Not Willing that Any Should Perish
|Personal Note: I am NOT a KJV only believer; however, this author appears to be. With that being said, I do agree with the rest of the article. In the past, I have been guilty of missing the words us-ward and you in the KJV, NASB and ESV. Very important words that a friend pointed out to me last night.
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
9The 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 Peter 3:9 Not Willing that Any Should Perish – by Will Kinney
Those who hate and fight against the clear teachings of Scripture, that Christ actually and in fact loved and redeemed only His chosen people by His shed blood, will appeal to 4 or 5 verses that, on the surface only, appear to teach that God wishes everybody to be saved. One such verse is 2 Peter 3:9.
Let’s examine the verse to see what it says. If our interpretation conflicts with other clear passages, then our interpretation is faulty. The Holy Bible – the Authorized King James Bible of 1611 – does not contradict itself.
“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 Peter 3:9.
The Arminian “I chose of my own free will to believe the gospel, opened my heart to Jesus and cast my vote for God” point of view always proves too much and contradicts many other clear verses.
First of all, if God WILLS the salvation of any individual, that person will be saved. The new birth and salvation are NOT of the will of man. John 1:12-13 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, but of God.”
We receive Christ because we have already been born again by God and all this is not connected to, because of, or dependent on our own will.
Romans 9:16 “So then it IS NOT OF HIM THAT WILLETH, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” God first gives us a new heart and works in us to make us willing to come to Christ. Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
God reveals Himself and quickens whom He will. “OF HIS OWN WILL begat he us with the word of truth”, “neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son WILL reveal him”, “even so the Son quickeneth whom HE WILL”, “therefore hath he mercy on whom HE WILL have mercy, and whome HE WILL he hardeneth.” (James 1:18, Matthew 11:27, John 5:21 and Romans 9:18.)
Secondly – “But that all should come to repentance”. Repentance as well as saving faith are both gifts from God, not the fruit of dead, unregenerate, fallen human nature. “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins”, “then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life”, “if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth”, “turn thou me and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented.” (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Tim. 2:25; Jer. 31:18-19.)
Thirdly, it is obvious from the Scriptures that God has chosen or elected some to salvation and not others. Even in the writings of Peter we read: “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient…a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: WHEREUNTO ALSO THEY WERE APPOINTED. BUT YE ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:7 – 9.
The Arminian point of view regarding 2 Peter 3:9 creates several contradictions. If God is not willing that any should perish, then why does He quicken whom He will, reveal Himself to whom He will, harden whom He will, and appoint some to stumble at the word? If God wishes all to come to repentance, then why does God give repentance and faith to some and not to others?
So, how do we explain this text in the light of all the other teachings of Scripture? It is really quite simple if we look closely at every word and the context. Peter was writing to God’s people – not only to those of his day but also to us alive today. Both epistles are addressed to the elect of God and to those that have obtained like precious faith with us. (See 1 Peter 1:2 and 2 Peter 1:1.)
When we read that “God is long suffering TO US-WARD, not willing that any should perish”, we should ask: “Any of whom?” Answer: “Any of US -that is, God’s people throughout all generations. God is longsuffering to US-ward, not willing that any of us as God’s redeemed people should perish. All of us will surely come to repentance and faith in our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for “the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28.