Let us look first at Ephesians 1:3-6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as HE HATH CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having PREDESTINATED US UNTO THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”  This is such a remarkable example of the exceeding grace of God.  The Bible is so clear, “There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God.” (Romans 3:11).  NONE!  NO ONE, of his own reckoning will ever look for God.  Yet, God according to His unlimited mercy and His holy and sovereign will, chooses some to open their understanding of God and give them a desire to know Him. 

The truth of the election of God is found throughout the scriptures.  A few examples are:

  • Deuteronomy 7:6, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy GOD HATH CHOSEN THEE to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”
  • Isaiah 45:4, “For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel MINE ELECT, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.”
  • John 15:16, “YE HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, BUT I HAVE CHOSEN YOU, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
  • Acts 13:48, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE BELIEVED.”

Let me re-emphasize the point that without the Lord Himself choosing and working in the hearts of unbeliever, NO ONE WOULD EVER BE SAVED! 

Now, let us read 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.” (NASB).  This verse answers the question asked in verse 4, “Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”  Some had questioned the promise of the Lord’s return.  The Lord, through the Apostle Peter, gives the comforting message that the Lord does not delay, but is patient toward ‘you’, (us-ward in the KJV) not wanting any to perish. 

How do we understand this verse?  Who is the ‘you’ in this verse referring to?  To find the answer to that question, we need to go to the beginning of this epistle.  That says, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:1).  From this we learn that the Lord is writing to His people, “them that have obtained like precious faith…”.  In 2 Peter 3:9, His patience is exhibited by the fact that He has not yet returned…He is allowing time for ALL His people to come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Those who have been chosen will come to Him.  The Lord Jesus has assured us in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  The Lord is not willing that any of these people perish, but He is giving time for all those to come to Him through repentance and faith.  The Apostle Paul wrote of his evangelistic labors for those who had been chosen of God.  2 Timothy 2:10 says, “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”  The responsibility of the elect, or chosen, is that they “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 16:31)

With all that said, it is so important to realize that the Lord Jesus never rejects any who come to Him in faith for salvation.  He has done nothing to impair those who desire to be saved.  He puts up no roadblocks or obstacles before any.  He will save any and all who put their faith in Him.  (461.4)