Objection: If it is God who grants repentance, why does He say He wants all people to repent?


Question: On the page "Is it God's will that all be saved", you state that according to Acts 17:30, God desires that all people repent. This seems in contradiction to the statement about "only those who God has given a regenerate heart can choose Him". If God hasn't given a regenerated heart/spirit to all, how can He desire all to repent?


Answer: The standard of righteousness and holiness is God himself. Whether someone is aware of it or not, lying is a sin, as is adultery, stealing, etc., because these violate the character of God. So, if someone commits a sin but doesn't know that it is a sin, it is still a sin (Lev. 5:17). God does not excuse someone's sin because he is ignorant or because he is sincere and accidentally breaks God's law. Since God is the standard of holiness and righteousness, it is proper that everyone everywhere stop sinning. This is why God will naturally command that everyone everywhere repent because this is what everyone should do - whether or not they are able to do it. In other words, just because someone might not know it is wrong to lie, or struggles with lying, does not mean the person is excused from his sin. Again, the standard is God himself. Therefore, God will command everyone everywhere to repent; that is, stop sinning.



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Copyright by Matthew J. Slick, B.A., M. Div., 2022
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