2:4 to be saved. This is also the testimony of II Peter 3:9 (God is “not willing that any should perish”), and God has proved His universal love by sending His beloved Son to die for the whole world (John 3:16; I John 2:2). Yet He has also given us the responsibility and opportunity of either receiving or rejecting His loving offer of full forgiveness and free salvation in Christ. Unfortunately, many choose not to come to repentance and be saved.
With regard to the seeming conflict of our freedom to choose wrong with God’s will that we choose right, and also in view of the fact that God knew those who would choose wrong before He created them, yet created them anyway, we must simply say: “O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” (Romans 9:20). “How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). It is enough to know that God wants us to be saved, has provided full and free salvation to all who receive it, and has said that whosoever will may come.
2:4 the truth. This is the first of eleven references to “the truth” in the two epistles to Timothy, and it stresses the vital importance of knowing the truth. See note on II Timothy 4:4.