Repentance Part 13; 2 Timothy through 2 Peter 2

Part 13

by Ronald Shea at

This section will take us from 2 Timothy to 2 Peter with every occurrence of repentance or repenting. If you have not read the prior parts, they will be hyperlinked here.

When I first decided to study repentance, I saw all the examples of God repenting in the Old Testament and knew it couldn’t mean repent from sin. And in some instances depending on the word, it seemed to mean regret. In others it seemed to mean thinking differently. And in a few it was possible it could be repenting from sin, but I was determined to find out what the word meant. So I decided to look up any original examples from a secular source (as many ‘church fathers’ I was finding were not trustworthy – i.e. Augustine for one). So I ran across several citations of a writing by a Greek Historian named Plutarch. And consequently I ran across and became friends with Ron Shea of I shared in a prior article, but will share again here in case you have not read them.

One can even repent from goodness to sin! Plutarch, the Greek historian, writes of two criminals who “spared a child, and then afterwards, repented and sought to slay it.”  This is not repenting from sin, it is repenting to sin! The very opposite meaning so often ascribed to “repentance” in common culture.

Repentance in 2 Timothy 2:25

But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.  2 Timothy 2:23-26

Subject Called to Repentance:  

They that do gender strifes. (Those that oppose themselves)

Object of Repentance:       

Heretical doctrines.

Certain persons put forth heretical interpretations and conjectures to get attention. They “gender strife.” (Stir up strife and contention.) These are a pathological narcissists that feed off of attention. To create strife and debate over contrived doctrines makes them feel important, and smart, as if they have raised some scholarly question that has merited the time and attention of elders of the church. A believer’s first objective should be to restore a heretic. No one likes to be told they are wrong, especially not a narcissist, who is never wrong! Paul instructs the man of God to instruct such persons in meekness, against the hope that God might grant the heretic repentance. That is, that the heretic might to change his mind from believing the lie that he has cultivated in his vain imaginations, acknowledging the truth.

Consequence of repentance:      

“That they (the heretic) may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”  More simply, to restore the heretic to sound doctrine.

Repentance in Hebrews 6:1

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Subject Repenting:   

Hypothetical.  The author is reviewing critical doctrines of the Christian life starting with the moment of conversion.

Object of Repentance:       

Dead works. 

In Hebrews 9:9-14 the Bible calls sacraments or religious rituals through which men try to reach God “dead works’.

Consequence of repentance:                

The consequence is unstated.  However, as discussed in the earlier chapter “Repentance from Religious Rituals,” there are strong reasons for understanding the repentance in this verse to be related to conversion unto eternal salvation.

Repentance in Hebrews 6:6

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

 Subject Repenting, not repenting, etc.:       

A hypothetical believer who apostatizes (falls away) from the Christian Faith.

Object of that repentance:

The object is not expressly stated, but from the context, it appears to be identical to verse

1.  One must repent of dead works and trust in Christ alone to be saved. One who falls away from the Christian faith unto a religion of salvation by ritual must be restored to the same faith by which he was saved. One does not start with Christ, and move on to greater doctrines. Jesus Christ is, and will be for eternity, the Lamb who was slain for our sins.  He will forever be the object of our faith, our worship, our adoration, our love and our appreciation.

Consequence of repentance:                

Not stated in the immediate context. The context is plainly addressing restoration of a believer falling away from the faith. The greater context of the entire epistle shows that one who falls away from his faith also walks away from his inheritance. (The privilege of ruling and reigning with Christ, which is a reward for faithfulness to our Savior.)

(COMMENT(Holly)I do not believe that one loses all their inheritance, but can suffer loss of potential rewards as prior rewards would come into play. This site rejects Outer Darkness teaching as an aside)

Repentance in Hebrews 7:21

 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec). By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Heb 7:20-24

Subject Repenting, not repenting, etc.:       

The Lord (vs. 21).

Object about which God will not Repent:  

The appointing of Jesus as an High Priest after the order of Melchisedec (vs. 21).

Consequence of God’s refusal to repent:    

Jesus will continue forever in an unchangeable priesthood (vs. 24).

Repentance in Hebrews 12:17

Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. Heb 12:16-17

Subject Repenting, not repenting, etc.:       


Object of Repentance:       

The object of repentance is not expressly stated.  Since repentance means “a change of mind,” we can only inferentially determine the object of repentance by determining the concepts or propositions about which someone refuses to change their mind.  He would not repent of his decision to give the birthright to Jacob.

Consequence of lack of repentance:   

Esau wept because his birthright would not be restored to him.

Repentance in 2 Peter 3:9

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Pet 3:3-9

Subject Repenting, not repenting, etc.:       

Scoffers who mock the Christian faith, and who are willingly ignorant of God’s creation, and judgment on the world that was through the flood of Noah.

Object of Repentance:                 

The object of repentance is not expressly stated.  Since repentance means “a change of mind,” we can only inferentially determine the object of repentance by determining what the men who are called to repentance “believed” or “thought” or “supposed.”  We are told that the Scoffers  mock the Christians who await the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are “willingly ignorant” that God created the universe, and that He judged the world that was by water (through the flood of Noah.)  Accordingly, they need to change their mind about Jesus, about the Creator, and recognize that judgment faces them if they refuse to repent.

Consequence of not repenting:  

The implication from the context is that God will judge the world just as He judged the world that was in the Days of Noah, and those who do not change their mind about God as the Creator, and the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be judged as surely as the men in the days of Noah.

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