It is enough to say that these words express the larger hope, if fairly and fully understood
“THE LORD IS NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.” 2 Peter iii. 9.
If then any do perish finally, God’s will and design must have been finally overthrown: it is obvious that a temporary resistance, permitted for wise ends, differs wholly from a final defiance of God’s will.
This dignity, impaired by the Fall, has been recovered by Christ the Son of Man
They teach the absolute universality of Christ’s reign, which the repeated testimony of Scripture shows to be love and peace.
Here is an addition to that very large class of passages which speak of Christ’s kingdom, as destined to extend over all things, e.g., Eph. iv. 10 ;i. 10; Phil. iii. 9-11; Rev. v. 13, c. I have already shown that subjection to Christ means perfect harmony and peace, in the usage of the New Testament, see notes on Phil. iii 21, and 1 Cor. xv. 25. This remarkable passage proceeds to lay stress on Christ’s death, as embracing “every man,” v. 9 ; – the writer has already strongly asserted the dignity of man, and his vast inheritance, simply as man, v. 6-7. And it was right that Christ should suffer in fulfilling the Will of Him (God), for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things,” v. 10, – all things whatsoever; words that authorize the widest hope, for God is the Goal of all creation. (See Rom. xi. 36.)
But the destruction of the devil, as holding the power of death, is quite inconsistent with the continuance of death and evil eternally.
We admit that a seeming failure there may be of God’s purpose: but no real failure is possible. What God’s immutable counsel is, we see in 2 Pd. iii. 9, where the original word translated “willing” is the same as “counsel” here.
Sin has intruded and caused an appearance of failure in God’s plan. Christ comes to sweep sin away. When will our opponents meet fairly the dilemma, viz., Christ fails, or succeeds in His purpose. If He fails, you contradict Scripture. If He succeeds, you contradict your dogma.
THE SAME throughout “the ages ;” words little heeded I fear; and yet which virtually contain the essence of the Gospel – the sum and substance of our hope. For what is it these words teach? not the superficial view that Christ is now a Savior, and will in future be merely a Judge to condemn; but that, what He was on earth that He is now, and that He will be, through “the ages” (judging ever, but only a Judge that He may by it be a Savior). They bid us look to a series of ages yet to come, and there see Jesus Christ still working to save; doubtless by penalty, by fiery discipline, in the case of hardened sinners; but still the same Jesus, i.e., Savior, and destined to continue His work of salvation till the last wanderer shall have been found.
Love is that character, which united they form (love infinite and unchanging)
So far from producing every possible passage that teaches the larger hope, I might have easily cited other texts that teach, or imply, the same. Take but two clauses of the Lord’s prayer: “Our Father,” these two words really involve the whole question – they form a tie, never to be broken, between man and God. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” But how is His will done in heaven? It is universally done. Shall it not then be universally done on earth too? Does Christ put into our mouths a petition which He does not design to fulfill, in even larger measure than we can hope? I might have also quoted “God is Love.” To this point all His attributes converge. Can this Love consign to endless agony its own children? Can infinite Love ever cease to love ? – let Delaware installment loans the Apostle reply, “Love never fails,” is inextinguishable.