Impartial Grace: 2 Peter 3

But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

(2 Peter 3:8-9, emphasis added)

This is the second letter Peter writes to these good folks. He is reminding them of their position in Christ Jesus and the status they hold in the Kingdom of God. These good people have heard the prophets and listened to apostolic teaching. Peter cautions them about the unbelieving world that will mock them and try their patience. The mockery will be rampant and the evidence of sin will be overwhelming. Men will preach with scoffing tones that the promise of Christ’s coming is false and wishful thinking. They will preach that nothing has changed since the beginning of time. But, Peter points out the scoffers and mockers ignore the fact that it is God Who created all the earth, everything on the earth, the seas, the skies and everything living in them. God created mankind, even the scoffers. God knows their mockery, too. He is not blind to them.

The Father and the Son created all there is in the world. It is the same power. Peter says that “…heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” The promise is that God does not want any of His creation to perish. It is His wish that “…all should reach repentance.” Will God not keep His promise? Will His wish not be? Will His will be thwarted by a man’s choice? God is an all-consuming fire. He is a righteous fire. Every person will be tried by His Holy fire. The dross will be burned away to ash and the purity of God’s creation will remain. Peter tells us what will be burned away. The fire will come quickly and without warning in the same way a thief comes in the night. The universe will be consumed by fire and dissolved. The works, good and bad, will be exposed by the burning of God’s Holy fire. Peter is confident these things will come to pass and he asks, “…What sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness….?”

Peter tells us we wait patiently for this time to come. God is not slow to keep His promise. We expect the heavens and the earth to be made new. Only righteousness will dwell there. Until then Peter exhorts us to “…be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.” Mr. Sprenger contends God is “literally not purposing…that any should perish, but for all to come to repentance.” The promise originally given to Abraham is still in effect.

This is His promise: None will perish and all will repent. That’s as plain as can be spoken. God wishes that none will perish and that all will reach repentance. Universal reconciliation embraces these verses as literally true. Other doctrines do not allow for a Sovereign God. Those doctrines state God is Sovereign, but the doctrines limit God’s power to save all men. Those doctrines believe God does not choose to save all men. Those doctrines contradict the plain meaning of scripture.

Universal reconciliation is a doctrine teaching no souls will perish and all will repent. All will be reconciled to God. His love is that great, even greater still. This is Impartial Grace.