When do we come to the “knowledge of the truth” that the Apostle Paul speaks of in 2 Timothy 3: 7?
I used to find that an unsettling question. I loved learning new things, and prided myself on being open to reading books and listening to people teaching about the Bible. I felt that was a good thing to pursue. And yet, when I heard or read that passage of scripture, which says more completely, “Ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”, I felt almost agitated, as though there was something there that challenged me, and if I were honest with myself, made me more afraid than I wanted to admit. The passage was part of Paul’s description of people who were not right with God in the last days.
I didn’t want that to be me, but wasn’t sure how to know if it was or not. There was a haunting feeling that it could be: that even though I believed in Jesus, had “made a profession of faith”, and had been told that was all I ever needed to go to heaven, that there could still be something God was expecting of me that I didn’t yet see or understand. This sense of questioning, prompted by this scripture, was very real to me and persisted over a period of several years.
“Ever learning” is a description championed by the world today. Seeking truth is championed, but claiming to have found truth that is exclusive of what others believe is considered to be suspect. Yet I knew God’s word says, “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
The amazing thing is that for me in my search for truth (although at the time I didn’t realize that it was actually Truth searching for me) life brought me into contact with some people who believed that what the Apostle Peter said on the Day of Pentecost to people who were asking “Men and brethren what shall we do?”, was God’s plan for this day as well.
Peter said, quite simply, that we must repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38). You can’t begin to know the joy that filled my heart when, after praying and carefully counting the cost, I repented (gave up any claim I thought I had to “hold on” to some parts of my life while trying to give God the rest), was re-baptized in the name of Jesus (because his name wasn’t used in baptism in the church I had been a part of) and God gloriously filled me with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues (his design is to leave no doubt that his Spirit had come into an individual, so there is a “sound” when one is born if the Spirit -John 3:8).
After this experience, and all the wonderful days of walking with the Lord over these past 25 years, I have never again felt concern over the scripture that warns of those who are ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Jesus said, “And Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) When I stopped settling for the idea that “there are lots of ‘truths’, and you should never give yourself fully to any one of them, God was able to fill me with the Truth (“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”, John 14:6; “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none if his.” Romans 8:9), and to give me “the love of the truth” as spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:10. It took action on my part, to obey what he had shown me, as opposed to simple “mental assent” that his word was true, for truly believing anything requires acting on it (as the Word said, “faith without works is dead” in James 2:26).
The Holy Ghost message of Acts 2:38 is for you. Don’t settle for anything less, or find yourself “ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
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First Pentecostal Church of the Lord Jesus Christ
Bay Springs, MS
Church the way it was meant to be…