2 Peter 3:9 "Not Willing that Any Should Perish"
2 Peter 3:9 KJB (and many others as we will soon see) - “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.”
ESV (NASB, NET, Catholic Douay) - “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.”
NIV - (Holman Standard, Catholic St. Joseph New American bible, New Jerusalem bible) - “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, NOT WANTING anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
The verb translated as “WILLING” in “not willing that any should perish” (μη βουλομενος τινας απολεσθαι) is Boulomai and is never translated as either “to wish” or “to want” in the King James Bible.
Even the NASB, ESV, NET and NIV translate it as “to will” in other Scriptures.
It is used in such places as “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son WILL reveal him.” Matthew 11:27
“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he WILL.” 1 Corinthians 12:11
“Wherein God, WILLING more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath”. Hebrews 6:17
“OF HIS OWN WILL begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” James 1:18
Some previous English Bibles like Tyndale 1525, the Great bible 1540, Matthew’s bible 1549, the Bishops’ bible 1568 and the Geneva Bible read like the Geneva Bible, saying - “The Lord of that promise is not slacke (as some men count slackenesse) but is pacient toward vs, and WOULD HAVE NO MAN TO PERISH, BUT WOULD ALL MEN TO COME TO REPENTANCE.”
NONE of them said anything like “wishes” or ‘wants” or “desires”.
Bible translations that read like the KJB with “not WILLING that any should perish” are Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale Bible 1535, Douay-Rheims 1582, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Worsley N.T. 1770, Haweis N.T. 1795, Thomson Translation 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster bible 1833, Longman Version 1841, The Commonly Received Version 1851, the Boothroyd Bible 1851, Sawyer N.T. 1858, The Revised N.T. 1862, Noyes N.T. 1869, the Alford N.T. 1870, The Smith Bible 1876, Clarke N.T. 1913, The Living Bible 1971, NKJV 1982, Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Apostolic Polyglot bible 2003, The Mebust bible 2007, The Jubilee Bible 2010, The Hebrew Transliteration Bible 2010, The Work of God’s Children Bible 2011, The Aramaic Bible in Plain English 2013 and The Biblos Bible 2013.
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 5 or 6 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.
"Free will" theology ALWAYS ends up creating multiple contradictions and makes God and the Lord Jesus out to be colossal Failures and Liars who did not do what they said they did.
Did Jesus and God the Father lie to us?
Jesus said "the Son quickens WHOM HE WILL" John 5:21, and if some men are not saved, then this means either that they were not among those the Son willed to quicken, or he lied to us.
Jesus also said "ALL the the Father giveth me SHALL COME to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37
And Jesus also said "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life TO AS MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM."
SO, either the people who do not get saved were not among these "as many as the Father gave to the Son" or Jesus Christ lied.
You pick. (according to your "free will", of course)
Now, let's look at 2 Peter 3:9 in more detail.
"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."
The Lord Jesus clearly tells us in John 5:21 - "the Son QUICKENETH WHOM HE WILL." No doubts, no conditions, no exceptions. He quickens whom he wills to quicken. This is either a true statement, or he lied to us.
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 whom 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.
Repentance is also a gift of God
Just as God Himself gives us the faith to believe the gospel, so too He gives Repentance. In Acts 5:31 the apostle Peter says in his preaching: "Him (Christ) hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, FOR TO GIVE REPENTANCE to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
Again, in Acts 11:18 when Peter is before the brethren in Jerusalem telling them how God had sent him to preach to the Gentiles the gospel of the grace of God and how God had given them the Holy Ghost just as He had to the Jewish believers, we read: "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, THEN HATH GOD ALSO to the Gentiles GRANTED REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE."
In 2 Timothy 2:24-25 the apostle Paul writes to Timothy telling him how to deal with those who hold false doctrines. He tells him: "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."
The same truth is taught in the Old Testament. In the book of Jeremiah we read: "Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; TURN THOU ME, AND I SHALL BE TURNED; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely AFTER I WAS TURNED, I REPENTED." Jeremiah 31:18-19.
It is recorded in 1 Kings when the prophet Elijah was contending with the false prophets of Baal and telling the people of Israel - "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." In his prayer to the Lord God Elijah then says: Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and THAT THOU HAST TURNED THEIR HEART BACK AGAIN." 1 Kings 18:37
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 wills 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.
Look at how God uses the word US in just the first 4 verses of 2 Peter.
1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with US through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto US all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called US to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto US exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
If you are a born again Christian reading these words in the 21st century, do you apply these verses to yourself? Of course you do. YOU too are among these US who have obtained like precious faith, and God has given to US all things that pertain to life and godliness, and you are among the US who have called to glory and virtue.
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.
Part Two - Does God make some to perish and be lost?
Yes, He does. He is the potter and we are but the clay.
15 For he saith to Moses, I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I WILL HAVE MERCY, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then IT IS NOT OF HIM THAT WILLETH, NOR OF HIM THAT RUNNETH, BUT OF GOD THAT SHEWETH MERCY.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and WHOM HE WILL HE HARDENETH.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? FOR WHO HATH RESISTED HIS WILL?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 HATH NOT THE POTTER POWER OVER THE CLAY, OF THE SAME LUMP TO MAKE ONE VESSEL UNTO HONOUR, AND ANOTHER UNTO DISHONOUR?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering THE VESSELS OF WRATH FITTED TO DESTRUCTION:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on THE VESSELS OF MERCY, WHICH HE HAD AFORE PREPARED UNTO GLORY,
24 EVEN US, WHOM HE HATH CALLED, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?"
Notice that the phrase "the vessels of wrath FITTED TO DESTRUCTION." uses a passive verb in English and Greek. They did not "fit themselves to destruction" but there were fitted to destruction by an outside force. This outside force is the Potter, who is God. God afore prepared the vessels of mercy to glory and He fitted to destruction the vessels of wrath.
ALSO notice the Book says "WHOM HE WILL HE HARDENETH." It does NOT say, as most free willers read it, "He hardenth those who have first hardened their own hearts." Free willers always have to read stuff into the verses and add to the words of God in order to prop up their false, man made theology, and they always end up creating numerous contradictions with other Scriptures.
Proverbs 16:4 - "The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, EVEN THE WICKED FOR THE DAY OF EVIL."
1 Peter 2:7-9 - "Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: BUT UNTO THEM WHICH BE DISOBEDIENT, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, EVEN TO THEM WHICH STUMBLE AT THE WORD, BEING DISOBEDIENT, WHEREUNTO ALSO THEY WERE APPOINTED."
9 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."
2 Peter 2:12 speaking of the false teachers, the apostle Peter describes them as: "But these, as natural brute beasts, MADE TO BE TAKEN AND DESTROYED, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption."
Jude 4 - "For there are certain men crept in unawares, WHO WERE BEFORE OF OLD ORDAINED TO THIS CONDEMNATION, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."
John 6:65 "And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father."
Matthew 13:11 "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, BUT TO THEM IT IS NOT GIVEN."
John 12:37-40 - "But though he had done so many miracles before them, YET THEY BELIEVED NOT ON HIM;
38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
39 THEREFORE THEY COULD NOT BELIEVE, because that Esaias said again,
40 HE HATH BLINDED THEIR EYES, AND HARDENED THEIR HEART; THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, NOR UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART, AND BE CONVERTED, AND I SHOULD HEAL THEM."
5. "Even so at this present time also there is A REMNANT ACCORDING TO THE ELECTION OF GRACE.
6. And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
7. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; BUT THE ELECTION HATH OBTAINED IT, AND THE REST WERE BLINDED
8. (According as it is written, GOD HATH GIVEN THEM THE SPIRIT OF SLUMBER, EYES THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SEE, AND EARS THAT THEY SHOULD NOT HEAR;) even unto this day."
Revelation 17:8 - "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, WHOSE NAMES WERE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."
Contrast those whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world to those of whom the apostle writes in Ephesians 1:3-6: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed US with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as HE HATH CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: HAVING PREDESTINATED US UNTO THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN BY JESUS CHRIST TO HIMSELF, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made US accepted in the Beloved."
Short Cartoon Video on the meaning of 2 Peter 2:9 by "theearstohear"
Office Theology 109 - II Peter 3:9
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