The Evangelical Universalist Forum

not willing that any should perish....

Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance

This phrase is often used to prove that God will save everyone.
However if you read the context in chapter 2 Peter 3 (KJV) it looks that Gods wants everyone to be saved but the judgement and perdition are reserved for ungodly men.

Does God wants everyone to be saved, but nevertheless some will be destroyed ?
How do you reconcile this with universal salvation ?

7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and **perdition **of ungodly men.

8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

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.

God can still save people from their sins after destroying them.

There are other more technical answers along the same line, but that’s the gist.

There’s a rather different answer which many Christian Universalists think is true instead, that God never destroys anyone but only ever saves people from destroying each other and themselves. I and a bunch of us go with the first answer (without denying that God, sometimes thereby, also saves people from destroying each other and themselves, of course), but I’d be unfair not to mention the other main theory. :slight_smile:

For a more technical argument (of the first kind), you can try my ExCom thread with subsequent commentary here: JRP's Exegetical Compilation: 2 Peter 3:9, 15-18

Hi towstt,

Great question. There are lots of verses that talk about the “ungodly” being destroyed. As Jason mentioned, we have to ask, is it their sinful identity that is destroyed? Their bodies? Their whole being? etc… Our old selves get destroyed and we get brought into a new birth :slight_smile:
I am not pretending to be a Greek expert but it is interesting that the word for “lost” sheep in Luke 15 is the root word for destroyed in 2 Peter 3:7. Jesus was able to save the “lost” sheep. Though, the “lost” version is a verb and in 2 Peter 3:7 is a noun which might make a difference.
Also in 2 Peter 3:9, the not “willing” is more like a determining word rather than a mere “wanting” in the Greek, and the word “any” is indefinite when Peter could have said “you”. Peter also uses “all”, when he could have said “you”…

Peter seems to broaden his language when he could have stuck talking about the “beloved”.