Well, autumn is here in all of its beauty. Many people are doing their annual “fall cleaning.” All of us with deciduous trees are getting their rakes out, or “should” in my case. In my state, kids are back in school, on a limited basis. Much of what we think of as autumn is unfolding before us as if nature didn’t even notice the pandemic.
For those of us that experience seasons, one of autumn’s aspects is the undercurrent of urgency. We know that winter will soon be here, and we can’t stop it – many are saying, “Come on! Show what you’ve got! I can take it.” I’m not one of those people, but I admire them.
As part of my fall cleaning, I pull our Scriptures that may have been lying around for the past six months, maybe even a year! A Christian missionary that I dearly miss taught me Matthew 13:52:
And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.“
So, briefly, I need to bring out one of my most loved Scriptures. I have it memorized in KJV, but I’ll write it here using the English Standard Version:
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9 (emphasis added)
To Will, Intend, Desire, Wish
I find great comfort in this message from God. And, buried within this verse is a beautiful gem. That word, “wishing,” in the above verse is from the Greek word βουλόμενός and is translated in Young’s Literal Translation as “wanting.” Strong’s Greek Concordance 1014 tells us it means: To will, intend, desire, wish.
I have to say that the King James Version seems to do the best translation of this passage of Scripture. The KJV renders βουλόμενός this way: “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.“
What we learn here is that God’s will is that no one should perish. His desire is for everyone to come to repentance. So, everyone goes to heaven? No. You may rightly say, “God’s will is always accomplished.” Yes, it is, but God is telling us that His intent is for everyone to come to repentance, but true repentance is an act of faith. God doesn’t make anyone accept Him.
Cannot Repent Without Jesus
We are incapable of true repentance. We possess no ability to turn away from our rebellion against God. Only through the act of salvation and the Holy Spirit coming to live in us can we fulfill the confession of repentance we make when we are saved.
At its core, Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is redemption, regeneration, reconciliation, relationship, and someday, resurrection. God desires that we receive Jesus; that’s why God is patient towards us.
Cleaning out the Dust
While it’s still autumn, let’s reaffirm our standing with our Lord. Let’s clean out the dust and grime that may have been tracked into our souls. We need to feel the urgency.
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