spent. How I needed this information! I have one question....In 2 Timothy:2:24-26 Paul talks about God granting people repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth....What is this talking about? Would you address this passage sometime?

Answer: Here is that scripture: “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth...that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” Obviously, Paul doesn’t believe that some are predestined to heaven and others to hell, or such a general prayer for sinners would be both senseless and blasphemous. 

Christ commissioned Paul to go to Jews and Gentiles “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts:26:18).  Paul declared that “the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not...” (2 Cor:4:4). And he warned that during the reign of Antichrist God will send upon those who “received not the love of the truth...strong delusion that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned...” (2 Thes:2:10-12). They willfully rejected the love of the truth to follow Satan’s lies. In sending them a strong delusion God is only helping them to believe the lie they wanted to believe.  “Sinners are taken captive at his [Satan’s] will” because they willingly believed his lies in rejection of the truth.

Therefore Paul suggests a specific prayer for the lost: that God would help them not to believe the lie they want to believe but would help them to understand and in repentance admit the truth.  The prayer Paul suggests does not ask God to sovereignly regenerate sinners and give them the faith to believe the gospel—but to help them to understand and admit the truth. What they do with that understanding will be up to them, for they must from their hearts embrace the truth in order to “recover themselves out of the snare of the devil....”

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