A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth. – 2 Timothy 2:24,25
What caught my attention this morning in reading this passage was… “if God will perhaps grant them repentance.” Is it possible that we, on some level, are of a mindset that repentance is in some way an offering from us to God ? Could it be that we have it backwards? The Greek word used here is (didōmi) meaning “of one's own accord to give one something, to his advantage.” God chooses to "grant us" repentance... of His own accord... for our advantage. In Exodus 33:19 God declares “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” And Jesus (the Way, the Truth, and the Life) said "no man comes to me unless the Father draws him." In the Sermon on the Mount, the first of the beatitudes is “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” To be poor is spirit is to become aware of one’s sinful state, to be aware of one’s inability to change that state, and to cry out for mercy. We live in a culture that says “you’re basically good.” But that is completely contrary to God’s word and it is contrary to the way of salvation. Until we become aware of our desperate need for God’s mercy, we cannot receive His mercy… and yet it is His mercy that causes us to become aware of our need.
The message God is increasingly stirring in my soul is a message of repentance. Just as John the Baptist preached “repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” and Jesus, coming out of the desert, being baptized by John, began his ministry with the same message. Jesus, the King of kings, was in their midst. He was to establish his kingdom from the ground up, beginning with his disciples. For those of us who are followers of Christ (Christians), we are born again… into his kingdom. And our message of hope, our message of salvation, is a message of God’s Kingdom. And his kingdom is, indeed, at hand. He is coming again to claim his own and to judge with wicked. Our message is, more than ever: Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. If we are truly followers of Christ, if he is Lord and King of our lives, we will preach this message. And it is in the hands of God as to whom he grants that repentance. Many will reject it. Many will become angry with us for declaring it. But God has an elect. He has a chosen people from all nations.
So, to my fellow followers of Christ, I encourage you to share the gospel of the good news. I encourage you to live, move, and have your being in Jesus. I encourage you to daily commit ALL your ways to him and he will direct your paths. Let your light so shine before men... some will hate you for it, but others will be drawn to it. We must warn those God puts in our path of the coming judgement and the chance here and now to cry out to God, that he might grant them repentance.
If you have never yielded your life to the Lordship of Jesus, you can do it today. Romans 10:9 tells us “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” My friends, Jesus is returning to judge the living and the dead.
Are you ready?