Calvinism and 2 Peter 3:9?
2 Peter 3:9 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.
First, who is Peter's audience? 2 Peter 1:1 states, "Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ" (cf. 1 Pet 1:1; 2 Pet 3:1). So, Peter is writing to a specific group of people, those "who have obtained faith of equal standing" with Peter and those with him. Peter specifically says this faith came by "the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ." See the fuller context in 2 Peter 1:1-3.
Second, the fuller context of 2 Peter 3:9 is 2 Peter 3:1-9. The fuller context of 2 Peter 3:1-9 is about the Second Coming of Christ (parousia). In 2 Peter 3:9, while salvation is also a topic, he is more fully explaining the reason for Christ's delay.
Third, in essence, I believe Peter is simply reassuring believers saying the coming of the Lord has been delayed, so that all the elect of God can be gathered together. Christ won't lose even one. God is true to his word; "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day" (John 6:39, 37). When the last elect person is saved - and not a moment before - Christ will return in judgment (2 Pet 3:10).
It should be stated that some think this is God's Will of Deposition, which describes God's attitude, what is pleasing to him (Ezek 18:23; 33:11). Please see "What are the Wills of God?" below.
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Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).