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.
Today we consider another widely misunderstood verse, often used in an attempt to prove that God is not willing that any of mankind should perish, but that all of mankind should come to repentance.
Rule of biblical interpretation #1 - Does this conflict with an absolute truth? Yes, if you take this scripture to mean that all of mankind has a chance to repent and doesn't, then some that belong to Christ will be lost and a conflict with John chapters 6 and 10 arises (as well as other scripture). Therefore, since that interpretation conflicts, it CANNOT have that meaning.
Rule of biblical interpretation #2 - What is the context? Peter is speaking of having patience, waiting for the second coming of the Lord. He gives an indication of what the Lord is waiting for until He returns in power and demonstration. Peter says the Lord is waiting to return because He is longsuffering to US-WARD. If you can determine who the US-WARD is, then, according to proper English grammar, the "ANY.." and "ALL..." that follows will be a part of that definite group.
"The Lord is not slack...but longsuffering to US-WARD, not willing that ANY (OF US-WARD) should perish, but that ALL (OF US-WARD) should come to repentance."
So, taken in context, who are the "US-WARD". Who is Peter writing to?
Look at 2 Peter 1:
1 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:
This solves the mystery. Peter is writing to born again believers, not the world of mankind in general. Thus, proper interpretation, reveals that the Lord is longsuffering to His children, not willing that any of His children should perish (harmonizes with Jn. 10: 28, right?), but that all of His children should come to repentance.
Final note - Many accuse Primitive Baptists of Calvinistic thinking, that there are just a few who will be saved. On the contrary, Primitive Baptists believe according to scripture that a great innumerable host out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation (Rev. 5:9) make up God's people. The only plan of salvation that will see this great host secured is the plan of grace that is not limited to those who hear the gospel, as this would be a relatively small number when compared with the population of the world.
Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church