That None Shall Perish
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9
Here we are 21 centuries removed from Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. How much more the words of Peter seem true of people wondering and perhaps scoffing, “where is the ‘coming’ he promised?” Jesus still hasn’t returned to establish his eternal kingdom on earth, to bring justice and peace, why is that? Peter gives one reason, because God doesn’t want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” In other words God is patiently waiting to include as many people in his kingdom as he can. He doesn’t want anyone to be eternally separated from him. His plan is to wait until the right number of people turn to him and put their faith and trust in Jesus. The gospel needs to be proclaimed to the whole world before the end arrives (Matt. 24:14). This also seems to imply that God, out of his love and patience, does everything he can to reach every individual. He gives as many opportunities as he possibly can to repent and come home before the end comes.
Do you have the same heart as God? Not wanting anyone to perish (neighbor, coworker, friend, family member), but to come to repentance, and faith in Jesus? How are we cooperating with God’s Spirit by sharing the Good News of Jesus so people will know God and be part of his eternal kingdom (“speed its coming”)?
One day, when Jesus does return, he will come quickly, at an uncertain time, and the heavens and earth will be destroyed (i.e. transformed or purified) by fire, the entire world will be judged and only those who have received Jesus as their Savior will remain to live in the new heaven and earth, dwelling forever with God (Rev. 21:1-4).