07 June, 2019

Hebrews 10:26-27—“… received the knowledge of the truth …”

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries (Heb. 10:26-27).

The appeal to this text, made by proponents of common grace, is based upon the fact that the text speaks of those who perish as those who “receive the knowledge of the truth.” The argument then is: That the reprobate receive the knowledge of the truth is indicative of God’s favor upon them.

John Murray, in referencing this passage, comments: “[There] are benefits accruing from the death of Christ for those who finally perish. And in view of this we may say that in respect of these benefits Christ may be said to have died for those who are the beneficiaries. In any case it is incontrovertible that even those who perish are the partakers of numberless benefits that are the fruits of Christ’s death and that, therefore, Christ’s death sustains to them this beneficial reference, a beneficial reference, however, that does not extend beyond this life.” (Collected Writings, vol. I, pp. 63-64).


Prof. Herman C. Hanko

[Source: Another Look at Common Grace (2019 edition), p. 96]

It ought to be quite obvious that such a line of argumentation is invalid.
In the first place, no one denies that all men receive a certain knowledge of the truth, whether that be the heathen who never hear the gospel and who receive this knowledge through creation, or whether that be those who are born and raised within the church and who know the truth through the preaching of the gospel.
It is important to God that all men receive such knowledge of the truth. God Himself sees to it. But the good gift of the knowledge of the truth is not indicative of God’s favor. It is not God’s purpose to show them His love and grace. Paul tells us exactly what that purpose is: It is the revelation of the wrath of God from heaven and it is given “so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:18, 20). It is important that the wicked reveal themselves as wicked so that when God punishes them in hell, their punishment is the just and perfect manifestation of God’s wrath against all that sinned. They will never be able to say that they did not serve God “because they did not know Him.” God shows Himself to them. They are without excuse.



More to come! (DV)

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