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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Seriously, Where Did You Read THAT?

One of the main objections raised against the clear biblical doctrine of predestination
goes something like this, “but the Bible says that God is not willing that any should
perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Before you read any farther, you
should read 2Peter 3:1-10. You will not find that quotation in that passage or anywhere
else in the Bible.

I. This is the first thing: there is no place in the Bible that it says that “God is not
willing that any should perish.” The complete passage that this is lifted from says the
exact opposite of what the anti-predestination crowd would say:

2Peter 3: 9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count
slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that
all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the
night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements
shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be
burned up.” It says that God will burn up the earth and all its works, and that day will
come as a thief in the night.

The “promise” is the promise of the second coming of the Lord. See 2Pet 3:1 Scoffers
mock at the promise, but the Lord gives the reason why He has not come yet: “He is
longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to
repentance.”

He has not come because all of us have not been saved yet. It is not because he is not
willing that any whatsoever perish. If that were true He would have come hundreds of
years ago, for far more have been born and died in unbelief than have turned to Christ.

If Christ is unwilling that people perish, He should come immediately for thousands of
unbelievers are being born every day. In fact, He would not have created the world at
all, for He surely knew of the millions and millions that would descend into hell even
before the Lord Jesus came.

Two things delay the coming of the Lord. First, all His enemies have not yet been put
under His feet [See Acts 2:35; Heb. 10:12,13; Phil, 2:9-11; etc.], which is the purpose
of His ascent into Heaven.  Second, the Lord’s coming is delayed because the full total
of the elect of God has not yet been made up. When that happens, Christ will come as a
thief in the night, and will be very willing to bring vengeance upon His enemies.
Because it is impossible to know the exact number of the elect of God, Jesus could
come at any moment, when the fullness of His church is complete.

II In the second place, This objection is foolish on the face of it, for God is certainly
willing that the ungodly perish. Please note the following:

Ps 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible
tempest: [this shall be] the portion of their cup.

Rev. 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out
without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and
brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And
the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day
nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of
his name.

2Thess 1: 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be
revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on
them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who
shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from
the glory of his power;

Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and
whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the
lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

III. Third, the objection is silly on another level. If God is unwilling that any sinners
perish, then why do they perish? What compels Him to judge the wicked? Who has
Him in a hammerlock that compels Him, against His will, to bring the awful wrath that
the Bible described upon the ungodly.

The objection is refuted by the plain statement of the Apostle Paul, writing to Jews
asks “what if God, willing to show his wrath” endured the wickedness of the world for
this purpose.  [Romans 9:22]  No Jew needed to be reminded that God is willing to
show His wrath; the question is rhetorical, for every Jew who believed Moses had
plenty of evidence that God is willing to do so. It isn’t because of squeamishness that
God delays the judgment of the world.

IV. This objection reveals a faintheartedness and timid state of mind. I suspect that
there are those who are afraid people will not believe if they are told the truth about
God, that He will in flaming fire take vengeance on them that know not God, and that
obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To convince people to believe [under the illusion that faith comes by mental
manipulation] they present a false view of God, ashamed of the God they claim to
serve, and so become false prophets. Instead of proclaimers of the word they become
little more than salesmen, minimizing the defects of their product in order to make the
sale.

Instead, we are called to rest in the knowledge that God is willing to bring the fires of
his wrath upon the ungodly: 

7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed
from heaven with his mighty angels,
8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the
gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord,
and from the glory of his power;
10  When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that
believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.   2Thess. 1
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