Does God really want everyone to be saved?
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us—ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9
We believe that the words “us” and “any,” in verse 9 specifically pertain to Peter’s brethren in Christ, the elect. The word “all” in verse 9, we believe, also refers to the brethren, but has a broader meaning as well.
We know that Peter’s second letter was written to the same brethren, as was his first letter. (See 2 Peter 1:1.) Both were written to “God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (1 Peter 1:1-2). In 2 Peter 3:8-9 the Apostle is telling these same brethren that the Lord’s time regarding His return and the Day of Judgment is not related to time as is perceived on earth so that what may seem like a long time to earthlings is really a very short time with the Lord.
He then tells the brethren that the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, “but is long suffering to us” [the brethren, the elect] “not willing that any [referring back to “us,” the elect, the brethren] should perish [now in second death], but that all [meaning everyone—the elect now in the present time as well as the entire world of humankind during the Millennial Age] should come to repentance.”
The word “all” gives the scripture a much broader meaning and brings to mind 1 Timothy 2:3-4, “This is good, and pleases God, our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
We believe that the above scripture and 2 Peter 3:9 tell us just how merciful and patient the Lord is with the called out ones now and how merciful and patient Jesus and His Church will be with the world of humankind during the Millennial Age.
To learn more about God’s plan for mankind listen to, “Did Jesus REALLY Die for Everyone?”