Archive for the ‘2 Peter 3:9’ Category


As a member of society, you delight to render even justice to everyone, in all your various intercourse–intercourse of trade–intercourse of science, of literature, of society, of religion. But you have more delight, as a good member of society, in being able to go beyond the mere measure of justice, and, even at some personal sacrifices, in doing something to dry up the streams of human misery; your kindness wipes away the orphan’s tear, and carries gladness to the heart beating such unequaled throbs under the weeds of the widow. In all these duties you may be equally perfect, but you are not equally happy. This illustrates what we mean by the peculiar preferences of God. His delight is in the exercise of his Mercy. He delights, indeed, in justice, holiness, faithfulness; and he has an infinite delight in them; that is, his delight accords with the infinity of his nature, and is perfect in relation to the importance of the attribute he exercises. But in Mercy he peculiarly delights. This is his own repeated testimony. He is not willing that any should perish. He affirms that he has no pleasure at all in the death of him that dies. All that he has seen fit to teach us in his Word, respecting his own infinite and holy feelings, gives preeminence to his Mercy. Mercy, indeed, has its methods–its way of wisdom–its rules: if it had not, it would lose its nature and become something else. The poet failed in that so much admired conception,

“A God all mercy is a God unjust.”

That is truth, but it is not all the truth–it is too feeble for the fact. Such a God would be something more than unjust; and the licentiousness of the attribute among a world of sinners would turn the mercy into unkindness itself. Still, the Divine Being has peculiar delight in the exercise of his Mercy. God loves to forgive sinners. He loves to save them. He loves to adopt them into his family. He loves to cheer them with his promises. And never did a saint on earth have so much delight in receiving the grace of God, as the infinitely gracious God has in bestowing it. Much as you may find in the Bible to teach the infinitude of all the attributes of the Deity, and their preciousness to him, you cannot fail to see the justice of the idea that he speaks in most singular style of his Mercy. The delight which he has in it, the singular and peculiar delight, demonstrates that kind of preeminence which we have affirmed belongs to it. It is Mercy that unfolds to us the heart of the God of heaven! It is Mercy which he most of all things delights to exercise. His glory, his infinite and eternal blessedness, stand in peculiar connection with this. Justice, judgment, the vengeance he takes upon the wicked, even he himself denominates his strange work (Isaiah, xxviii. 21). It is not what God likes. Mercy is more natural to him. It is more like God. Even when Mercy is refused–rejected –spurned; and judgment is compelled to act on the wicked, Mercy goes out upon the Mount of Olives to shed her tears over the devoted city! He wept over it: Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Ichabod Spencer, The Mercy of God, in Sermons of the Rev. Ichabod Spencer (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication. 1855), 1:269-271. [Some spelling modernized and underlining mine.]


Charles Simeon (1759-1836) on 2 Peter 3:9

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism



2 Pet. iii. 8, 9. 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.

THE compassion of Almighty God has in all ages been abused by ungodly men, and made an occasion of impenitence and persevering wickedness. In the minds of many it has been made a source of triumph against God, as though he were not able or willing to vindicate the honor of his law. Just as our blessed Lord s condescension in noticing an abandoned, but penitent, woman was made by his enemies a reason for doubting whether he was a prophet–since, if he had been really inspired of God, he must have known how unworthy she was of such an honor; so the forbearance of God with an ungodly world has given occasion to “scoffers to say, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” But such persons forget, that, how ever long God may have borne with the wickedness of men, he has given at the deluge a very awful testimony of his determination to punish it. And, though he now bears with sinners, he reserves the earth for a similar display of his vengeance by fire; and will surely, in due season, execute his threatenings against sin and sinners. In the mean time, how ever, he waits to be gracious to returning penitents, and will gladly lay aside his anger the very instant that they come to him in his appointed way.

The words which I have now read will naturally lead me to show,

I. In what light God s delay of his final judgment should be viewed–

God forbears to punish sinners, because he desires to save them–

Read the rest of this entry »


Simon Kistemaker on 2 Peter 3:9

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism


9. 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.

Because the Christians of the first century expected the imminent return of the Lord and waited patiently, they needed a word of encouragement from Peter.

a. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise.” The term Lord in this verse and the next (v. 10) is a synonym for “God.” In other words, Peter refers not to Jesus but rather to God with his use of an Old Testament designation for God . Peter alludes to the Old Testament prophecy of Habakkuk:
For the revelation awaits an appointed time:

it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come and will not delay. [2:3]

The writer of Hebrews, who assures his readers that God will fulfill the promises that he made to them, quotes this same Old Testament prophecy (see Heb. 10:37). “Why does God delay the return of Christ? The cause of the delay stems not from indifference or inattentiveness on the part of God.

It lies in God’s grace and mercy toward sinners. He allows them time to repent of their sins. Jesus will return when God’s patience has ended, when the time allotted has expired, and when the last believer has accepted Christ as Savior. “Not human sin, but divine forbearance, which cannot be constrained, determines the delay. It is the sovereign God who graciously grants an interval for repentance.”30 God works out his plan and purpose even though man expresses doubts.

Read the rest of this entry »


II.–1. The word of God, in perfect recognition of the original adaptedness of human nature to the service and enjoyment of God, and of its present susceptibility in its fallen condition, to be restored to the lost image of God; furnishes in the divine Revelation it contains, the perfect knowledge of the divine method of the restoration of man. This knowledge comes to us in such a manner, namely, by the word of God, as to give to its absolute truth the highest certainty of which truth is capable: and it comes to us with that infinite authority of God, which invests it with an uncontrollable majesty and efficacy. The will of God is made known to us: that will which–whether as Creatures dependent on the Creator, or as sinners dependent on the Savior, it is the first necessity, the first interest, the first duty of man to obey. In the whole revealed will of God, nothing is more distinctly stated, than that God is not willing that any should perish, but is willing that all should come to repentance; and be appeals to his own longsuffering for proof of what he says.1 Nay, seeing that be hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom be hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead: he has added the weight of his infinite authority to the plea of his boundless mercy, and now commands all men everywhere to repent.2 He assures us that these holy Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.3 He declares to us, that this Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes.4 By prophets and by apostles alike, he has proclaimed to every generation of men, Behold now is the accepted time: Behold now is the day of salvation.5 And by Prophets and by Apostles alike, the fundamental principle of the divine administration of grace, has been loudly and continually asserted to be, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.6 And now what is the result of all this proclamation of divine mercy–all this gospel call to men, through all ages? Let us trace the whole career of grace from Adam’s day to our own–and see if we can discern one single clear instance in which, throughout all generations, one single sinner embraced this gospel call, in his own strength, and without God’s special grace added to the gospel call. Alas! no. All our natural ability, upon which we are so prone to rely; all our boasted free will, about which we are so sensitive; yea, all divine knowledge merely as such: however real may be our possession of these inestimable gifts of God–however great may be the obligation resting on us to bless God for them, and to use them all aright–however they may all enter and be taken for granted in our Effectual Calling: beyond a doubt neither of them, nor yet all of them, can deliver us from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Shall God, then, be robbed of the glory of his grace? Shall his elect be left to perish? Or will our stupid and perverse hearts consent that God may make one more effort?

Robert J. Breckinridge, The Knowledge of God, (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1859), 1:128-129. [Some spelling modernized and underlining mine.]


12 Pet., iii. 9.

2Acts, xvii. 30, 31.

32 Tim., iii. 15.

4Rom., x. 18.

5Isa., xlix. 8; 2 Cor. vi. 2.

6Joel, ii. 32; Acts, ii. 21; Rom., x. 13.


Ralph Wardlaw (1779-1853) on 2 Peter 3:9

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism


2 Pet. iii. 9. There are two ways in which these words may be explained. [1.] The apostle may be considered as

speaking of the elect, of those -whom it is God’s purpose to bring to salvation, and of them as constituting a community of which he was himself a member, “long-suffering to us-ward,” in the same way in which Paul uses the expression: “We who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord.”1 This community is composed of many who are yet to live in the successive generations of mankind. God is “not willing that any” of these, the objects of His gracious purpose of salvation, “should perish,” etc.: the very purpose for which the world is spared being that they may all be brought in due time, and put in possession of the covenant blessings. [2.] Much depends on the sense affixed to the term willing, “not willing that any should perish,” etc. Hence a most general and comprehensive interpretation of the words may be fairly maintained. We have already viewed God as a Sovereign Benefactor, and as a righteous Governor. Under the former character He wills, that is, He absolutely determines, the salvation of a certain member, and secures the accomplishment of His gracious purpose. But it does not follow that in the latter character He wills the perdition of any. I mean, that as a Governor, in awarding punishments, He does not at all act in sovereignty. Sovereignty relates to the bestowment of good, not to the infliction of evil. A sovereign purpose to save we can understand; but a sovereign purpose to destroy is revolting and contradictory. It is not in consequence of any absolute sovereign act of His will that any sinner perishes. In no such sense does He will the death of the sinner. In the rectoral administration of God, salvation is set before all without difference, and is put within their reach, and pressed upon their acceptance. If any perish in these circumstances, they owe their perdition to the free, unconstrained, and uninfluenced choice of their own will rejecting the offer. God is under no obligation to save them; and they willfully destroy themselves. Again: Repentance is obviously in itself right and good. It must be in accordance with the rectoral will of God as the moral Governor of His creatures. All are by the Gospel called to repentance. There must, therefore, be a sense in which He is willing that all should come to repentance. This is His general will, His moral will, His rectoral will. And in this light, it is equally true of all His fallen creatures. It is true of devils as well as of men. If it was wrong for the angels to sin, it must be right for them to repent of their sin. It is impossible that God can ever will any thing else than what is in its own nature right and good; and repentance cannot in any case, where sin has been committed, be denied to be self-evidently right, and in this sense the holy God must will it. He ” commands all men, everywhere, to repent.”2 And if He wills repentance, He cannot will perdition, excepting as the merited consequence of impenitence and perseverance in sin.

Ralph Wardlaw, Systematic Theology, (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1857), 2:477-479.  [Some spelling modernized, footnote values modified; and underlining mine.]


11 Thess. iv. 15, etc.

2Acts xvii. 30.