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By Curtis Pugh

Is it God's will that every person on earth should come to repentance and thus be saved? While many people do believe this there is a problem in doing so. Believing that means that you must also believe that men are stronger than God: that God is a failure and cannot do what He wants to do. Nowhere in the Bible is such a thing even hinted at. The Bible presents God as sovereign and all powerful. He does as He pleases, is under no outside control or influence and is able to accomplish His will. For instance, Isaiah 46:10 says: “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”

One verse that some folk use to try and prove that God wants to save everyone, but that He is not able to do so because they will not let Him is 2 Peter 3:9 which says: “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.” How can this seemingly clear verse be reconciled with such verses as Romans 9:18 which says: “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth”?

The true child of God believes the Bible, therefore he or she believes both of these verses. While a hated doctrine, the Bible clearly teaches that God did before the world choose some people to salvation while leaving others alone. Proof: “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,” (Ephesians 1:4).

Without doing violence to the meaning of words, what does the phrase, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” mean? Ask, toward whom is God “longsuffering:? Ask, to whom were these words addressed? Ask, who are the “any” that God wills not to perish? Ask. who are the “all” that He brings to repentance? Why the answers are simple. God is “longsuffering to us-ward” - toward those saved people whom He addressed. God is “not willing” that any of those “should perish” whom He chose before the world's foundation. These chosen ones are those whom He causes to “come to repentance.”

So then, God is willing to leave some rebellious, Christ-hating, God-hating, wicked sinners alone in their sins. Their just punishment will magnify His justice and wrath: His fairness. But it is His will to save some by grace. These He regenerates and continues working within them: “...he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 1:6).

Rejoice if you are one of the “us-ward” whom He is unwilling to allow to perish! Rejoice if it is His will that you “come to repentance” for He will do all His pleasure!

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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