Not Desiring that any Should Perish

2 Peter 3:1-3 ESV

“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.”

In context, this is talking about the scoffers scoffing with regard to the fact that the Lord Jesus had not yet returned. But that is not the only thing they are scoffing about in these last days before Jesus’ return. They mock, they make fun of, and they deride those who are walking in fellowship with the Lord and who are living holy lives and who are living the gospel and not just speaking the gospel, and who are teaching the true gospel.

And this is because these scoffers are following their own sinful desires that they are mocking and deriding those who are living holy lives, pleasing to God, and those who are sharing the truth of the gospel. For they don’t really want to hear the true gospel because it is opposed to them following their own sinful desires. For the true gospel requires death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness, and they want the freedom to keep sinning.

But we are to remember the commandments of our Lord God and these are what we are to put into practice. And I don’t mean the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, sacrificial, purification and dietary laws and restrictions which the Jews of the Old Covenant were required to obey. I mean the teachings of Jesus Christ and those of his New Testament apostles and the instructions that they gave us in holy living and in not walking in sin.

2 Peter 3:9-13 ESV

“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. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

The Lord Jesus has not yet returned to judge the people of the earth and to take his bride to be with him for eternity, but he is patient towards us, not wishing (willing, desiring) that anyone should perish but that all should come to (make room for, receive) repentance. And repentance is to have a change of mind and a change in the inner man. It is to be turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Christ.

Repentance has to do with making a spiritual U-turn in our lives. And it is required by God for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God. We must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and we must be resurrected with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. So we are to no longer walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin but now we are to walk in obedience to our Lord in holiness. Sin should have no more mastery over our lives.

We read in the Scriptures that God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died to put sin to death in our lives so we would no longer live in slavery (addiction) to sin but so we would now live as slaves to God and to his righteousness. And this is what the gospel is all about.

[Tit 2:11-14; 1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Ac 26:16-18]

2 Peter 3:14,17-18 ESV

“Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace… You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

All throughout the New Testament we have warnings given to the church, to the saints of God, to those professing faith in Christ Jesus our Lord that we must be diligent to live holy and godly lives pleasing to our Lord and that we must not walk in deliberate and habitual sin against our Lord and against other humans. For we are warned that if we walk in sin, and if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God.

Eternal life with God and salvation from sin are not guaranteed on a mere confession of faith in Jesus Christ. We must be those who walk the walk and who don’t just talk it. We must be those who are walking in obedience to our Lord and who are not walking in sin, and we must continue steadfast in these walks of faith until the very end in order for us to have the hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God. For our salvation will not be complete until Jesus returns to take us to be with him for eternity.

So, we need to be on guard and we need to be careful that we are not led astray from our pure devotion to the Lord by listening to and heeding the erroneous teachings of those who are deceitful. For many of them are teaching that we don’t have to repent and we don’t have to obey the Lord, and they are teaching we are saved and have heaven secured us merely on a one-time profession of faith in Christ. But that is contrary to what the Scriptures teach regarding our salvation from sin.

So, we are to be students of the Scriptures who study them in context, and then we must be doers of the word and not hearers only. We must be those who are putting the word of God (the gospel) into practice in our daily lives. And it teaches us that we must die to sin and walk in obedience to our Lord or we don’t have eternal life with God. And we must be growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, but not intellectually, but spiritually, as is evidenced by how we live our lives day in and day out.

[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]

All The Way My Savior Leads Me

Lyrics by Frances J Crosby, pub. 1875
Music by Robert Lowry, pub. 1875

All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.

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