The orthodox Christian theology of Hadley Robinson

2 Peter 3:9 who is everyone?

by Hadley Robinson

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Although this verse does not concern the use of the word "world," it is still mistakenly used alongside of John 3:16 to be a sort of proof-text to assert that God loves the "whole world," as it were.  This passage, as well, is taken out of context to assert that God loves everybody, everywhere, whoever lived.

If the epistle had been addressed to the “whole world” and not to just those who belong to Christ, then the Semi-Pelagian argument might have some strength.  However, this is not the case.  It is addressed to God's elect.  It is a misuse of the Greek language to yank this verse out of context but that is what countless American Bible teachers do -- and every day.  Who are "those?"

...To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours.” – 1 Pet. 1:1

Therefore, the correct context is that the Lord does not want (and will not permit) any who are His to perish.  This is in keeping with such statements of Jesus as in Jn. 6:39,

...I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

It is comforting to know that the saints will persevere through all troubles here and that we will never be the objects of His wrath.

Meanwhile, too many teachers spread humanist doctrine while demonstrating their lack of care in using the Scriptures.  Universalism, Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism, and Arminianism are not compatible with Christian orthodoxy.  Their foundation is that man has a right to be happy and that he has enough good in him to chose Christ.  But this is not taught anywhere in the Scriptures. 

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