“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
not willing that any should perish
God is not willing that “any” should perish. It is not God’s desire that anyone perish eternally. He is not only willing that none perish but also willing that they be saved. God will not protect people against their will. He holds them responsible for all their choices. A person can reject Christ if they want to do so. They will suffer the consequences if they do.
1 Ti 2:3-4, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
The word “willing” expresses a strong desire on God’s part. Everyone will not come to Christ, but this is not due to God’s heart. “Willing” is the stronger of the Greek terms for “will.” It carries the idea of a deliberate exercise of the will. God’s will has a predisposition that manifests itself in an intentional choice.
This term for “will” also carries the idea of a plan. God’s will is both deliberate and intelligent. It is His carefully thought-out will that no one should perish (Jn 3:14-17;10:27-28). God is always willing to save, but man is not always ready to be saved.
To “perish” is the opposite of being delivered from sin. Are you in the predicament of perishing right now? You may say that you do not “feel” like you are perishing. We may not “feel” like our teeth are decaying, either. We may not feel like we are in the process of dying, but we are dying little by little each day. We will never accept Christ until we see our need for a Savior.
but that all should come to repentance
Repentance is a change in one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness. The focal factor of repentance is not sorrow or contrition but a sweeping change in thought and behavior concerning how we think and act.
The word “come” means to make room (a place) for another, and so to have place, receive. God has room for the repentance of those who wish to repent. God gives space for this. He makes room for people like this. Figuratively, God opens His heart to a person who repents. He has room in His heart for this person. There is a place in His heart to welcome and receive those who repent.
Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. In the process of believing, repentance takes place. When we believe in the person and work of Christ, our attitude changes. Our life changes for the better; a transformation takes place.
Jesus died on the cross for everyone.
Jesus died for “all” (Jn 1:29; 3:16,17; 2 Co 5:14,15,18,19; 1 Jn 2:1,2; He 2:9). Jesus shed enough blood to wash anyone who will come to Him. We do not go to Hell because we are dishonest or immoral; we go to Hell because we reject God’s only remedy for sin, the death of Jesus on the cross as a substitute for sin.
Sin is not maladjustment of a person’s genes; it is not a consequence of sickness but a matter of sin. That is not very pretty or popular, but it is biblical.
Mt 9:13, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
The goodness of God leads us to repent.
Ac 17:30-31, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
The Bible does not teach universal salvation anywhere in the Bible.