FOR GOD SO LOVED...WHO? (part 20)
"Further evidences that the apostle John is writing to saved Jews are as follows. (a) In the opening verse he says of Christ, ‘Which we have seen with our eyes . . .and our hands have handled…’ How impossible it would have been for the Apostle Paul to have commenced any of his Epistles to Gentile saints with such language. (b) ‘Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning…’ (1 Jn. 2:7). The ‘beginning’ here referred to is the beginning of the public manifestation of Christ-in proof compare 1John 1:1; 2:13, etc. Now these believers the apostle tells us, had the ‘old commandment…from the beginning’. This was true of Jewish believers, but it was not true of Gentile believers. (c) ‘I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him…from the beginning’ (2:13). Here, again, it is evident that it is Jewish believers that are in view. (d) ‘Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us…’ (2:18,19). These brethren to whom John wrote had ‘heard’ from Christ Himself that Antichrist should come (see Matt. 24). The ‘many antichrists’ whom John declares ‘went out from us’ were all Jews, for during the first century none but a Jew posed as the Messiah. Therefore, when John says ‘He is the propitiation for our sins’ he can only mean for the sins of Jewish believers…when John added, ‘And not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world’, he signified that Christ was the propitiation for the sins of Gentile believers too, for, as previously shown, ‘the world’ is a term contrasted from Israel.” To the Jews, the word world meant Gentiles. A prime example of the contrast between Jews and Gentiles is seen in Acts 26:23: “That Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles”, “in His own person to the people of the Jews, and by His apostles to the Gentiles. In the writings of Moses He is spoken of as the great Prophet God would raise up in Israel, to whom they should hearken; and as the Shiloh to whom the gathering of the people should be, (see Deut. 17:15; Gen. 49:10) and that He should be a light to both Jews and Gentiles, through the ministration of the Gospel, is said by the prophets, (see Isa. 9:2; 42:6; 49:6) and these were the things which the apostle asserted in his ministry, in perfect agreement with those writings. This interpretation of the relevant Scriptures in 1 John 1 is unequivocally established by a careful comparison of 1 John 2:2 with John 11:51, 52, which is a strictly parallel passage: ‘And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad’." The word for the children of God is offsprings. The original Greek has it, “having been scattered He may be gathering into one”. This reminds us of the Lord Jesus’ words “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be ONE FOLD, and one Shepherd” (Jn. 10:16).
In John 11:51,52 “…Caiaphas, under inspiration, made known for whom Jesus should ‘die’. Notice now the correspondency of his prophecy with this declaration of John's:
1 John 2:2 ‘He is the propitiation for our (believing Israelites) sins’.
John 11:51 ‘He prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation (Israel)’.
1 John 2:2 ‘And not for ours only’.
John 11:52 ‘And not for that nation only’.
1 John 2:2 ‘But also for the whole world’. “That is, Gentile believers scattered throughout the earth.” If Christ was the propitiation for the whole world, everyone without exception, it would mean the Wrath of God has been fully satisfied concerning everyone, thus all will be saved, believer and non-believer, righteous and non-righteous alike.
John 11:52 ‘He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad’. God does not gather together every individual, but only His chosen children from among all the nations of the world.
“…the above interpretation is confirmed by the fact that no other is consistent or intelligible. If the ‘whole world’ signifies the whole human race, then the first clause and the ‘also’ in the second clause are absolutely meaningless. If Christ is the propitiation for every-body, it would be idle tautology to say, first, ‘He is the propitiation for our sins and also for everybody’. There could be no ‘also’ if He is the propitiation for the entire human family. Had the apostle meant to affirm that Christ is a universal propitiation he would have omitted the first clause of verse 2, and simply said, ‘He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world.’ Confirmatory of ‘not for ours (Jewish believers) only, but also for the whole world’—Gentile believers, too; compare John 10:16 'And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd', and John 17:20 'Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word' (cf. Jn. 10:16).
“…our definition of ‘the whole world’ is in perfect accord with other passages in the New Testament. For example: ‘…Whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world…’ (Col. 1:5,6). Does ‘all the world’ here mean, absolutely and unqualifiedly, all mankind? Had all the human family heard the Gospel? No; the apostle's obvious meaning is that, the Gospel, instead of being confined to the land of Judea, had gone abroad, without restraint, into Gentile lands. So in Romans 1:8: ‘First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world’. The apostle is here referring to the faith of these Roman saints being spoken of in a way of commendation. But certainly all mankind did not so speak of their faith! It was the whole world of believers that he was referring to. In Revelation 12:9 we read of Satan: “…the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…” But again this expression ‘deceievth the whole world’ cannot be understood as a universal one, for Matthew 24 :24 tells us that Satan does not and cannot ‘deceive’ God's elect. Here it is ‘the whole world’ of unbelievers." It is plain to see that the apostle does not mean everyone without exception, but only those who lie in wickedness as distinct from those who are of God, in Christ—the elect, whom Jesus said cannot be deceived by false christs and false prophets (see Matt. 24:24). Again, we remind the reader that the phrase the whole world only appears a total of 12 times in the whole of Scripture, once in the Old Testament and 11 times in the New Testament, but extraordinarily NOT ONCE is this seemingly ‘clear’ phrase used to refer to every individual without exception! The key to a proper understanding of Scripture is not to isolate each Scripture from all others, but to compare each Scripture with all others, and seek explanation of Scripture by Scripture.
“…to insist that ‘the whole world’ in 1 John 2:2 signifies the entire human race is to undermine the very foundations of the Christian Faith. If Christ is the propitiation for those that are lost equally as much as for those that are saved, then what assurance have we that believers too may not be lost? If Christ is the propitiation for those now in Hell, what guarantee have I that I may not end in Hell? The blood-shedding of the incarnate Son of God is the only thing which can keep any one out of Hell, and if many for whom that precious blood made propitiation are now in the awful place of the damned, then may not that blood prove inefficacious for me! Away with such a God-dishonoring thought. However men may quibble and wrest the Scriptures, one thing is certain: THE ATONEMENT IS NO FAILURE. God will not allow that precious and costly sacrifice to fail in accomplishing, completely, that which it was designed to effect.” God Himself has accepted the sacrifice of His Son for His chosen people so the effectiveness of what Christ has done is fulfilled and assured for everyone He became a curse for, and imputed His Righteousness to. The resurrection of Christ is the conclusive evidence which shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christ’s atoning death did accomplish what He set out to do, and that was to redeem all those for whom He died. Christ “…was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). Clearly, the ones whom Christ rose again for their justification are the ones whose offences He was delivered for, and washed away by His own blood. The original Greek has 'was given up because of offences’ and ‘was roused because of the justifying of us’. Obviously the ones Christ justifies are the ones He was delivered, or given up, for. God’s plans are always fulfilled, for they depend on nothing, but what He has willed.
A sacrifice directed by God was not conditioned on man's acceptance of it, but solely upon God's will, purpose and acceptance of it signified by the high priest reappearing alive from the Holy of Holies. So too, Christ the great High Priest's sacrifice was not something made for all, and its effectiveness determined by an individual's will in accepting what was done, but solely and exclusively upon the will and acceptance of God, signified by Christ's Resurrection from the dead. From this we see that Christ’s death could not possibly have been for everyone without exception, but specifically for those the Father had given Him. God’s acceptance of what was done proved it was according to His will, thereby, ensuring the effectiveness of it, thus guaranteeing the full benefits of the atonement to all for whom it was made. The Lord Jesus was ordained by the Father to save His people from their sins; He provided His Son for them, and accepted what He did for them thus ensuring they would all fully experience the eternal benefits of His atoning work. Christ is the RISEN Savior, He is the TRIUMPHANT Saviour, for He has successfully obtained eternal redemption for all those He died on the behalf of. If just one person for whom Christ died ends up in Hell, then Christ could not be the triumphant Saviour, for He would not see “…the travail of His soul, and…be satisfied…” (Isa. 53:11 see also Isa. 53:8,10). “‘The travail of his soul’ is the toil and labour He endured, in working out the salvation of His people; His obedience and death, His sorrows and sufferings; particularly those birth throes of His soul, under a sense of Divine wrath, for the allusion is to women in travail; and all the agonies and pains of death which He went through. Now the fruit of all this He sees with inexpressible pleasure, and which gives Him an infinite satisfaction; namely, the complete redemption of all the chosen ones, and the glory of the Divine perfections displayed therein, as well as His own glory, which follows upon it; particularly this will be true of Him as man and Mediator, when He shall have all His children with Him in glory; (see Heb. 12:2).”
“All that the Father giveth Me SHALL come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37). Christ prayed and died for the people the Father gave Him. His prayers were/are heard, and His death secured their salvation seen in the fact that all WILL come to Him. “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25 cf. Jn. 14:6). Their sins have been blotted out and replaced with eternal life. Christ's Resurrection was confirmation from God that the sacrifice performed for all His chosen ones was acceptable to Him, thereby, not merely making salvation possible, or His people saveable, but securing the salvation of all for whom it was made. “And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there” (Lev.16:23). “Why? To denote that his work was finished. The blessed antitype of this we see in Luke 24:12: on the resurrection morning, those who came to Christ’s empty sepulchre 'beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves', a token that He was risen from the dead, and so of atonement completed, and accepted by God.” There is nothing which needs to be added to all that was done on the cross, and confirmed by the resurrection, in order to make salvation ‘more complete’ or ‘more effectual’ or ‘actually effectual’. God’s election of His people, and the obvious success of Christ’s atonement for them—“ALL that the Father giveth Me SHALL come to Me…" (Jn. 6:37)—is the incontrovertible evidence which shows why all for whom He died will be saved. What Christ has done ensures that everyone His Father entrusted to Him will come to Him. The work of atonement has been accomplished, therefore, it is fully effective.
“Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto…And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect…For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise” (Gal. 3:15,17,18 cf. Gal. 3:19,24-26). “If a covenant made between men, or a man's will and testament, be confirmed, signed, sealed, and witnessed, in a proper manner, no other man can make them void, or take anything from them, or add anything to them, only the parties concerned by their own will and consent; and if this be the case among men, much less can the covenant of God, confirmed by two immutable things, His Word and Oath, or His will and Testament, or any branch of it, be ever disannulled, or be capable of receiving any addition thereunto. The apostle seems to have a particular respect to that branch of the covenant and will of God, which regards the justification of men in His sight by the Righteousness of Christ, to which the false teachers were for adding the works of the law.” Flee from anyone who teaches that you must do something to make the Covenant God has made with His Son, Jesus, complete, for the Christian is complete in Christ—in Who HE is and in what HE has done.
What has been done on behalf of the people the Father gave unto the Son has been accepted by God, and now all that remains is the distribution of the gift of salvation to those God has chosen to be merciful toward. Man can do nothing until God makes him alive, at which point there is nothing for the saved man to do, but walk in the works prepared by God for His people (see Eph. 2:10 cf. Phil. 2:13; Heb. 13:21). Christ became a curse for all those for whom He died, and all these ones would, at God’s appointed time, receive His Righteousness. The sacrifice was made to God for the people of God, and God was pleased to accept it, thus it was effective for all for whom it was made (see Eph. 5:2). God's acceptance of what Christ had done is proof positive that what Christ has done on the Cross was 100% sufficient AND EFFICIENT!! ALL FOR WHOM CHRIST DIED WILL BE SAVED BECAUSE HE OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR ALL THOSE WHOM THE FATHER HAD APPOINTED TO SALVATION, AND GIVEN TO HIM. "For God hath not appointed us to Wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us…” (1 Thess. 5:9,10). SALVATION IS NOT DEPENDENT ON MAN, FOR IT WAS ALL DEPENDENT UPON CHRIST!! So, either Christ died for all, and all are saved, or Christ died for some—God’s elect—and only they shall be saved. How could any saved person even theoretically state that Christ's death was for all in any capacity, when it is a guaranteed fact that all for whom Christ died will be saved! THE OBTAINING OF ETERNAL REDEMPTION ENSURES THE APPLICATION OF IT TO ALL FOR WHOM IT WAS OBTAINED. Christ obtained eternal redemption in order to bestow the full and eternal benefits thereof upon those for whom it was obtained. Christ will save the ones He loves from their sins. The Old Testament high priest was a shadow or type, a signifier, of what the great High Priest would do: make sacrifice for God's people. “Not a drop of that Holy blood was shed in vain. In the last great Day there shall stand forth no disappointed and defeated Saviour, but One Who ‘…shall see His seed…He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied…’ (Isa. 53:10,11 cf. Heb. 12:2). These are not our words, but the infallible assertion of Him who declares, ‘…My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure’ (Isa. 46:10).” God is not a man that can only hope what He wants will come to pass, for what God wants He makes happen. “Upon this impregnable rock we take our stand. Let others rest on the sands of human speculation and twentieth-century theorizing if they wish. That is their business. But to God they will yet have to render an account.”
Another extremely popular verse of Scripture which is often quoted, but wrongly utilized in support of God loving everyone, and wanting everyone saved, is 2 Peter 3:9: “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.” Once all the Arminian hysteria upon hearing this verse, accompanied by their misuse of this Scripture in some vain attempt to support their empty claim that God wants none to perish, but all to be saved, dies down, they would do well to simply sit quietly, and allow the Word of God to rightly interpret itself, and define its language. The key to a proper, Biblical, understanding of this Scripture is to firstly establish just whom the apostle Peter was writing to. This simple undertaking will expose, and quickly put an end to, all the illogicality of arguments asserting that God’s love is universal, and that rather than choosing a people unto salvation the Lord leaves the choosing up to the individual, and hopes that all will be saved. The Lord ‘hoping’ all will be saved, teaches that God has no say, no control, and, therefore, no Sovereignty over who, or how many are saved, and, therefore, no control at all over the intent and extent of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. The Lord’s being ‘longsuffering to us-ward’ is immediately taken by most to mean that the Lord is longsuffering toward all. This not only implies that the writer is referring to all without exception, but that he must also be writing to all without exception. In order to learn just exactly who the us-ward are in 2 Peter 3:9, there need not be some tedious, long drawn out process of vigorous study undertaken, but a simple turning of a page to the beginning of Peter’s second Letter which will promptly reveal the answer to just whom the apostle was addressing.
Peter addresses His Epistle in the following manner: “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 Pet. 1:1 cf. Phil. 1:5). In addition to this, we see at the beginning of the third chapter, Peter addressing His second Letter to the beloved: “…beloved, I now write unto you…” (2 Pet. 3:1), and if that isn’t enough for the Arminian, the verse immediately preceding verse 9, shows the apostle again addressing the ones he is writing to as “…beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing…” (2 Pet. 3:8). So there can be no question, no form of legitimate protest that can be staged, and no doubt whatsoever that could possibly take up residence in a logical, analytical and reasoning mind, let alone a Christian one, that Peter is here writing to Christians, and that those he is speaking about, of whom he says the Lord is not willing that any should perish, are none other than the beloved of God. The only thing that could prevent a human being from seeing this, and acknowledging it, is sheer spiritual blindness, or wilful, pig-headed ignorance for even a grammatical analysis of this third chapter of Peter’s second Letter leaves no room for doubt as to whom he is addressing and referring to when using words such as we, us-ward, or any. In verse after verse we see Peter speaking of those he is writing to as Christians (see 2 Pet. 1:2,3,4,8,9,10,11; 3:1,8,9). Peter was writing to fellow believers who had obtained like precious faith with him, and so, any use of the word us, or us-ward in Peter’s Letter could not possibly be referring to every member of the entire human family, for not all have faith (see 2 Thess. 3:2), but solely as an exclusive reference to believers, himself included. Peter’s first Letter was also written to the elect of God (see 1 Pet. 1:1,2). Seeing that both Peter’s Letters are addressed exclusively to God’s elect, and not to the entire ‘human family’, it is accepted that every instance where the words ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’, ‘your’, ‘ye’, etc., are used in Peter’s Letters, we may rest confidant in the fact that he is writing to, and of, believers only, and not to believer and unbeliever alike, let alone all without exception. A perfect parallel example of this is found in the apostle Paul’s Letter to the faithful saints at Ephesus: “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe…” (Eph. 1:19 cf. Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18). Peter could just as easily have used the same terminology in 2 Peter 3:9 by saying ‘The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward who believe’. Interestingly, the word longsuffering is also used by Peter just 6 verses on in 3:15: “…the longsuffering of our Lord is SALVATION…” (cf. Rom. 2:4). This verse clearly demonstrates to what end the longsuffering of the Lord towards His people is all about. 2 Peter 3:9 is in reality saying ‘The Lord is not slow to act in regards to His promise about the end, as some men judge slackness; but He is longsuffering towards the believers (His chosen; His elect), not willing that any of these, His people, chosen to believe in His Son, should perish, but that all these chosen ones, those who have been appointed to receive like precious faith with us, should come to repentance.’ The end not having yet come is not due to God’s being slow to act to bring it about, but it is because He is longsuffering towards those He has chosen, not willing that any of them perish before the end comes. God’s longsuffering is salvation for ALL His people. If God is not willing that any at all perish, then God would have made certain that none at all would perish seeing that no one and no-thing has ever, could ever, or will ever change the will of Almighty God (see Dan. 4:35).
Having established the fact that Peter’s second Letter was addressed to fellow believers, one is quickly brought to the realisation that those to whom God is long-suffering are His children—the ones whom Peter refers to at the start of the third chapter, and in verse 8, as beloved. These are the people he was writing to, and so Peter was referring to these alone when he wrote that they were of like precious faith with Peter. Peter was not in correspondence with, nor was he writing to everyone in the whole world, for how can Peter’s referring to us-ward and the beloved mean everyone without exception when he has clearly addressed his Letter to the elect of God? What 2 Peter 3:7-9 shows is that the end has thus far not come, not because it is something that has been forgotten about by God, or because He is unable to bring it to pass, but that the seeming delay, the enormous amount of time that has elapsed since the promise of the end was first made, is not due to anything other than God’s unwillingness to see any that He has chosen before time began, and for whom Christ died, perish before hearing and believing His glorious Gospel. It is for the elect’s sake that the end has not yet come, for they must all believe the Gospel, for it is God’s only power unto salvation (see Rom. 1:16,17; 1 Cor. 1:17,18). “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37), therefore, the end will not come until all that the Father has given to the Son have come to Him. All that the Father has given to Christ His Son shall—therefore, they must and will definitely—come to Him, for none of them will ever perish, for, Jesus says: “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand” (Jn.10:28,29).
Jesus declares: "And this is the Father’s WILL which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing....And this is the WILL of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life..." (Jn. 6:39,40). That is God’s Will. Only those whom the Father has given to the Son are they whom the Lord is not willing should perish! Everyone that believes in His Son is of those whom the Lord is not willing should perish. It is the Father’s will that none of those He has chosen and given (entrusted) to Christ should perish, but that all these who believe on His name may have everlasting life! How can you entrust something to someone with the desire that harm may come to it? The whole purpose of entrusting a thing to someone is for its safekeeping. What would have been the sense in God having chosen a people for salvation and that Christ His Son should die for them, AND TO SAY THAT THEY WILL NEVER PERISH, if after all this there was a possibility that it was His will for some of them to perish? That some of them would not be brought to repentance? Moreover, what sense would there have been in God not willing that any at all perish and yet not doing anything to ensure His will was fulfilled, which in this case would have been giving (entrusting) them to Christ? This would contrast sharply with how God functions and why He is God! Further on in the Gospel of John, Christ speaks again of those who had been entrusted to His keeping. In John 17:12 He says: "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, BUT THE SON OF PERDITION; that the Scripture might be fulfilled" (cf. Jn. 13:18). If it is Scripture that has been fulfilled, one can be assured that God’s WILL has been fulfilled. Here we have a window into 2 Peter 3:7,9. Christ says that He has safely kept all those whom God has chosen to give unto Him, that there is only one that is lost, and that one is a son of perdition! He is not a saved one given to Him of the Father that has been plucked from His hand. He is not one whom the Lord was not willing should perish, but one who has always been among those who have been appointed to God’s wrath. The only ones who will not be saved are those who will come under judgement and face perdition. These are not among those whom God wills not to perish, but, like Judas the son of perdition, they are to perish that the Scriptures—God’s Will—might be fulfilled.
The clear connection between God’s longsuffering and salvation in 2 Peter 3:9 and 15 reveals plainly that the purpose of God’s longsuffering in these verses (Gr. is being patient, v.9, patience, v.15), is for the salvation of all His people. A type of this is seen in 2 Timothy 2:10 where Paul states “…I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus…” (cf. 1 Cor. 4:15; 2 Cor. 6:4,5; Col. 1:24). The Greek has it: “I am enduring because of the chosen ones”. The words longsuffering and endure are very closely related in meaning: The word for endure “refers to one’s response toward circumstances, denoting perseverance in the face of difficulties, whilst longsuffering refers to one’s response toward people”. “…since it was for the sake of such, whom God had loved and chosen, that the apostle endured all his reproaches, afflictions, and persecutions, he was the more cheerful under them; and the consideration of it was a support unto him: as well as himself, and other chosen vessels of salvation, who were called by grace already; for the apostle is speaking of such of the elect, who were, as yet, in a state of nature.” 2 Peter 3:7,8 also show clearly of whom Peter is speaking in verse 9. Verse 7 speaks of “…the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men”, these are contrasted immediately in the following verse where Peter shifts his attention from the ungodly to Christians: “But, beloved…” To understand 2 Peter 3:9 to mean God is not willing that any human being at all perish is to strike at the very heart of Who God is and how He saves. It makes no grammatical, Scriptural, or contextual sense whatsoever. It is to go directly against the Sovereignty of God, for it denies His ability to do whatsoever He wills, and save/have mercy toward whomsoever He wills. Scripture clearly teaches that God is Almighty, and if Almighty then it is assured that God doeth whatsoever He wills, which in turn shows that there is nothing which God wills that He does not do, or causes to come to pass. “But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased” (Psa. 115:3). It then stands to Biblical reason that if the Lord God does whatsoever He pleases, whatsoever He pleases, or wills, is what is always done. “O Lord, there is none like Thee, neither is there any God beside Thee…” (1 Chron. 17:20). God says of Himself: “…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me….My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa. 46:9,10 cf. Isa. 40:18,25; 46:5). “…He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth” (Job. 23:13). “God has done all things in creation according to the good pleasure of His will; and He does all things in providence according to the counsel of it, and as seems best in His sight; and so He does all things in grace, chooses whom He will, predestinates to the adoption of children according to the good pleasure of His will: redeems whom He pleases, and calls by His grace, and brings to glory whomsoever He will be gracious to (see Psa. 115:3). What He designs, He effects; what He promises, He performs; saying and doing are not two things with Him.” Saying is as good as having done, to God. The Lord says: “…I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass…” (Ezek. 12:25); “I the Lord have spoken it: it shall come to pass…” (Ezek. 24:14); “So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa. 55:11); “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away” (Lk. 21:33 cf. Psa. 119:152; Jn.10:35). God has done, and continues to do, all His good pleasure. Nothing, and no one, has ever been able to stop the will of God from occurring, and nothing and no one ever will. In light of the fact that many do perish, to say God is not willing that any human being at all should perish, is to say that God cannot fulfil all His pleasure, that He cannot always do what He wants, that he cannot prevent any whom He does not want to perish from perishing, and that His counsel/purpose is not always fulfilled, and, therefore, does not always stand. It would mean that not every word He speaks shall come to pass, that some of His words do return to Him void, and that some of His words will pass away. What assurance would anyone have that God has saved them, or can keep them saved, if God cannot always do what He wants? Where could a man’s hope safely reside, if not in an Almighty God Who does whatsoever He pleases. God says “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom. 9:15 cf. Jn. 5:21). Seeing that none at all are saved without the mercy of God, it would be folly to assert that despite God not willing that any should perish, many do. This is tantamount to saying that God cannot have mercy upon those He is willing to be merciful toward. It is to say that God is not free to have mercy toward any whom He is not willing should perish. Or that even God’s mercy cannot stop a person from perishing. Scripture disavows and decries such utter foolishness, for God Himself states emphatically that He WILL have mercy on whom He WILL have mercy, therefore, the ones whom God is not willing should perish are the ones He wills to have mercy toward. Take away Sovereignty from God, and you have no God.
How odd it would be for God not to be willing that any individual ever born perish, and yet, as we have seen in John 17:9, Christ not pray for every individual, but exclusively for those whom the Father had given Him. How can God not be willing that any human being at all perish, and yet, have given only some to His Son for the purpose of salvation? How can such a pronounced inconsistency exist concerning mankind, such as Christ not praying for all, if it is God’s will that all be saved? Moreover, what madness is it to believe that God is not willing that any should perish, and yet He chooses not to show mercy to all. Surely if God wills that none at all should perish, Christ His Son would then accordingly intercede for all, showing that He indeed had died for all, and God would benevolently show mercy toward all. What reason could possibly justify Christ’s not praying for all, indeed the Father not showing mercy toward all by giving all to His Son, if it is God’s will that none at all should perish? We would have the absurd situation where God, though not willing that any should perish, does nothing to ensure the salvation of all. God does not want any to perish, but wills not to be merciful to all? He does not want any to perish, but “…whom He will He hardeneth”? (Rom. 9:18). God wants none at all to perish, but does not given all to His Son? Why not give all to His Son if He is not willing that none at all should perish? God wants none at all to perish, but has not predestinated all to be given to His Son? Why not all if He wants none to perish? God wants none at all to perish, but does not show mercy toward all? Why not all if He wants none to perish? God wants none at all to perish, but has not adopted all to be His children? Why not all if He wants none to perish? The key to all this is the will of God. Just as God wills to have mercy only toward those He wills to have mercy, His will is to predestinate some to glory, and not all. His will was to give some to His Son, and not all, proof of which is seen in the fact that not all come to Him. Surely if God was not willing that any at all should perish He would have entrusted all without exception to His Son, SEEING THAT THE ONLY ONES WHO SHALL COME TO THE SON ARE EXCLUSIVELY THOSE WHOM THE FATHER HAS GIVEN HIM!! (see Jn. 6:37). Jesus said: “…this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing…” (Jn. 6:39). The key to a person’s not perishing is their being given to the Son by the Father. A god who wants none at all to perish, and yet does not give all to his son, is a god who is in disagreement with himself, a god who does not know what he wants. This is the impotent, worthless, ineffectual, and self-contradictory god of Arminianism. “Arminian theology claims that God antecedently wills the salvation of all people, but consequently wills not the salvation of all, but only of some, on the grounds of certain conditions. Who would be so foolish as to attribute such wills to God? According to this doctrine God genuinely wills that which He knows will never happen, indeed, what He wills not to bring about.” Because God is Sovereign, it stands to Biblical reason that if God willed that none at all should perish then all would be saved. Seeing that it is obvious not all are saved, it is clear that those whom God is not willing should perish are those He has desired to save and not appoint to Wrath. All those who do/will believe are those who have been appointed to eternal life by God: "...as many as were ordained to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48). God does not wait for a person to make a decision to accept Him and then ordain them to eternal life, but He has first ordained them, and in time—His time—they will believe. This being the case, how could it be that God would not be willing that any person at all should perish, and yet not ordain every person to eternal life? Surely God would have predestinated all to salvation, He would have had mercy upon all if He was not willing that any at all should perish.
Perhaps an even stranger scenario than Christ not praying for those whom the Father allegedly did not want to perish is found in the following verse: "Woe unto thee Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes" (Matt. 11:21). Here we see the situation, as described by the Lord Jesus, of the people from the cities of Tyre and Sidon who would have, if the mighty works of Christ had been performed in their midst, all repented and come to God! Now, what would you think of a God who, if the Arminian interpretation of 2 Peter 3:9 is correct, is not willing that any individual ever born perish, but that all of humanity come to repentance, allowing the people of two entire cities to perish in their sins knowing that they would have all repented had He sent Christ to them to perform His miracles among them! That is a god of evil my friends, and not the true God of the Bible. God is Almighty, and, therefore, He ensures that His will is always done. No one’s will can supersede God’s will, and no one can change what has been done, what is being done, or what will be done, for all is according to the eternal will of God Who declares “…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: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth My counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isa. 46:10,11). If God wanted none at all to perish, then none at all would perish. This is the true God of the Bible. One cannot separate God’s will from His purpose, nor His Word from what He does. Therefore, all that God wills, purposes, or speaks, He always has done, and He always will do.
In light of such overwhelming evidence, some may concede, 'Ok, the ‘us’ mentioned in 2 Peter 3:9 is talking about the elect of God, and not all without exception, but that does not mean that the ‘any’ in the same verse is referring to the same group of people'. It would be a case of extreme eisegesis—the interpretation of a Biblical text using one’s own ideas, in other words reading into a verse that which is not there—to say that because God is longsuffering to us, the elect, He is, therefore, not willing that any individual ever born perish. Such an ‘argument’ flies directly in the face of what the fundamental laws of grammar demand, and is diametrically opposed to the context of the chapter wherein this verse is found. To say that the ‘any’ are not the people referred to as ‘us’ would have the verse read as follows: ‘The Lord is not slack concerning His promise…but is longsuffering to us-ward, His chosen people, not willing that every individual of the world should perish…’ This makes as much sense as would a captain of a football team saying to his players, ‘The coach is being patient with us because he doesn’t want any football player in the whole world to lose his place in the team’. There is simply no discernible logic in such thinking. It is, however, logical and proper, according to how the English language is written (the words us and any are also used in the original Greek), and in light of other Scriptures, that 2 Peter 3:9 is saying that because God is not willing that any He has chosen should perish, He is, therefore, longsuffering and patient toward them as He was to the apostle Paul in 1 Tim. 1:16: “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting”. “…not that the apostle was the first that was converted upon Christ's coming to save sinners; for there were many converted before him, and very great sinners too, and he speaks of himself as one born out of due time; unless it can be thought that he was the first of the persecutors of the Church, upon the death of Stephen, that was converted: but the word ‘first’ is not an ‘adverb’ of time, but a ‘noun’ expressing the character of the apostle, as before; and the sense is, that in him, the first or chief of sinners, Jesus Christ exhibited an instance of His abundant longsuffering exercised towards His elect for their salvation; He waiting in the midst of all their sins and rebellions to be gracious to them; and of this, here was a full proof in the Apostle Paul: what longsuffering and patience were showed, while he held the clothes of them that stoned Stephen, when he made havoc and haled men and women to prison, and persecuted them to death? and this was done, ‘for a pattern to them that should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting’.”
The evidence which shows that God does not want a person to perish, is seen in the Scriptures that reveal God’s appointing them to obtain salvation through Christ Who died for them, loves them and shows His mercy unto them (see 1 Thess. 5:9,10; 2 Thess. 2:12-14), that He saves all those whom He calls His sheep, and that none of them will ever perish: “My sheep hear My voice…and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish…” (Jn. 10:27,28). God’s sheep are His vessels of mercy. God provides for and protects His chosen. He does not merely hope for the best for them, but He gives them the best by ensuring the salvation of each and every one of them. He gives them to His Son, and His Son obtains eternal redemption for them. “And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory” (Rom. 9:23). Remember that God’s love is an active love, a purposeful love, and all who love God do so only because of His love for them (see 1 Jn. 4:19). According to this rule does it not stand to Biblical reason that if God was not willing that any at all should perish this would mean He loved all without exception, and, consequently, they would all love Him seeing that the only way a man can love God is if God loves him first. The sad reality of life is that many do perish, they die not loving God evidencing, beyond any doubt, the fact that God never loved them. God never gave them to His Son, a fact confirmed by their never having come to Him. God chose His people, to love His people, to save His people. Therefore, those whom God loves He wills to love, and all those He wills to love will all love Him, and be saved, for He wills not that any of them—His loved ones—perish, which is why He entrusted them to His Son. God will not bring about the end of the world until all His sheep—the only ones according to the Lord Jesus that will never perish (see Jn. 10:28)—are saved, and come to repentance. The end of the world, and the day of Judgement of ungodly men awaits the salvation of every one of those whom God is not willing should perish. The connection is clearly made in 2 Peter 3:3-9. Paul the apostle was of like-mind with the Lord when he said "...I endure all things for THE ELECT’S SAKES, that THEY may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Tim. 2:10). Notice the inextricable, and exclusive connection, between the elect and those who are to obtain salvation. Paul endured all his sufferings for the sake of the elect, that he might continue to preach the Gospel in their hearing that they may also obtain salvation. Paul makes it clear that this was not done for the sake of all people, but solely for the elect of God. God is Almighty! This means that He can do, and more to the point, does do, whatsoever He pleases. If this were not the case, then how would God be any different to mortal man in this regard? He would be like any one of us. He would have desires and preferences to what He would like to see happen, but would have little, or no, power at all to ensure that anything come to pass as He would like it to. This contrasts sharply with what we have seen the Scriptures say of the true, Sovereign and Almighty God, indeed, how He describes Himself.