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How do you respond to 1 Timothy 4:1–3?

“…in the later times some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared with a hot iron. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods…”

New Testament authors considered themselves to be living “in the later times” (e.g. Acts 2:17; 1 Pet. 1:20; Heb. 1:2). This doesn’t mean they were wrong; it just means that the period of these “later times” was longer than they initially anticipated (cf. 2 Pet. 3:7–10). In any event, it is clear that Paul is referring to conditions that were abounding when he wrote this epistle. Thus, despite the fact that defenders of the classical view of foreknowledge sometimes appeal to it in support of their position, it has no bearing on the issue.

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